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Types of Loans

If you accepted Federal Loans as part of your financial aid package, you may need to complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN) for each type of loan. Instructions are different for new students than for returning students for Perkins Loan and Nursing Loan, so read them carefully and ONLY apply for loans you have accepted. If your costs are not completely covered, you may want to consider a Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan (a loan for parents of dependent students) or a Private Alternative Loan.

Federal Direct Stafford Loan

There are two types of Federal Direct Stafford Loans:

  • Federal Direct Subsidized Student Loans - These are need-based loans. The federal government pays the interest that accrues on the loan while you are enrolled in at least 6 credits and you won’t be charged any interest during your six-month grace period.
  • Federal Direct Unsubsidized Student Loans – These are non-need based loans, and are available regardless of financial need; interest begins to accrue as soon as you receive your loan. Students may choose to pay the interest that accumulates or have it capitalized – meaning, the interest will be added to the principal amount of your loan and additional interest will be based upon the higher amount. Paying the interest as it accumulates will reduce the amount of interest that must be repaid.

Beginning July 1, 2016, the interest rate is 3.76% for subsidized and unsubsidized loans for undergraduate students. Loans with a first disbursement on or after Oct. 1, 2016 and before Oct. 1, 2017 will have a loan origination fee of 1.069%. You will pay back 100% of what you borrow (plus interest); however, only 98.93% of the gross loan will be disbursed to the account.

Borrowers may not receive Direct Subsidized Loans for more than 150% (pdf) of the published length of their program (measured in academic years).

Students must be enrolled in at least 6 credit hours and complete all loan requirements within the enrollment period to receive federal loan funds. Students must complete a Federal Direct Stafford Loan Entrance Counseling and Master Promissory Note.

To complete the Federal Direct Stafford Loan Entrance Counseling and Master Promissory Note:

  1. Go to www.studentloans.gov.
  2. Click on the green "Sign In" button.
  3. Sign in using the new Federal Student Aid (FSA) ID. If you have not created the FSA ID you will need to do so before you can sign in.
  4. If you do not know your FSA ID you will need to visit www.fsaid.ed.gov.
  5. Follow the instructions to complete the Federal Direct Stafford Loan Entrance Counseling session once you have signed in.
  6. Click on “Complete the MPN” (Master Promissory Note) on the left hand side and follow the instructions for completing the Stafford MPN.

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Federal Perkins Loan

This low-interest (5%) loan is made to undergraduate students with exceptional need, and that are registered for at least 6 credits. Repayment begins nine months after graduation, withdrawal, or enrollment less than half-time (6 credits). The length of the repayment period can vary up to ten years, depending on the amount borrowed. Repayment is made to the State University of New York Student Loan Service Center.

New Freshmen and Transfer Students
Please allow five (5) business days from the date you accept the loan on BannerWeb before you begin the following steps to complete the Federal Perkins Loan Entrance Interview and sign your Master Promissory Note.

  1. Open SUNY's Student Loan Service Center (SLSC) site
  2. Click on: Borrowers and then on "Access and Sign your Electronic Documents".
  3. Click on: "Complete your Entrance Interview and Sign Your Promissory Note" and then click "Continue".
  4. Click on: "Click Here if you have received a Federal Perkins Loan award from a SUNY campus with the option to electronically sign."
  5. After you enter your Name, Social Security number and birth date, you will be prompted to complete the Federal Perkins Loan Entrance Interview. After the completion of the Entrance Interview, SLSC will need to authenticate your identity.
  6. Then Follow the instructions to complete the electronic Master Promissory Note.

Returning Students
Returning students who completed a Perkins Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN) in a prior academic year do not need to complete another MPN. They only need to accept the loan offer on BannerWeb. (instructions for accepting financial aid awards)

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Federal Nursing Student Loan

This loan has a fixed interest rate of 5%. Repayment begins nine months after the student leaves school. The repayment period may vary up to ten years depending on the amount borrowed.

Students who are offered a Federal Nursing Student Loan will be notified by email with instructions on the procedures to accept the Federal Nursing Loan.

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Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan

Parent Loans for Undergraduate Students (PLUS) are through the Federal Direct Lending Program, whereby federal funds are borrowed directly from the Department of Education. Funds are available to parents for their dependent, undergraduate students who are matriculated in a degree program and enrolled in at least six (6) credits. Parents of dependent students may borrow up to the cost of attendance minus any other aid through this credit-based loan program each academic year. Only one parent of a student can borrow through this loan program (per application).

Beginning July 1, 2016, the interest rate is 6.31%. Loans with a first disbursement on or after Oct. 1, 2016 and before Oct. 1, 2017 will have a loan origination fee of 4.276%. Parents will pay back 100% of what they borrow (plus interest); however, only 95.724% of the gross loan will be disbursed to the student's account.

Important: All parents must now borrow Parent PLUS loans under the William D. Ford Direct Loan Program. Dependent students must file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) in order for the parent to be eligible to borrow this loan.

Please follow the steps below in order to complete the Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan process:

For 2017-2018, parents should not apply prior to May 1, 2017.

  1. Go to www.studentloans.gov.
  2. Click on the green "Sign In" button.
  3. Sign in using the parent's new Federal Student Aid (FSA) ID. If your parent has not created the FSA ID they will need to do so before they can sign in.
  4. If your parents do not know their FSA ID they will need to visit www.fsaid.ed.gov.
  5. Follow the instructions Under "Parent Borrowers" to “Apply for a PLUS Loan” and authorize a credit check. A credit check for each Parent PLUS loan is only good for 180 days from the time of application.
  6. Next, click on “Complete the PLUS Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN)” on the left hand side and follow the instructions for completing the Parent PLUS loan MPN.

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Alternative (Private) Loans

  • It is strongly encouraged that the student uses all available Federal Loan programs before considering a private/alternative loan.
  • The student is the borrower, however, a credit worthy co-signer is required. Repayment varies by lender; the student may have the choice of repaying the loan while in school, paying interest only, or deferring payments until they are out of school (interest accrues). Interest rates can vary with different lenders, as well as fees. Alternative loans are available to students who need more financial resources to meet educational expenses including tuition, computers, and tools not covered by financial aid.
  • The amount a student can borrow is determined by the following:
    • Cost of Attendance minus Grants, Federal Loans, Scholarships, Other Resources = Alternative Loan Amount
    • To be eligible for an alternative loan the applicant must satisfy the following requirements:
      • U.S. citizenship or eligibility as a non-citizen.
      • Enrolled at least half-time in a certificate or undergraduate degree program.
      • Applicant must be creditworthy or have a creditworthy cosigner
      • Satisfactory Academic Progress
      • Below is a chart comparing Federal and Private Education Loans:
  Federal Loans Private Loans
Co-signer Requirement No Yes
Credit Check Requirement Perkins/Stafford-No
PLUS-Yes (however, debt to income ratio not included)
Yes
Deferment Yes Depends on loan, but generally yes
Grace Period Perkins- 9 months
Stafford- 6 months
PLUS- 6 months
Depends on loan, but generally 6 months
Interest Rate Fixed
Federal Perkins Loan- 5.0%
Direct Subsidized Loan- 3.76%
Direct Unsubsidized Loan- 3.76%
Direct PLUS Loan- 6.31%
Fixed and Variable
Fees Perkins- None
Stafford- 1.069% (for period 10/1/16 - 9/30/17)
PLUS- 4.276% (for period 10/1/16 - 9/30/17)
Depends on Loan, but generally no fee
Loan Forgiveness/Discharge Yes Depends on Loan/Lender
Penalty for Early Repayment No

Depends on loan, but generally no penalty

How to Apply for Alternative Loans

Step 1: Select your lender from the Preferred Private Lender List using FastChoice.

Step 2: Complete the Alternative Loan application process required by the lender chosen in Step 1.

Step 3: Have cosigners complete their section of the application process.

Step 4: If you are applying for the Alternative (Private) Loan for required Tools or Equipment, you will need to complete an Alternative Loan Worksheet for Tools and Equipment and submit to the Student Records and Financial Services Office.

Step 5: After the loan is approved by the lender, the Student Records and Financial Services office will receive a request for certification. Loan certification can take up to 30 days once all documentation has been received by the school. Loans for payment of your semester bill will be certified for the full academic year (to be split evenly among Fall and Spring semester) unless otherwise noted from the lender.

Step 6: Disbursed loan funds are sent to the Student Records and Financial Services Office. If you requested early disbursement for tool or equipment purchases, you will be issued a refund check in the amount of your loan. If the loan is to be used towards the payment of your tuition, the disbursed loan will be applied directly to your semester bill.

*Note: Private Loans will not disburse to a student's account until 10 days prior to the start of classes each semester, unless early disbursement for tools, equipment, etc. has been requested. For loans processed during the academic year, please allow at least 10 business days for disbursement (provided all steps have been completed).