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Loan FAQs

Lone Star College offers Federal Direct Subsidized and/or Unsubsidized loans to students who qualify as part of a financial aid offer.  Student loans are available to help cover the cost of tuition and fees or other education related expenses, but it is important to understand the seriousness of borrowing student loans and the responsibility to repay them.

Eligibility

Eligibility for loans will be determined by the FAFSA and the Financial Aid Office.  Loans are typically included as part of your financial aid offer, and you will have to accept or decline the loan online through myLoneStar.  To maintain eligibility, students must:

  • Take a minimum of 6 credit hours each semester.
  • Meet Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards:
    • Minimum 2.0 GPA
    • Minimum 67% completion rate
    • Not exceed maximum timeframe for their degree program
  • Must not be in default on any previously borrowed loans
  • Must not have reached aggregate or usage limits set by the federal government
  • Meet all other eligibility requirements for financial aid

Why do I have to repay a Federal Stafford Loan?

Unlike grants or scholarships, loans are borrowed money and must be repaid with interest when you are no longer enrolled in school.  Loans must be repaid even if you do not complete the program that you were enrolled in, or if you do not earn a degree or other credential. 

Do Federal Direct Loans have fees?

Yes, a small fee is charged by the Department of Education for each federal student loan you receive.  The amount is a percentage of the total loan amount you are borrowing.  The loan fee is deducted from each disbursement of your loan. This reduces the actual loan amount you receive but does not reduce the amount that you must repay.  Loan fees are set by the Department of Education, so the specific amount that you are charged will be included in a disclosure statement you will receive after the first disbursement of your federal student loan.  Click here for current loan fees.

Is my loan affected by my grades?

Yes, your loan eligibility can be affected by academic performance.  Loans are federal financial aid, and to be eligible for financial aid you must meet Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standards.  If your cumulative GPA falls below a 2.0 any time during the loan period you may no longer be eligible to receive student loans.  For more information on SAP, click here.

If I only want to apply for a loan why do I have to complete the FAFSA?

Loans are federal financial aid borrowed from the U.S. Department of Education.  You must complete the FAFSA to determine eligibility, and meet the qualifications set by the Department of Education regulations to receive Federal Direct Loans.

Is there a minimum number of credit hours that I must enroll in to receive Federal Direct Loans?

You must be enrolled in at least six (6) credit hours each semester to be eligible for loans.  If at any time you drop below the six hour minimum, any portion of your loan that has not been disbursed for the semester will be cancelled and your lender will be notified. 

In addition, if you are enrolled in six credit hours in different parts of the semester, your loan will not disburse until you reach six hours of enrollment.  For example, if you are enrolled for the fall semester in three credit hours in the first eight weeks, and three credit hours in the second eight weeks, your loan will not disburse until after your second eight week course has started and you officially start six hours.

Can I get the loan disbursement before classes start?

No, Lone Star College does not disburse loan funds prior to the start of the semester.  Loan funds can be accessed prior to the start of the semester through a book advance.  For more information on book advances, click here.

If the first disbursement isn't released until after the start of classes am I responsible for paying for classes up front?

No, as long as loan funds have been accepted through your myLoneStar account, you will not have to pay up front.  Your anticipated or pending loan will hold your courses until disbursement.

What is the interest rate for my Direct loan?

The interest rate on Federal Direct Loans varies depending on the loan type and (for most types of federal student loans) the first disbursement date of the loan. Interest rates on federal student loans are set by federal law, not the U.S. Department of Education.

Loan Interest Rate
Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans for
Undergraduate students disbursed after July 1, 2020
Fixed 2.75%
Direct PLUS Loans disbursed after July 1, 2020 Fixed 5.30%

For current and past interest rates, click here.

When will my Direct Subsidized Loan begin to accrue interest?

Subsidized loans will not accrue interest while you are enrolled at least half time (six credit hours).  Once you cease enrollment, you have a six-month grace period before entering repayment.  Once you enter repayment, interest begins to accrue.

What are my repayment options?

You can make payments to your loans at any time, but your loan will officially enter repayment when you cease enrollment in at least six hours.  The Federal Direct Loan program will offers different repayment plans designed to assist students with finding a plan that works for you. 

Click here for a list of the available repayment plans and their details.

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