Understanding Student Loans
The Interdenominational Theological Center participates in the major federal student loan programs to give our students the full range of options available for paying for college. We know students would prefer to receive grants and scholarships, but the reality is many of our students must rely on loans as well to help pay for their education. The federal loan programs below offer a secure, government-regulated, reasonably affordable way to invest in yourself and your goal of a higher education.
Student Loans are financial obligations that must be repaid. Pay careful attention to the terms and conditions of any loan you accept to help pay for school. Do not borrow more than you need or can repay comfortably after leaving school. Most student loans have the following characteristics:
- The Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan and Federal Direct GPLUS Loan begin to accrue interest when the loan is disbursed.
- Repayment on student loans may be deferred temporarily if you return to school half-time or join the Armed Service, Peace Corps, VISTA, comparable volunteer organizations, or become a law enforcement officer. Some loans offer cancellation provisions based on public service or teaching in low-income service areas.
- You may have up to 10 years to repay the loan, depending on the total amount borrowed or less than 10 years, if by making minimum payments your loan is paid off sooner. The Federal Direct Stafford Loan and Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan have other repayment options, which may allow you a more flexible time period for repayment.
- Title IV federal student loans are reported to the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) and will be accessible by federal agencies and institutions determined to be authorized users of the data system to ensure proper administration of the loans. Student borrowers can access their NSLDS account as well to track their federal educational loan records.
The Federal Direct Graduate PLUS (GPLUS), permits a borrower to borrow an amount not to exceed the difference between the school’s determination of the cost of attendance and all financial assistance received including scholarships, loans, and other benefits. The GPLUS Loan has no interest subsidy and should be regarded as a last resort for most students. If you need to borrow this loan, you will need to complete the ITC Graduate PLUS Application Form and submit it to the Office of Financial Aid. You can download a copy of this form from the Financial Aid Section of the ITC Website. You will need to electronically sign a master promissory note at http://studentloans.gov. Your information will be forwarded to the federal government’s processor for a credit check. Should your loan request be denied, you have the option of pursuing the loan with a credit endorser. Repayment of the GPLUS loan begins 60 days after the loan is fully disbursed although you can request deferment of the payment while you are enrolled on at least a half-time basis.
Completing Paperwork for Loans
Please review the conditions and terms of any loan before you indicate your acceptance. Remember that unsubsidized loans mean that you pay the interest on the loan while you are in school and throughout the life of the loan. You may always borrow less than we are suggesting on the award letter. Just notify us of the reduced amount you want to borrow via email.
All loan programs require that you sign a promissory note, promising to repay the loan, before funds can be disbursed to you.
If you wish to accept a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan, simply check your acceptance on your award notice on PowerCampus. If it is your first Direct Student Loan at ITC, you also need to electronically sign a master promissory note at https://studentloans.gov (you will need to sign only once for all Stafford Loans you borrow at ITC).
The Federal Direct Graduate PLUS (GPLUS) allows that the maximum amount borrowed may not exceed the difference between the school’s determination of the cost of attendance and assistance received including scholarships and other benefits. The GPLUS Loan has no interest subsidy and should be regarded as a last resort for most students. If you want to borrow this loan, accept the loan on your award letter and write in the amount you would like to borrow (if it differs from the amount we suggested). You will need to electronically sign a master promissory note at http://studentloans.gov. Then your information will be forwarded to the federal government’s processor for a credit check. Repayment of the GPLUS loan begins 60 days after the loan is fully disbursed although you can request deferment of the payment while you are enrolled on at least a half-time basis.