Loan Options

Student loans, unlike grants and scholarships, are a type of financial assistance that must be repaid with interest so please research your options carefully and borrow conservatively. Federal loans typically offer lower interest rates and better benefits than private loans. You are strongly encouraged to maximize your federal loan eligibility prior to considering any other loan options.

Federal Direct Student Loan

All Federal Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans for the 2019-2020 award year will have a 4.53% interest rate fixed for the life of the loan with a 1.062% up-front loan fee deducted from each disbursement. Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans for Graduate students for the 2019-2020 award year will have a 6.08% interest rate fixed for the life of the loan with a 1.062% up-front loan fee deducted from each disbursement.  Interest rates on future year Federal Direct Loans will be indexed to the 10-year U.S. Treasury Note rate.  Click here for the current Federal Direct Loan interest rate table.  The total of all financial aid, including loans, cannot exceed the standard budget of the institution. Students are limited to the federal maximums for each grade level. To receive a Federal Direct Loan, you are required to:

  • be enrolled at least half time.
  • meet institutional satisfactory academic progress standards.
  • complete the financial aid process.
  • complete an entrance loan counseling session and complete the loan agreement for subsidized/unsubsidized loan (MPN) at studentloans.gov

There are two types of Federal Direct Loans: subsidized and unsubsidized.

Subsidized Loans

Subsidized loans are available to undergraduate students who demonstrate financial need remaining after all scholarships, grants, work study, tuition waivers and applicable resources. If your need has been met with other types of assistance, you will not receive a subsidized loan. If you do qualify, the U.S. Department of Education will pay the interest on your loan while you are enrolled in college at least half time. Loan recipients may also apply for periods of deferment after leaving school if hardships or low income prevent repayment.

Unsubsidized Loans

The Federal Direct Loan program also makes available, to both undergraduate and graduate students, an unsubsidized loan that is non-need based and accrues interest while the student is attending college. It is recommended that students pay the interest while in school rather than let the interest accrue (and eventually capitalize) until they begin making payments. Letting interest accrue will increase the total amount that must be repaid.

Maximums for Federal Direct Loans

Year based on earned credits Dependent
Undergraduate Student
Independent
Undergraduate Student
Graduate Student
Freshman (0-29) $5,500
($3,500 max sub)
$9,500
($3,500 max sub)
$20,500
Sophomore (30-59) $6,500
($4,500 max sub)
$10,500
($4,500 max sub)
$20,500
Junior and Senior (60+) $7,500
($5,500 max sub)
$12,500
($5,500 max sub)
$20,500
Aggregate Limit $31,000
($23,000 max sub)
$57,500
($23,000 max sub)
$138,500

Loan Repayment

Borrowing student loans to help fund your higher education expenses is an investment in your future that must be repaid. Failing to repay your student loans can have serious financial consequences; however, repaying your student loans with on-time monthly payments can help establish a positive credit history.

To access your Federal student loan information at any time during your college education, visit the U.S. Department of Education’s National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS). You may also access NSLDS just prior to entering repayment to see what loan servicer you have been assigned by the U.S. Department of Education as well as to view a listing of all your Federal student loans. If you have private or state student loans, you may also want to obtain a free credit report that will provide an entire student loan history at AnnualCreditReport.com .

Loan Repayment Estimator will help you to determine how much interest you will pay and the estimated amount of your monthly payments based upon your total loan indebtedness. Depending upon the type of loans you have borrowed, you may have choices to make concerning the best repayment plan for you. You may also elect to consolidate multiple Federal loans into one new consolidated loan to reduce your monthly payments. For the most comprehensive source of information concerning repayment plans, consolidation, deferment or forbearance, forgiveness, cancellation, and discharge of your Federal student loans, see the “How to Repay Your Loans” section of the Federal Student Aid website.

Exit Loan Counseling

Students must complete exit loan counseling if they drop below half-time enrollment or graduate. The exit counseling can be completed online at studentloans.gov.  The session will provide important information regarding repayment, deferment, loan cancellation, and the consequences of student loan default. Please contact the Financial Aid Office if you have questions in regards to exit loan counseling.

To ensure the integrity and the best interests of our students BSU employees are subject to the Student Loan Code of Conduct.

Subsidized Loans

A subsidized loan is a type of a Federal Direct Student Loan and are available to undergraduate students who demonstrate financial need remaining after all scholarships, grants, work study, tuition waivers and applicable resources. If your need has been met with other types of assistance, you will not receive a subsidized loan. If you do qualify, the U.S. Department of Education will pay the interest on your loan while you are enrolled in college at least half time. Loan recipients may also apply for periods of deferment after leaving school if hardships or low income prevent repayment.

Unsubsidized Loans

The Federal Direct Loan program also makes available, to both undergraduate and graduate students, an unsubsidized loan that is non-need based and accrues interest while the student is attending college. It is recommended that students pay the interest while in school rather than let the interest accrue (and eventually capitalize) until they begin making payments. Letting interest accrue will increase the total amount that must be repaid.

Federal Direct PLUS Loan for Graduate Students

The Federal Direct PLUS Loan for Graduate Students, referred to as the Grad PLUS, is a non-need based loan for graduate level students.  Loan eligibility is limited by the institutional budget minus all other financial aid.  Effective July 1, 2019, Federal Direct PLUS loans for the 2019-2020 academic year will have a 7.08% interest rate fixed for the life of the loan with a 4.248% up-front loan fee deducted from each disbursement.  Interest rates on future year Grad PLUS loans will be indexed to the 10-year U.S. Treasury Note rate.  Click here for the current Federal Direct Loan interest rate table.

Students are required to meet Satisfactory Academic Progress and maintain half-time enrollment.

Obtaining a Grad PLUS Loan

After completing the FAFSA, the student will be notified when their award notification is available to view in e-Services.  If a student would like to pursue additional loan funds in the Grad PLUS loan, they can complete the online application for a Grad PLUS loan at studentloans.gov.

A credit check will be conducted prior to approval of the loan.  If a student has an adverse credit history the loan application will be denied.  The student may still be approved through one of these options; try to obtain an endorser who does not have an adverse credit history or document to the satisfaction of the U.S. Department of Education that there are extenuating circumstances relating to the adverse credit history.

If the loan is approved, the first time a student borrows a Grad PLUS loan they are required to sign a Loan Agreement for a PLUS Loan (MPN) at studentloans.gov.  Once a student has completed the Loan Agreement for a PLUS Loan (MPN), all subsequent Grad PLUS loans will only require the online Direct PLUS application.

Repayment

The repayment period begins 6 months after a student graduates, leaves school, or drops to less-than-half time.  During any period when not required to make payments, interest will accrue on the Grad PLUS Loan.  If accrued interest is not paid, the interest will be capitalized (added to the loan principal balance) at the time repayment begins.  A Grad PLUS Loan can be repaid using the standard, extended, graduated, pay as you earn, revised pay as you earn, income-based, and income-contingent repayment plans.  Students will work with their loan servicer regarding repayment.  If there are any difficulties making payments, students should contact their servicer immediately to receive assistance.  Servicers can help borrowers change their repayment plans or utilize deferment or forbearance options.

To ensure the integrity and the best interests of our students BSU employees are subject to the Student Loan Code of Conduct.

Federal Direct Parent Loan (PLUS)

The Federal Direct Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students program, referred to as the PLUS, is a non-need based loan for parents of dependent students. Loan eligibility amount is limited by the institutional budget minus all other financial aid. Effective July 1, 2019, Federal Direct PLUS loans for the 2019-2020 academic year will have a 7.08% interest rate fixed for the life of the loan with a 4.248% up-front loan fee deducted from each disbursement.  Interest rates on future year Federal Direct PLUS loans will be indexed to the 10-year U.S. Treasury Note rate.  Click here for the current Federal Direct Loan interest rate table.

Repayment begins 60 days after the loan is fully disbursed (unless approved for a deferment) and cannot be transferred into the student’s name.  The parent borrower must repay the loan.  Students are required to meet Satisfactory Academic Progress and maintain half-time enrollment.

Obtaining a PLUS Loan

After completing the FAFSA, the student will be notified when their award notification is available in e-Services. If a parent wants to apply for the Parent PLUS Loan, they can complete the online application at studentloans.gov and complete the loan agreement for a PLUS loan (MPN).  You will need to use the FSA ID and social security number of the parent applying for the loan to sign in.

A credit check will be conducted prior to approval of the loan.  If the parent’s loan is denied, the student will be eligible for additional unsubsidized direct loan.  An email will be sent to the student’s BSU email address notifying them of a revised award notification available through their e-Services account.

Once a parent has completed the loan agreement for a PLUS loan (MPN) for that individual student, all subsequent PLUS loans will only require the online Direct PLUS application.

Receiving PLUS Funds

PLUS loan funds are disbursed approximately the third week of each semester and credited to the student’s account.  Any remaining balance will be issued according to the parent’s selection on the online Direct PLUS application (remaining funds can go to the parent or the student).

Repayment

There is no grace period for a Direct PLUS Loan.  The repayment period begins 60 days after the school makes the last disbursement on the loan.  You (the parent) may contact the loan servicer to request a deferment (postponement of payment) while you or the student (your son/daughter) are enrolled at least half-time and for an additional 6 months after the student ceases to be enrolled at least half-time.

If the loan is deferred, interest will accrue on the loan during the deferment period.  You may choose to pay the accrued interest or allow the interest to capitalize when the deferment period ends.  Your loan servicer will notify you when your first payment is due.  You can choose to repay your PLUS Loan using the standard, extended, or graduated repayment plan.

To ensure the integrity and the best interests of our students BSU employees are subject to the Student Loan Code of Conduct.

Private Loans

Prior to considering applying for a private student loan, we encourage you to apply for Federal Student Financial Aid through the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). You may be eligible for federal financial aid including grants, work study, and federal loans that may have more favorable terms. Federal loans have terms that may allow for loan forgiveness, deferment, and forbearance; as well as flexible repayment options. To apply for Federal Student aid, please complete the FAFSA at www.fafsa.gov

Private Educational Loans

Private Loans are education loans provided by banks, credit unions, or state-funded student loan programs. There are federal student loan programs that may offer more favorable terms and conditions than private loan programs. Private loans should only be considered as a borrowing option after all other financing options have been exhausted and additional education resources are still required.

Eligibility criteria, loan limits, interest rates, and repayment terms will vary from one program and lender to the next. The approval of private loans is based on the credit worthiness of the borrower and/or co-signer and provisions of each loan program. Interest rates will vary depending on your credit score and/or the credit score of your co-signer (if a co-signer is required). We encourage you to extensively research your private loan lending options to identify the lender whose terms best meet your borrowing needs.

Truth-In-Lending Act

The Truth-In-Lending Act (TILA) requires three consumer disclosures at specific times during the application process, an Applicant Self-Certification form which you will need to sign, and a three day delay in disbursement of your loan funds. This is to ensure borrowers are properly informed regarding the terms and conditions of their private loan. Due to the number of steps involved in the private loan application process, applicants should allow a minimum of three weeks for processing. As a result of the extent of loan processing conducted outside the University, BSU is not able to ensure when any individual private loan funds would become available.

Choosing a Lender

We are providing information on all lenders we have certified private loans for over the last three years.  BSU does not endorse any one lender, nor does it or its employees receive any compensation or benefits from any lender. Students are not limited to those on our lender list and have the right to choose any lender offering a private education loan program. Application processing will not be delayed unnecessarily if you choose a lender not presented. Our lender list is updated annually in June. Please review our Student Loan Code of Conduct for more information.

FASTChoice is an online comparison tool that helps you determine the loan that is right for you by providing detailed information for various loans, as well as the terms and benefits offered by different lenders. Through FASTChoice, you will be able to link directly to the lender of your choice and begin the application process. Access FASTChoice.

  • Credit unions may have additional requirements such as membership. Please check with a particular credit union for details.
  • Currently, some individual credit union lenders are not listed on FASTChoice (American Bank Center, American State Bank, BankStar Financial, Baxter Credit Union, City and County Credit Union, First Dakota National Bank, Heartland Credit Union, Mid Minnesota Federal Credit Union, Novation Credit Union, Royal Credit Union, Think Mutual Bank, and University of Wisconsin Credit Union.)
Lender List
Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union
Alliant Credit Union
American Bank Center
American State Bank
Bank of North Dakota
BankStar Financial
Baxter Credit Union
Citizen’s Equity First Credit Union
Citizen’s One
City and County Credit Union
College Ave
Discover Student Loans
First Dakota National Bank
Great River Federal Credit Union
Heartland Credit Union
iHelp
LendKey
Mid Minnesota Federal Credit Union
Minnesota Self
Novation Credit Union
Royal Credit Union
Sallie Mae
SoFi
SunTrust
The Bank of Elk River
Think Mutual Bank
Thrivent Federal Credit Union
Union Federal
University of Wisconsin Credit Union
Wells Fargo
Westconsin Credit Union

Loan Reporting

All loan information will be submitted to the National Student Loan Database System (NSLDS), and will be accessible by guaranty agencies, lenders, and institutions determined to be authorized users of the data system.

To ensure the integrity and the best interests of our students BSU employees are subject to the Student Loan Code of Conduct.


Contact Financial Aid

BSU Financial Aid Office
1500 Birchmont Dr NE, #14
Bemidji, MN 56601
Phone: (218) 755-2034
Toll Free: (877) 755-FAID
FAX: (218) 755-4361

Deputy Hall Room 114

financialaid@bemidjistate.edu

Window Hours
M-F 8:30 am – 3:00 pm

Office Hours
Fall-Spring:  M-F 8:00 am – 4:30 pm
Summer:  M-F 7:30 am – 4:00 pm