Taking a loan to help cover the cost of your education is a worthy and valuable investment. A separate application is required for all loans, even if it’s a federal loan for which you may have already qualified.
For Federal Loans, the U.S. Department of Education’s office of Federal Student Aid provides the following loan options. You must complete the FAFSA to be considered for these fixed, low-interest rate loans.
After your financial aid is applied to the cost of attendance, your family will be responsible for the remaining balance. We understand not every family has these funds readily available. An alternative loan is one way to help cover the remaining cost. There are also two different types of Direct Loans, subsidized and unsubsidized.
Direct Loan: offered to the student, based upon the student’s grade level and number of credit hours.
- Subsidized Direct Loans are awarded based on financial need. You will not be charged interest while you are in school; the federal government "subsidizes" the interest during these times.
- Unsubsidized Direct Loans are not awarded based on financial need. Any eligible student can take out unsubsidized Direct loans. You will be charged interest from the time the loan is disbursed, to the time the loan is repaid in full.
How much can I borrow with Direct Loans at Bethel College?
|Dependent Undergrad Student||Independent Undergrad Student*|
|Freshmen||$5,500||$9,500 - max of $3,500 can be in subsidized loans|
|Sophomores||$6,500||$10,500 - max of $4,500 can be in subsidized loans|
|Juniors, seniors, etc.||$7,500||$12,500 - max of $5,500 can be in subsidized loans|
|Graduate students||$9,000 combined subsidized and unsubsidized.|
The amount you can borrow is based on your grade level and your status as a student.
*Independent students may be eligible to borrow more because they are paying for college without assistance from family. It is important to note that even if a student is financing their education on their own, dependency status is still determined by the school.
For the student borrower
Federal Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans
Go to: www.StudentLoans.gov (log in with your FSA ID)
- Complete Entrance Counseling
- Sign MPN (Master Promissory Note)
Your Subsidized/Unsubsidized loans will be processed for the entire amount listed on your Financial Aid Award Letter, which can be found at My.BethelCollege.edu.
If you want to reduce or cancel your Subsidized/Unsubsidized loan, please complete the Loan Adjustment Request Form (PDF).
Direct PLUS: offered to the parent of an undergraduate student.
Federal Direct PLUS Loans enable parents with good credit histories to borrow money with which to pay the education expenses of their children. Each child must be a dependent undergraduate student enrolled at least half time.
About the Direct PLUS Loan
The primary benefit of the PLUS Loan is that parents can borrow federally guaranteed low interest loans to help pay for their child’s education.
- A Federal PLUS Loan allows parents to borrow the total cost of undergraduate education including tuition, room and board, supplies, lab expenses and travel, less any other aid.
- These parent loans are non-need based. Eligibility for the PLUS Loan depends on a modest credit check that determines whether the parent has any adverse credit. An adverse credit history is defined as being more than 90 days late on any debt or having any Title IV debt (including a debt due to grant over payment) within the past five years subjected to default determination, bankruptcy discharge, foreclosure, repossession, tax lien, wage garnishment, or write-off.
- The interest rate on the Direct PLUS Loan is fixed at 7.21%.
- Unlike other type of loans, including home equity, Direct PLUS Loans require no collateral
- Interest may be tax deductible.
For the parent borrower
Federal Direct Parent PLUS loan:
Go to: www.StudentLoans.gov (login using parent’s FSA ID)
- Request a Direct PLUS Loan (this portion must be done each school year)
- Complete MPN (Master Promissory Note)
Please note: If this loan is denied for any reason, the college can increase the Direct Unsubsidized Loan for the student by $4,000 per year.
Alternative loans: a private loan available to the student. Private lenders might require a co-signer.
Lending institutions offer alternative loans to assist students in bridging the gap between college costs and traditional financial aid funding sources. These loans are private supplemental loans and are not guaranteed by the federal government. Unlike federally guaranteed student loans, lending institutions that offer alternative student loans may impose certain requirements. In most cases, a student must have a good credit history, a low debt-to-income ratio and a co-signer may be required. Due to the credit requirements, not everyone is approved for an alternative loan.
Listed below are two application tools that will provide access to multiple lenders. Both the INvestED Student Loan Marketplace and FASTChoice will allow you to compare lenders and rates for possible alternative loans. As a borrower, you have the option to select any lender you choose. We recommend that you select a lender included in one of the tools below in order to ensure your loans are processed as quickly and smoothly as possible. Please understand that we will process a loan with a lender that is not listed, but it may take longer, as we may not have the necessary processes in place with that lender. If you have any questions regarding the process used to select the lenders included in the INvestED Student Loan Marketplace or FASTChoice, please contact the Office of Student Financial Services.
Student Lending Code of Conduct
Bethel College has adopted a Code of Conduct with respect to student loans which applies to all employees in the financial aid office and anyone else at our school who has any responsibilities with respect to student loans or the selection of preferred lenders for student loans. Read or print the entire Student Lending Code of Conduct (PDF).