Investing in your future

A loan is a form of financial aid that you will have to repay even if you don’t finish your schooling. Loans are an investment in your education, but loan debt can add up quickly for you (or your parents). Borrow only what you truly need to cover your costs.

For all loans, you must meet these eligibility criteria:

  • Be a U.S. citizen, U.S. national, or permanent resident of the United States
  • Be enrolled half-time and admitted to a degree-seeking program
  • Meet satisfactory academic progress requirements
  • Not be in default on prior educational loans

Remember, you’re required to repay loans even if you do not finish your academic program or your program doesn’t meet your expectations.

Your initial student aid eligibility (loans and grants) will be listed in your Student Aid Report. You will be able to accept, reduce, or decline loan offers when you receive your complete financial aid package from IU East (or your chosen school).

A direct subsidized loan is named as such because it is subsidized by the Department of Education to reduce the burden of your financial need and make college more affordable. The Department of Education pays the interest that accrues on your loans while you're enrolled in college at least half time, during the six months after you leave school (the "grace period"), and during any approved deferment periods.

  • Available to: Undergraduate students who demonstrate financial need.
  • Time limit: up to 150 percent of the published length of your chosen program. For example, if you’re enrolled in a four-year bachelor’s degree program, you can receive Direct Subsidized Loans for no more than six years. There are certain situations where you’ll become responsible for paying interest on the loan.

A direct unsubsidized loan is more like a traditional loan, in that you are responsible for all interest accrued on the loan. It's recommended that you pay the interest while you're in school, but if that is not possible, it will be added to the total amount owed.  You'll begin making payments six months after you leave school or drop below half time status.

  • Available to: Undergraduate and graduate students (no need to demonstrate financial need).

If you’re borrowing a Federal Direct Subsidized or Unsubsidized Loan for the first time, or it's been over 10 years since you completed the following, you must:

  • go through online Entrance Counseling
  • complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN)

You'll be prompted to complete these steps after receiving your Financial Aid Award Notification.

Entrance counseling will help you understand the federal loans you’re borrowing and the options you’ll have to repay them. You must complete the counseling before loan funds will be credited to your account.

You will need your FSA ID to log into your entrance counseling session.

The Master Promissory Note (MPN) is a legal document that explains the terms and conditions of your student loan. On your MPN, you promise to repay your loans and any interest and fees. You must sign it before loan funds will be credited to your account.

To sign your MPN, you’ll need:

  • Your FSA ID
  • Your Social Security number
  • Your driver’s license number
  • Your permanent address and telephone number
  • Information for two references, including their addresses and telephone numbers.

To sign the MPN, use your FSA ID to log into your direct loan account and select “Complete MPN.”

You’ll begin repaying your loans six months after you graduate or drop below half-time status. First, you’ll be asked to complete exit counseling, which will provide you with information on repaying your loans. We’ll send you email with the details when it’s time for you to go through exit counseling.

Learn more about repaying your loans

Private Loans

If you aren’t eligible for federal aid or weren’t awarded as much federal aid as you actually need, you or your parents might consider taking out a private student loan through a bank, credit union, or another lender.

You should always consider federal student loans before private loans:

  • Federal loans are usually much more affordable.
  • Federal loans allow you to put off repaying them until after you graduate.
  • You must have a good credit history or a co-signer with a good credit history to receive a private student loan.
  • The interest rate on a private student loan is variable and depends on your (or your co-signer’s) credit history.
  • Depending on the terms of your loan, you may be required to start repaying the loan before you finish your education.

Before you apply for a private loan, complete your FAFSA to see if you qualify for a federal loan.

Learn about federal versus private loans

You have the right to select any lender you wish for a private loan. Once you have been approved by your lender, they will notify the Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships that your loan is ready to be certified. We’ll process your private student loan if you meet the eligibility requirements and will notify the lender of our certification of your loan.

Once IU East has certified your loan, it will take an additional 10–15 business days before your funds arrive. (This process may take slightly longer during peak times.) You can view your financial aid in One.IU to see when your loan has been processed. You must continue to meet eligibility requirements once the funds arrive in order for them to be used to pay your bursar account.

If we’re unable to process your private loan, we’ll contact you through your university email address.

Loan certification dates

We cannot certify loans that are submitted too early. The earliest acceptable application dates for each term are:

  • June 15 for a fall and spring loan
  • November 15 for a spring only loan
  • March 15 for a summer loan

Lenders who provide private loans must comply with these Truth in Lending Act requirements:

  • Your lender must provide three separate loan disclosures to you:
    • One when you apply
    • One when your loan is approved
    • One before your funds are made available
  • Three business days must pass between the time you receive the final disclosure and the time your funds are made available.
  • You must submit a signed self-certification form to the lender before your funds can be made available.

Your lender should provide you with a self-certification form that includes your application ID. You’ll need to know your cost of attendance and estimated financial assistance. If you receive financial aid, this information is available through View/Manage My Financial Aid Information in One.IU.

Listed below are application tools that will provide access to multiple lenders. The INvestEd Marketplace and FASTChoice will allow you to compare lenders and rates for possible alternative loans.

We will process a loan with a lender that is not listed on these sites. If you have any questions regarding the process, please contact the Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships.