Direct Loan Frequently Asked Questions

We've compiled a list of commonly asked questions about Direct Loans. If you have additional questions, please contact your financial aid counselor.

I have never borrowed a Direct Loan at FPU before. How do I apply?

First time borrowers at FPU are required to follow these steps to apply for Direct Loans:

  1. Your Financial Aid Offer Letter from FPU will indicate the type(s) of loan(s) and amount(s) that you are eligible to borrow.
  2. If you are borrowing a Direct Loan or Direct Graduate PLUS Loan for the first time at FPU, you are also required to complete loan entrance counseling. If you are a new borrower, click here to begin the loan entrance counseling process, where you will review information about student loans and take a student loan quiz. You will need your Social Security Number and the PIN you entered on your FAFSA to login. Parent PLUS borrowers for dependent students are not required to complete loan entrance counseling.
  3. All new borrowers must complete both the Master Promissory Note AND student loan entrance counseling online here, as well as submit all other forms requested by the Financial Aid Office before FPU will request your loan.
  4. Notification will be sent electronically to FPU when you complete the MPN and loan entrance counseling. FPU will then request your loan when all required financial aid forms have been submitted.

All new borrowers at FPU are required to complete a Direct Loan Master Promissory Note.

If I would like to make monthly payments toward my direct costs at FPU, what other options do I have besides the Direct Loan?

FPU provides a payment plan option for students who wish to make payments on the remaining balance of their direct costs. Once you have received your financial aid package you may set up a payment plan with the Student Financial Services Office. Although the student needs to set up a payment arrangement, parents are welcome to make payments on the student's behalf.

How do I know how much I am eligible to borrow in student loans?

When you receive your Financial Aid Offer Letter from FPU, the paragraph at the bottom will list your student loan eligibility. Yearly loan maximums are $5,500 for freshman students, $6,500 for sophomore students, $7,500 for junior and senior undergraduate students, and $20,500 for graduate students. Aggregate maximums of $31,000—no more than $23,000 of which may be subsidized—for undergraduate students. Dependent students whose PLUS Parent Loan is denied are eligible to borrow an additional unsubsidized loan.

Students may borrow up to $4,000 unsubsidized as a freshman or sophomore, $5,000 unsubsidized as a junior or senior. Student loans may not exceed the total cost of attendance.

What is the difference between a Direct Subsidized Loan and Direct Unsubsidized Loan?

Direct Subsidized Loans:
Are for students with demonstrated financial need, as determined by federal regulations. No interest is charged while a student is in school at least half-time, during the grace period and during deferment periods.

NOTE: If you receive a Direct Subsidized loan that is first dispersed between July 1, 2012 and July 1, 2014, you will be responsible for paying any interest that accrues during your grace period. If you choose not to pay the interest that accrues during your grace period, the interest will be added to your principal balance.  

Direct Unsubsidized Loans:

Are not based on financial need. Interest is charged during all periods, even during the time a student is in school and during grace and deferment periods.

What is student loan entrance counseling and why am I required to complete it?

Direct Loan entrance counseling is required by the U.S. Department of Education for all first time Direct Loan borrowers. The requirement must be met before you receive your first Direct Loan at FPU. Loan entrance counseling provides you with important information about your rights and obligations as a student loan borrower. If you would like more information about borrowing or repaying your student loan, please contact your financial aid counselor.

Are there any fees associated with borrowing a Direct Loan?

The Department of Education determines the origination fee on a yearly basis.

How do I receive my student loan funds?

Once you have submitted all requested documents to FPU and have completed both the Master Promissory Note (MPN) and student loan entrance counseling, FPU will request your student loan. The entire process is electronic and is coordinated by the FPU Student Financial Services Office. The loan disbursements will be scheduled to arrive at the beginning of each semester for which you borrowed the loan. If the loan is requested after the semester begins, it will be scheduled to arrive at FPU as soon as possible.

What if my student loans are not enough to cover my educational expenses?

If you would like to discuss additional sources for funding your education, please contact your financial aid counselor at 559-453-2041 or sfs@fresno.edu.

When do I start repaying my student loan?

Direct Loans have a one time six month grace period after you leave school (by graduating, withdrawing or dropping below half-time enrollment). As long as you are enrolled in school at least half-time your student loans will remain in deferment status, meaning you do not have to make payments.

NOTE: If you receive a Direct Subsidized loan that is first dispersed between July 1, 2012 and July 1, 2014, you will be responsible for paying any interest that accrues during your grace period. If you choose not to pay the interest that accrues during your grace period, the interest will be added to your principal balance. 

In general, enrollment for a summer term is not needed to keep loans in deferment. If a student chooses to consolidate loans while in school, they may lose the loan grace period.

Can I estimate how much my student loan payments will be?

Once you leave school or drop below half-time, the Department of Education servicer will contact you. The servicer will notify you of your monthly payment amount and when payment begins. You may use a loan repayment calculator to estimate what your monthly payments will be.

What if I get more scholarships and end up borrowing more loan money than I need?

Each time a loan disbursement is sent to FPU, the Student Financial Services Office will verify student enrollment and eligibility and apply the loan to the student’s FPU account. All financial aid that goes on your student account will first be applied to any outstanding charges. If you have more financial aid than what is needed to cover your direct costs, a credit balance check will be issued. If you would prefer to have a portion or your entire loan returned, please contact your financial aid counselor at 559-453-2041 or sfs@fresno.edu.

Who do I contact if I have questions about applying for the Direct student loan?

You may contact your financial aid counselor at 559-453-2041 or sfs@fresno.edu if you have any questions about your student loans.