Federal student loans are available to most students regardless of income and provide a range of repayment options. A loan is money that you must repay with interest under varying terms and conditions. While it is important to be cautious of irresponsible borrowing, loans are considered an integral part of a student's Financial Aid package. Please carefully review the different types of loans available below and consider each one as a viable option for financing a college education.
Federal Direct Stafford
Summary: Federal loan program for students. For eligibility and loan limits click here.
How do I apply for a Loan?
Complete a Direct Loan Entrance Counseling: click here. *Required of all students NEW to Concordia
Complete a Loan Agreement (MPN): click here.
Complete a Direct Loan Exit Counseling: click here.
Manage your loans: click here.
Loan Consolidation: click here.
First-Time Borrowers on or after July 1, 2013: click here.
Federal Direct PLUS
Summary: Federal loan program for parents of dependent undergraduate students. Federal legislation permits graduate students to borrow through the PLUS (Parent Loans for Undergraduate Students) Loan program.
Manage your loans: click here.
How do I Apply for a Direct PLUS Loan for Parents?
Go to www.studentloans.gov. "Log In" then "Apply for a PLUS loan." Be sure to select the Direct PLUS Loan Application for Parents. Parents MUST sign in using their own FSA ID (Parent PLUS only). Complete the Direct PLUS Loan Request AND the Direct PLUS Loan MPN.
What if I'm not approved for a Direct PLUS Loan for Parents?
If you were initially declined for the PLUS loan you can either obtain an endorser (cosigner), or choose to appeal the reason you were declined.
As a parent borrower, you have 3 options:
Take no action
When no action is taken, the Financial Aid Office will automatically offer the student a second unsubsidized Stafford loan. Freshman and sophomores (0-59.9 units) are eligible for up to $4,000. Juniors and seniors (60-128 units) are eligible for up to $5,000.
Appeal the decision
To begin the appeal process, call the Direct Loan Servicing Center for instructions at 800-557-7394. You will receive an answer regarding your appeal within 7-10 business days of all required documentation for the appeal being received. You will need to complete an additional PLUS counseling.
Find a co-signer (aka Endorser)
If you elect to use an endorser (co-signer), you must start by having the endorser get their own Federal Student Aid ID. Your endorser must have an FSA ID to access studentloans.gov, if they do not have one please create an FSA ID by clicking ‘Create an FSA ID’, and follow the steps to create one. The endorser will log into the studentloans.gov website and select “Endorse a PLUS Loan.” The endorser must pass a credit check. If approved, they will be asked to note how much they are willing to endorse. The PLUS loan amount cannot exceed what the endorser is willing to guarantee. Lastly, the parent borrower should sign the Federal Direct PLUS Master Promissory Note. The endorser does not sign the promissory note. You as the borrower will need to complete an additional PLUS counseling.
Regardless of which course of action you take, the Financial Aid Office will move forward with offering the student the second Unsubsidized Stafford loan as noted under “Take no action” above.
If you elect to pursue appealing the decline decision OR finding a co-signer, be aware that IF you are approved to receive a Parent PLUS loan, the Financial Aid Office will be required by Federal loan program guidelines to REVERSE the second Unsubsidized Stafford loan as noted under “Take no action” above. The student may receive either the second Unsubsidized Stafford loan OR the Parent PLUS loan. At no time may the student receive BOTH the second Unsubsidized Stafford loan and the Parent PLUS loan.
As a result, you must make sure to take into account the reversal of the second Unsubsidized Stafford loan when determining the loan amount for the Parent PLUS loan in order to avoid short paying the student’s charges with CUI.
Private | Alternative Loan
Summary: Bank-funded education loan for undergraduate and graduate students. Generally used to supplement the Federal Direct Stafford loan.
- Rate: Varies from lender to lender. Adjustable and Fixed programs are available.
- Fees: Depends upon the specific lender and loan program.
- Term: Typically between 5-15 years.
- Loan Limits: Cost of Attendance less all other aid the student receives.