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Federal Direct Loans - FAQ

The University of Central Florida participates in the Federal Direct Loan Program.  Direct Loans are low-interest educational loans administered through the U.S. Department of Education, which consists of the Federal Stafford, PLUS, and Grad PLUS Loans. 

All required documents on To Do List must be submitted at least 60 days prior to the beginning of the semester to ensure timely deferments and/or disbursements.

  • Under the Direct Loan Program, all funding comes directly from the U.S. Department of Education rather than a bank or financial institution.  The U.S. Department of Education will be the one source for lending and repayment. 

  • The phone number for the U.S. Department of Education’s Student Loan helpline is 1-800-557-7394

  • The eligibility criteria for Federal Stafford, PLUS and Grad PLUS loans are the same in the Direct Loan Program and FFELP.  For a comparison of all loan programs, please visit the Loan Comparison Chart.  To view each loan program separately, please click on the type of loan from the above menu.
  • Below is a list of questions and answers about Direct Loans that may help to better understand the federal program.


 On this page:
  General Direct Loan Questions
  Federal Direct Stafford Loan Questions
  Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan Questions
  Federal Direct Grad PLUS Loan Questions
   
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General Questions
Answers

How are Federal Direct Loans different from my old loans?


  • Under the Federal Direct Loan Program, all funding comes directly from the U.S. Department of Education.  The U.S. Department of Education will be the one source for lending and repayment.  

  • Your old loans at UCF were processed through the Family Education Loan Program (FFELP), which used banks and other financial institutions.

Where can I find information about the interest rates for Federal Direct Loans? 

  • The Federal Government sets the interest rate July 1st of each year.

  • The interest rates are the same for Stafford Loans in the Federal Direct Loan Program and FFELP, but the Direct Loan Program offers lower interest rates in the PLUS and Grad PLUS programs. 

  • For interest rates, please visit the Loan Program Comparison Chart or select a specific loan program to view.

Should I consolidate my loans?

How and when can I apply to consolidate?

Which loans can be consolidated?

  • For answers about consolidation, please visit the following Web site:  https://loanconsolidation.ed.gov

  • You may also call 1-800-557-7392 to speak to a representative about loan consolidation.

Where can I go to see my loan history?

  • Visit the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS), http://www.nslds.ed.gov/, to view which company is currently servicing your loans and their contact information.

Federal Direct
Stafford Loan Questions
Answers
Are graduate students eligible for Subsidized loans? No, subsidized loans will only be available to undergraduate students. Graduate and professional students will receive their maximum federal direct loan eligibility in Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans.

How do I apply for a Federal Direct Stafford Loan?

  • File the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for the current aid year.  (We recommend that you file by the priority deadline of March 1st.)

  • After UCF receives the results of the FAFSA from the Federal Processor, we will automatically offer the maximum Federal Direct Stafford Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loan based on your eligibility.

  • Accept, reduce, or decline your offered loan(s) for each term, fall and spring, separately on the myUCF View Financial Aid screen by clicking the “Accept/Decline Awards” button and indicating your selection: https://my.ucf.edu/

  • Loan adjustment and reinstatement requests must be made by the following deadlines:

    Fall 2013 – November 15th

    Spring 2014
    –April 10th

  • Complete the online Master Promissory Note if this is your first time borrowing a Federal Direct loan. 
  • Complete the online Entrance Counseling if this is your first time borrowing a Direct Loan at any school. 

NOTE:  If you have completed the Entrance Counseling at another school, you must email finaid@ucf.edu in order for us to verify the record and complete the checklist off of your To Do List.

When can I start to accept and adjust my Federal Direct Stafford Loans?

  • When your To Do List has been completed, you will be able to accept, reduce, or decline offered loans.  
How can I get a deferment for tuition and fees from my offered Federal Direct Stafford Loans? 
  •  In order for the loans to defer tuition and fees, you must accept the offered loans on myUCF View Financial Aid, Accept/Decline Awards screen.

Why is my Federal Direct Stafford Loan not showing as a deferment?

  • If you have incomplete required documents on your To Do List, you will not have access to accept your loans until all required documentation has been submitted.

Do I have to complete a new Entrance Counseling for Federal Direct Loans if I already did one at UCF?

  • NO.  If you already completed an Entrance Counseling while at UCF, you do not have to do a new one for Federal Direct Loans.

  • NOTE:  If you have completed the Entrance Counseling at another school, you must email finaid@ucf.edu in order for us to verify the record and complete the checklist from your To Do List.

Do I have to complete a new Master Promissory Note for Federal Direct Loans?

  • If you already completed a Federal Direct Master Promissory Note at UCF, you do not have to complete a new one.

  • All new borrowers at UCF must complete a new Master Promissory Note.

I only want the Direct Subsidized Loan but was offered both a Direct Subsidized and a Direct Unsubsidized Loan.  What should I do?

  • Loans are not processed until you actually accept them. 

  • To accept the Direct Subsidized Loan, click on the accept option next to the Direct Subsidized Loan.

  • If you do not want the Direct Unsubsidized Loan, click on the decline option next to the Direct Unsubsidized Loan amount and the offered loan will be zeroed out. 

  • When you are finished, click on the Submit button.

How long will it take for my Federal Direct Stafford Loans to process?

  • The time that it takes to process a loan is contingent upon students meeting/completing all loan eligibility criteria.

  • For details of the loan eligibility criteria, please visit the Federal Stafford Loan Web page.

  • All required documents on the To Do List must be submitted at least 60 days prior to the beginning of the semester to ensure timely deferments and/or disbursements.

How long will it take for my Federal Direct Stafford Loans to disburse?

  • Disbursement of financial aid will begin the week following the Drop/Swap and Add period and continue each week throughout the semester as borrowers complete and meet all eligibility requirements. 

  • Once funds are disbursed to the Office of Student Accounts, they will post the disbursement record to the myUCF View My Account.  Charges appearing on your fee invoice will be deducted at that time.
          
  • Any remaining amount of financial aid will be processed as a refund.  If you have not set up direct deposit through myUCF, a check will be mailed to the current mailing address on record.  You should allow at least 5 to 7 business days if you are receiving a refund.  For any questions regarding refunds, please contact Student Accounts:  (407) 823-2433.

  • If charges remain on your account after disbursements, or if subsequent charges are made to your student account, it is your responsibility to pay for them.  To track the awards that have not disbursed, you may view the information on myUCF Student Self Service.

  • Note that not all financial aid awards disburse at the same time in all cases.
  • All awards, including accepted Direct Stafford Loans, are subject to change if corrections to your financial aid package are required.

Do I have to change my direct deposit account with Direct Loans?

  • The Federal Direct Loan Program has no impact on a direct deposit account that you have already established. 

  

I am graduating in the fall semester but was offered a fall/spring loan.  How can I accept the fall loan and decline the spring loan?

  • You must email finaid@ucf.edu with your name, PID, and a brief explanation to accept Fall only loans and to decline Spring loans. 

I made a mistake on the myUCF Self Service when adjusting my loans.  How can I fix it?

  • You may still reduce or decline a loan online through the myUCF Portal even after you have submitted an acceptance, as long as the loan has not disbursed.

  • If you have declined an entire loan in error please email finaid@ucf.edu with your name, PID, and a brief explanation of the error to request reinstatement.
  • All loan adjustment requests must be made by the deadlines listed in the above section, “How do I apply for a Federal Direct Stafford Loan?”

  • The 2012-2013 Loan Adjustment Form for increases on accepted loans will be available the first week of Fall 2012 classes. The Loan Adjustment Form is currently only available for students who are graduating in the Fall and wish to accept Fall but decline Spring loans.

Where can I return my Direct Loan refund that I received?

  • If you are returning your Direct Loan refund, contact your servicer for repayment options.  To view your servicer’s contact information, please visit the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS), http://www.nslds.ed.gov.

Federal Direct
Parent PLUS
Loan Questions
Answers

How do I apply for a Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan?

  • File the FAFSA with your son/daughter.

  • To complete the Federal Direct PLUS loan application and Master Promissory Note, visit the Direct Loan Web site at https://studentloans.gov. You must sign in using the same PIN number that was assigned to you to access your FAFSA. If you do not remember your PIN, you may request a duplicate from the Official PIN site.

  • The U.S. Department of Education will conduct a credit check which is valid for only 90 days.  Do not apply more than 90 days before the start of fall semester to avoid credit expiration.

What happens if my PLUS Loan credit check gets denied?

  • If the credit is denied, the PLUS Loan will be canceled. 

  • A dependent student whose parent has been denied a PLUS loan during the current aid year may be eligible to receive Federal Direct Stafford loans at the independent level with proof of PLUS loan denial from the lender.

  • The additional Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford loan will automatically be offered to the student, in which the student may choose to accept, reduce, or decline the loan through the myUCF View Financial Aid “Accept/Decline Awards.”   Please allow at least two weeks for processing the additional offered loan upon receipt of a PLUS denial.

  • Parents also have the option to appeal the Department of Education’s PLUS denial or reapply using an endorser.  For instructions on how to appeal or how to reapply using an endorser, please contact the Department of Education’s Applicant Services at 1-800-557-7394. 

  • If the PLUS credit decision is approved after the parent appeals or reapplies with an endorser, the student is no longer eligible to receive the additional Unsubsidized Stafford loan.  Parents should notify the SFA Loan Department in order for the PLUS loan to be awarded. 
  • Loan adjustment and reinstatement requests must be made by the following deadlines:

    Fall 2013
    – November 15th

    Spring 2014
    –April 10th

Do I have to complete a new Master Promissory Note for Federal Direct Loans if I already did one with my old lender?

  • If you have already completed a Master Promissory Note at UCF (without an endorser) you do not have to complete a new one.

  • However, if your loan required an endorser for credit approval, you must complete a new Master Promissory Note.

  • All new borrowers at UCF must complete a new Master Promissory Note.

How can I reduce or decline my Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan?

  • You cannot reduce or decline your Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan on myUCF.  

  • Please email the SFA Loan Department with your request for counseling and assistance.

How long will it take for my Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan to process?

 

  • The time that it takes to process a loan is contingent upon your student meeting/completing all loan eligibility criteria

  • Loan processing is also contingent upon the parent meeting/completing all loan eligibility criteria, including the following:
    1. Federal Direct PLUS Loan Application
    2. Master Promissory Note
    3. Approved Credit Check
    4. U.S. citizenship status or an eligible non-citizenship status as defined by the FAFSA

  • For details of the loan eligibility criteria, please visit the Federal PLUS Loan

How long will it take for my Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loans to disburse?

  • Disbursement of financial aid will begin the week following the Drop/Swap and Add period and continue each week throughout the semester for borrowers who complete and meet all eligibility requirements. 

  • Once funds are disbursed to the Office of Student Accounts, they will post the disbursement record to the myUCF View My Account.  Charges appearing on the student’s fee invoice will be deducted at that time.  
       
  • Any remaining amount of financial aid will be processed as a refund to the parent using the parent’s address that was entered on the Federal Direct PLUS Loan Application. 

  • If charges remain on the student’s account after disbursements, or if subsequent charges are made to the student’s account, it is the student’s responsibility to pay for them.  To track the awards that have not disbursed, students may view the information on myUCF Student Self Service.

  • Note that not all financial aid awards disburse at the same time in all cases.
     
  • All awards are subject to change if corrections to the student’s financial aid package are required.

Can the Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan refund be disbursed directly to my son/daughter?

  • NO.  The Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan refund must be refunded to the parent, not to the student.  The refund check will be mailed to the address you that you entered on the loan application.

My mailing address changed since I applied for the Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan.  How do I update the mailing address?

  • If you requested the post office to forward your mail to the new address, please allow at least 14 days to receive the refund check.

  • If you have not received the check in 14 days:

    • Email your new address with the subject heading, “PLUS Loan Mailing Address Change,” to the SFA Loan Department.

    • Download and submit a completed Stop Payment Request Form to Student Accounts. 
How do I request deferred payments for my Federal Direct PLUS Loan? Repayment can be deferred while the student is enrolled in school for at least half-time. Please refer to https://studentloans.gov for the process of requesting an in school deferment or call 1-800-557-7394.

Where can I return my Direct Loan refund that I received?

  • If you are returning your Direct Loan refund, contact your servicer for repayment options.  To view your servicer’s contact information, please visit the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS), http://www.nslds.ed.gov.

Federal Direct
Grad PLUS
Loan Questions
Answers

How do I apply for a Federal Direct Grad PLUS Loan?

You MUST borrow the maximum Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loans before applying for a Federal Direct Grad PLUS Loan!!

  • File the FAFSA

  • To complete the Federal Direct Grad PLUS loan application and the Master Promissory Note, visit the Direct Loan Web site at https://studentloans.gov. You must sign in using the same PIN number that was assigned to you to access your FAFSA. If you do not remember your PIN, you may request a duplicate from the Official PIN site.

  • Complete the online Grad PLUS Entrance Counseling if this is your first time borrowing a loan at UCF:

  • The U.S. Department of Education will conduct a credit check which is valid for only 90 days.  Do not apply more than 90 days before the start of fall semester to avoid credit expiration.
  • Loan adjustment and reinstatement requests must be made by the following deadlines:

    Fall 2013
    – November 15th

    Spring 2014
    –April 10th

What happens if my Federal Direct Grad PLUS Loan credit check gets denied?

  • If the credit is denied, the Federal Direct Grad PLUS Loan will be canceled. 

Do I have to complete a new Master Promissory Note for my Federal Grad PLUS Direct Loan?

  • If you have already completed a Master Promissory Note at UCF (without an endorser) you do not have to complete a new one.

  • However, if your loan required an endorser for credit approval, you must complete a new Master Promissory Note.

  • All new borrowers at UCF must complete a new Master Promissory Note

I signed a Master Promissory Note for my Direct Stafford Loan already.  Do I have to sign another one for my Federal Direct Grad PLUS Loan?

  • YES.  The Direct Stafford Loan Master Promissory Note is only valid for Direct Stafford Loans.  You must also sign a new Federal Direct Grad PLUS Master Promissory Note. 


How do I accept my Federal Direct Grad PLUS Loan?

  • Submitting a signed UCF Federal Direct Grad PLUS Loan Request Form is your acceptance of the Federal Direct Grad PLUS Loan.
     

How can I reduce or decline my Federal Direct Grad PLUS Loan?

  • You cannot reduce or decline your Federal Direct Grad PLUS Loan on myUCF.

  • Please email the SFA Loan Department with your request for counseling and assistance.

How long will it take for my Federal Direct Grad PLUS Loans to process?

 

  • The time that it takes to process a loan is contingent upon students meeting/completing all loan eligibility criteria.

  • For details of the loan eligibility criteria, please visit the Federal Grad PLUS Loan Web page.

How long will it take for my Federal Direct Grad PLUS Loans to disburse?

  • Disbursement of financial aid will begin the week following the Drop/Swap and Add period and continue each week throughout the semester as borrowers complete and meet all eligibility requirements. 

  • Once funds are disbursed to the Office of Student Accounts, they will post the disbursement record to the myUCF View My Account.  Charges appearing on your fee invoice will be deducted at that time.   
      
  • Any remaining amount of financial aid will be processed as a refund.  If you have not set up direct deposit through myUCF, a check will be mailed to the current mailing address on record.  You should allow at least 5 to 7 business days if you are receiving a refund.  For any questions regarding refunds, please contact Student Accounts:  (407) 823-2433.

  • If charges remain on your account after disbursements, or if subsequent charges are made to your student account, it is your responsibility to pay for them.  To track the awards that have not disbursed, you may view the information on myUCF Student Self Service.

  • Note that not all financial aid awards disburse at the same time in all cases. 

  • All awards are subject to change if corrections to your financial aid package are required.

Where can I return my Direct Loan refund that I received?

  • If you are returning your Direct Loan refund, contact your servicer for repayment options.  To view your servicer’s contact information, please visit the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS), http://www.nslds.ed.gov.