Student Loan Frequently Asked Questions

You’ve got questions about a complex subject—student loans. We’ve got the answers.

FAFSA

Stafford

Transcripts

What loans can I get?

How often do I need to apply?

Student Status


FAFSA

Where can I get a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form to complete?

The FAFSA is considered the application for the Federal Direct Stafford Loan Program, typically a student’s first step in applying for financial aid.

You can fill out the form online at www.fafsa.ed.gov. Students are strongly encouraged to apply online but if you prefer you can complete a paper version of the FAFSA and send it via mail. Check with your high school guidance counselor or college financial aid office for a paper form.

The FAFSA form asks for my parents’ income, and my parents are divorced. Whose income should I put on the form?

You should use the income of the custodial parent. If your parents have joint custody, then list the income of the parent you lived with the most over the previous 12 months. In addition, if that parent is remarried, you must include his or her spouse’s income on the FAFSA form.

Back to top

Stafford

How do I apply for a Federal Direct Stafford Loan?

You will need to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form. This form will enable your college to determine your eligibility for all types of federal aid, including the Federal Direct Stafford Loan. After you find out whether you are eligible for the Federal Direct Stafford Loan, you will need to complete a Federal Direct Stafford Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN). See the Federal Direct Stafford Loan product page for complete details.

How much can I borrow through the Federal Direct Stafford Loan program?

If you are a dependent student, the maximum you can borrow under the Federal Direct Stafford Loan is $5,500 as a Freshman, $6,500 as a Sophomore, and $7,500 as a Junior and Senior. If you are an independent student, the maximum amounts are $9,500 as a Freshman, $10,500 as a Sophomore, and $12,500 as a Junior and Senior. See the Federal Direct Stafford Loan product page for complete details.

Back to top

Transcripts

How do I get my hands on my official transcript? And what is it?

The transcript is your official high school academic record. It contains a list of your courses and grades, an explanation of the school’s grading scale, and a list of the school’s course offerings.

Check with your high school guidance counselor to find out what you need to do to get transcripts sent to your selected schools. There may be a minimal charge for sending them. Keep deadlines in mind and allow plenty of time to get your transcripts out the door.

I was homeschooled, and I don’t have an official transcript. What should I do?

If you have been homeschooled, you may not follow the typical transcript or testing scenarios. Instead, you might be able to substitute a portfolio of your best work, a logbook of your community activities, or college credits earned before applying for admissions. Check with the schools you’re applying to in order to find out what they need.

Back to top

What loans can I get?

I have received my financial aid award letter, but I still owe money to the school. Are there other loans I can apply for?

We do offer a private loan, the TruFit Student Loan®. In general, private loans allow you to borrow whatever else you need to cover your balance for the year. These loans are credit based, so most students will probably require a creditworthy cosigner, such as a parent or legal guardian.

Is there a loan that my parents can take out for my education?

If you are a dependent, undergraduate student, your parent(s) can apply for the Federal Direct PLUS Loan. This loan allows your parents to apply for whatever amount they need to cover your balance for the year.

Can I borrow a loan to help pay for my books and my personal expenses while I am at school?

Yes. Our TruFit Student Loan®, a private student loan, as well as the Federal Direct PLUS Loan , can be used to help pay for your indirect costs while you are enrolled in school. The maximum you can borrow each year is determined by your individual school.

I am an international student. Do you have loans I can borrow?

Our TruFit Student Loan® allows international students to apply as long as they have a creditworthy cosigner who is a US Citizen or permanent resident. International students must apply via a paper application. They can obtain a paper application by calling 800-708-6684.

I am going to be studying in a foreign country. Are there any student loans I can borrow?

Depending on the school you are planning to attend, you may be eligible to apply for a Federal Student Loan. Many foreign schools participate in both the Federal Direct Stafford Loan program and the Federal Direct PLUS Loan program. At this time our TruFit Student Loan is only available to students studying in a foreign country through a US school study abroad program.

Back to top

How often do I need to apply?

Do I need to apply for financial aid each year?

Yes. You will need to complete the FAFSA form each year. Every year you will receive a new financial aid award letter from your school.

Do I have to fill out a new Federal Stafford Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN) each year?

Usually, you do not have to complete a new MPN each year. These forms are good for 10 years. You may have to fill out a new form if you change schools or change your lender.

Back to top

Student Status

I live on my own. Can I be an independent student?

In general, to be considered an independent student for financial aid purposes:

  • You must be age 24 or older
  • You are a graduate student
  • You are married
  • You have children
  • You are a Veteran
  • You are an orphan or Ward of the Court, or you were until the age of 18

If you do not meet any of the above criteria, you are generally considered a dependent student. If you do not fit any of the above criteria, but you still feel that you are an independent student, you should discuss your situation with your financial aid officer.

Back to top

Other questions? Please call our Student Services Center and talk to one of our financial aid experts at 1-800-721-3969.

 
Have a Question?
Student Banking
1-888-333-2373
Student Borrowing
1-800-721-3969
Branch/ATM Locator
Over 1,350 branches close by.
Connect With Us
facebook   twitter