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Student Loans

As of July 1, 2010, the U.S. Department of Education became the sole source for federal education loans. The loans the US Department of Education (USDE) makes to students and parents through the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program are known as Direct Loans and are serviced by one of four large servicers under contract to the Department. The Credit Union does not offer student loans.

The private lenders who participated in the Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP) formerly available no longer offer new Stafford (Subsidized and Unsubsidized), PLUS or Consolidation Loans; however, most all continue to service the loans they made prior to July 1, 2010. Students who have previously received a federal student loan from a private lender under the FFEL Program must complete a new promissory note to receive loans under the Direct Loan Program. The financial aid office at the student’s school can provide specific application instructions.

Direct Loans are available for use at any in-state or out-of-state college or university that is eligible to participate in the federal loan program. More information on these loans is available at the USDE information site, Student Aid on the Web.

Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans for Students

For undergraduate or graduate students: A Direct Subsidized Loan is available to students who have a financial need. A Direct Unsubsidized Loan is an option for students who do not demonstrate financial need. Need is determined by completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Dependent Students: First year of undergraduate school: $5,500, with no more than $3,500 being subsidized; Second year of undergraduate school: $6,500, with no more than $4,500 being subsidized; Third year and beyond of undergraduate school, $7,500, with no more than $5,500 being subsidized.

Independent Students: First year of undergraduate school: $9,500 with no more than $3,500 being subsidized; Second year of undergraduate school: $10,500, with no more than $4,500 being subsidized; Third year and beyond of undergraduate school: $12,500, with no more than $5,500 being subsidized; Graduate/professional students $20,500, with no more than $8,500 being subsidized.

Aggregate lifetime maximums for Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans are: $31,000, dependent undergraduate students (no more than $23,000 may be subsidized); $57,500, independent undergraduate students (no more than $23,000 may be subsidized); and $138,500, graduate students which includes any undergraduate loans (no more than $65,500 may be subsidized).


Direct PLUS Loans for Graduate/Professional Students

For graduate or professional students: Do not have to demonstrate financial need to borrow a PLUS Loan, but must have a good credit history and have already applied for your annual loan maximum eligibility under the Direct Subsidized or Unsubsidized Loan program. Maximum loan amount is the cost of attendance less other financial aid received.

Direct PLUS Loans for Parents

For parents of dependent undergraduate students under age 24: Do not have to demonstrate financial need to borrow a Direct PLUS Loan, but must have a good credit history. Maximum loan amount is the cost of attendance less other financial aid received.

Direct Consolidation Loans

After graduation or leaving school, some borrowers consider combining their multiple eligible federal student loans into one Direct Consolidation Loan; however, considering other repayment options first may save you money on your loan. Go to Direct Consolidation Loans for more information.

Before You Apply for Any Loans

Take a look at this Important Information Checklist to help you through the loan application process. Additional information on the financial aid process, completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), and the many ways to pay for college is available online at CFNC.org or by calling toll free 866-866-CFNC. CFNC, SECU and the State Association of Financial Aid Administrators also offer a statewide FAFSA Day each February to provide personal assistance with FAFSA completion The FAFSA and other financial aid information for students and parents is also available at the US Department of Education’s website: Student Aid on the Web.


1 APR = Annual Percentage Rate

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