Education Loans

Many of our graduate students use educational loans to help finance the cost of their education in lieu of higher interest credit cards or short term payment plans.  The Federal Direct Unsubsidized Student Loan in particular, provide easy eligibility criteria, deferment of payments while enrolled, extended repayment periods, flexible repayment options, and low, fixed interest rates.

Temporary 0% Interest as a Result of the COVID-19 National Emergency (Federal Student Aid)

To provide relief to student loan borrowers during the COVID-19 national emergency, interest on most federal student loans has been temporarily set at 0%. The 0% interest will last from March 13, 2020, through Sept. 30, 2020.

Have questions? Find out what loans qualify, and get additional information about the 0% interest period and other student loan flexibilities due to the COVID-19 national emergency.

On Aug. 8, 2020, President Trump directed the Secretary to continue to suspend loan payments, stop collections, and waive interest on ED-held student loans until Dec. 31, 2020.

Below, we have answered questions about these COVID-19 emergency relief measures and the resulting flexibilities for federal student loans.

NEW: Check out related articles! We'll add links here as we publish articles.

5 Things to Know About Current Repayment Flexibilities and Your Federal Student Loans

Federal Direct Unsubsidized Student Loan

The Department of Education provides a federal direct student loan for degree-seeking graduate students. This non-credit-based loan features a low, fixed interest rate, as well as deferment of payment during periods of at least half-time enrollment (6 credit hours). Submission of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is required to certify a student's eligibility to participate in this program.

Annual Federal Direct Unsubsidized Student Loan Limit* $20,500

*This amount is pro-rated for students attending just a single semester during an academic year. 

2020-2021 Federal Direct Unsubsidized Student Loan Interest Rate* 4.30%

*Interest rate for federal Direct Loans first disbursed on or after July 1, 2020

Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan

The Department of Education also provides an additional credit-based loan opportunity for graduate students which allows them to borrow up to their full cost of attendance minus other aid. Payment typically begins 30 to 60 days after full disbursement of the loan funds to the university, although deferment provisions are available for students enrolled at least half-time in a degree seeking program.

2020-2021 Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan Interest Rate*  5.30%

*Interest rate for federal Direct Loans first disbursed on or after July 1, 2020.

Submission of a FAFSA as well as completion of an entrance loan counseling session are required as part of the application process.


Private Education Loans

St. Edward's, in conjunction with Elm Resources, maintains information on a number of alternative loan programs offered through private banks and lending groups:

Because these are non-federal loans, each lender sets its own eligibility criteria, interest rates, processing fees, and repayment terms.  Generally, students must meet fairly high credit standards to qualify on their own, so many students will need a credit-worthy cosigner in order to qualify.  If approved, students can typically borrow up to their full cost of attendance minus any other aid the student is receiving for the period of attendance set to be covered by the loan.  Students will receive a finalized disclosure statement after their master promissory note has been signed confirming the terms and conditions of their loan from the lender.

Federal regulations require all private loan borrowers to review a series of disclosures and complete the applicant self-certification form. The student may obtain a copy of the self-certification form from the private educational loan lender or here.

Due to the required credit review, Student Financial Services cannot guarantee that all students who apply will qualify for loan funds.  Approval is determined by the lender. 

Please note that a lender's inclusion in this list is not meant as an endorsement by the university, nor is it meant to limit your selection of a private education loan.  These particular lenders have been included because:

  • they have a proven track-record of reliable customer service;
  • they offer competitive interest rates and repayment terms; and
  • they utilize electronic processing compatible with the university’s financial aid management system ensuring consistent and timely delivery of loan funds. 

However, the Office of Student Financial Services will certify an application for any private education loan regardless of whether the lender appears on this list or not.

Once you have decided upon a lender, please contact your Student Financial Services Advisor for information you'll need to provide as part of your application for the loan, including loan period, cost of attendance, and total amounts of other assistance.

St. Edward's University does not receive any form of payment or renumeration from lenders in exchange for inclusion on this list.