Student Loans

Federal Direct Loan Information:
Types of Loans Available
. Eligibility
. Annual Limits
. Interest Rates
Federal Direct Loan Application 2016-2017
. Application Deadlines
. Deferment & Forbearance
. Default

Student Loan Basics Counseling via Financial Aid TV

Overview:

Ventura College participates in the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program.  The U.S. Department of Education is the lender for the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program.

We take our obligation to provide applicants with information about borrowing a student loan seriously. Applicants are educated about borrowing a loan and are expected to read all the materials and borrow wisely. This is a loan, it not a grant and must be paid back. The loan is to be used for educational related expenses at Ventura College (VC). Loans must be repaid with interest so it is important to understand your rights and responsibilities as a borrower. All borrowers are required to complete Loan Entrance Counseling before we may certify a loan.

Direct loans are issued by the federal government. The loan is serviced by the Federal Direct Loan Servicing Center. There are no banks or lending institutions. Interest rates are set every July 1st. For more information please go here

What types of federal student loans are available?

There are TWO types of STUDENT Direct Loans:

Direct Subsidized Loans are loans made to eligible undergraduate students who demonstrate financial need to help cover the costs of higher education at a college or career school. 

In short, Direct Subsidized Loans have slightly better terms to help out students with financial need.

Here’s a quick overview of Direct Subsidized Loans:

  • Direct Subsidized Loans are available to undergraduate students with financial need.
  • Your school determines the amount you can borrow, and the amount may not exceed your financial need.
  • The U.S. Department of Education pays the interest on a Direct Subsidized Loan

Direct Unsubsidized Loans are loans made to eligible undergraduate, graduate, and professional students, but in this case, the student does not have to demonstrate financial need to be eligible for the loan.

Here’s a quick overview of Direct Unsubsidized Loans:

  • Direct Unsubsidized Loans are available to undergraduate and graduate students; there is no requirement to demonstrate financial need.
  • Your school determines the amount you can borrow based on your cost of attendance and other financial aid you receive.
  • You are responsible for paying the interest on a Direct Unsubsidized Loan during all periods. 
  • If you choose not to pay the interest while you are in school and during grace periods and deferment or forbearance periods, your interest will accrue (accumulate) and be capitalized (that is, your interest will be added to the principal amount of your loan). 

How do I apply for a Direct Loan at Ventura College?

  1. Complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online at www.FAFSA.gov for the school year you intend to enroll. Students enrolling during the Fall 2016, Spring 2017, or Summer 2017 semesters should complete the 2016-2017 FAFSA after January 1, 2016.
  2. Complete and/or submit all requested financial aid requirements as listed on your my.vcccd.edu portal
  3. Receive an award notification email indicating that your financial aid file review is complete
  4. Continue to meet the minimum Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standards to ensure eligibility

  5. Enroll in 6 or more degree-applicable units for an eligible Ventura College program of study during the desired loan application period. For example: If you will be submitting a loan request for the 2016-2017 school year, you must wait until you enroll in a minimum of 6 units for the Fall 2016 semester (usually in June/July 2016).
  6. Complete Direct Loan Entrance Counseling online at www.studentloans.gov and print the confirmation page.
  7. Complete a Direct Loan Promissory Note online at www.studentloans.gov.
  8. Complete the Ventura College 2016-2017 Direct Loan Request Form, and submit in-person to the Ventura College Financial Aid Office. You must present valid government-issued identification when submitting a Direct Loan application. 

Are there any other eligibility requirements?

By completing the Federal Direct Loan application and submitting it to the Financial Aid Office, eligibility is not guaranteed. Applicants must meet all federal aid eligibility requirements.

VC reserves the right to refuse to certify a loan under conditions established by 34.CFR 685.301. Borrowing the low-interest, Federal Direct Loan is a privilege. Some conditions for refusing to certify a loan to high risk borrowers include but are not limited to:

  • The student is not making progress or enrolled in an eligible degree, certificate or transfer program at Ventura College. This decision is made independently from the (SAP) Appeal process.
  • The student has already borrowed the maximum loan amount appropriate for community college programs.
  • The student appears to be or has been in default or delinquent on federal financial aid obligations.
  • Notification of previously discharged federal student loans due to disability or bankruptcy.
  • Instances of inconsistent, fraudulent FAFSA, or admissions application information.
  • The student has a drastic change in requested borrowing amount from previous year(s).
  • The student has valid and applicable education for employment and is choosing to pursue another educational endeavor. This decision is made independently from the SAP Appeal process.

What amount am I able to borrow for the school year?

Federal law has outlined the specific amounts you can borrow for one school year based on your dependency status (as determined by FAFSA) and your grade level. You must have completed 30 college level units toward your program of study to be considered a second-year student. If you don't have 30 units at Ventura College but had units elsewhere and you want to be considered a second-year student, outside transcripts must be submitted and evaluated by the Ventura College Admissions & Records Office.

Dependent Students:
Grade Level Base Amount Additional Unsubsidized Total
1st Year $3,500 $2,000 $5,500
2nd Year $4,500 $2,000 $6,500
Undergraduate Aggregate Loan Limit $31,000 (no more than $23,000 may be subsidized)
Independent Students:
Grade Level Base Amount Additional Unsubsidized Total
1st Year $3,500 $6,000 $9,500
2nd Year $4,500 $6,000 $10,500
Undergraduate Aggregate Loan Limit $57,500 (no more than $23,000 may be subsidized)

What are the Direct Subsidized and Direct Unsubsidized Loan interest rates?

Loans disbursed on or after July 1, 2016 and before June 30, 2017 are subject to a 3.76% interest rate.

If you currently have a Direct Loan and would like to check the interest rate, servicer information, and other financial aid history, go to the National Student Loan Data System.

Interest rate cap for military members: If you qualify under the Service Members Civil Relief Act, the interest rate on loans you obtained before entering military service may be capped at 6% during your military service. You must contact your loan servicer to request this benefit.

In addition, interest is not accrued (for a period of no more than 60 months) on Direct Loans first disbursed on or after October 1, 2008, while a borrower is serving on active duty or performing qualifying National Guard duty during a war or other military operation or other emergency, and serving in an area of hostilities qualifying for special pay.

Other than interest, is there a charge for this loan?

Yes, there is a loan fee on all Direct Subsidized Loans and Direct Unsubsidized Loans.  The loan fee is a percentage of the loan amount and is proportionately deducted from each loan disbursement.  The percentage varies depending on when the loan is first disbursed, as shown in the chart below.

Loan Fees for Direct Subsidized and Direct Unsubsidized Loans

First Disbursement Date:

Loan Fee:

On or after Oct. 1, 2015, and before Oct. 1, 2016

1.068%

On or after Oct. 1, 2016, and before Oct. 1, 2017

1.069%

How will I be notified if I'm awarded a Direct Loan? How will the loans be disbursed?

Award Notification of loan eligibility is sent via email. 

. Ventura College will electronically transmit loan information to the Direct Loan Servicing Center. 
. To indicate the loan information is received, the Direct Loan Servicing Center will send a loan disclosure notice to the applicant approximately two weeks after transmission. 
. Ventura College will receive the electronic acceptance of your MPN. 
. Check www.nslds.ed.gov for your student loan history.

Loan Disbursements

Direct Loans are issued to students in multiple disbursements. Direct Loan borrowers will be charged loan fees which are deducted from the loan proceeds and are used to cover the costs of loan defaults and other administrative costs of the Direct Loan Program. After your loan has been certified, you will receive a Loan Disclosure Statement with pertinent information regarding your loan, including disbursement dates, deducted fees, and net disbursement amounts.

Please Note: If you are a first-year, first-time loan borrower there will be a 30 day delay in your first loan disbursement.

What are the deadlines to apply?

Loan Request Deadlines 2016-2017

Fall 2016 Only:  November 15, 2016*

Spring 2017 Only:  April 18, 2017*

Summer 2017 Only:  TBD

*Loan requests received after the application deadline will not be processed

What happens after graduate or leave school?

Federal regulations require that all student borrowers who graduate, withdraw, or drop below half-time enrollment complete loan exit counseling. Always notify your lender of your current address, phone number, and contact information in a timely manner. The National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) website has the most current contact information for the Holder/Servicer of your loan(s).

After you graduate, drop below half-time enrollment status, or withdraw you will be placed in "repayment"  by your servicer, and will be required to start making payments on your loans. Your Direct Loan servicer will send you statements and more information at that time.

What happens if I'm having trouble repaying my loans?

If you run into financial problems with your repayment schedule, contact the Direct Loan Servicing Center at (800)848-0979. There may be solutions that can keep you on track and protect your credit rating. Visit the Direct Loan Servicing Center for tips on managing loan debt.

Deferment, Forbearance, & Default:

A Deferment or Forbearance allows you to temporarily postpone making your federal student loan payments or to temporarily reduce the amount you pay.

Under certain circumstances, you can receive a deferment or forbearance that allows you to temporarily postpone or reduce your federal student loan payments. Postponing or reducing your payments may help you avoid default. You will need to work with your loan servicer to apply for deferment or forbearance; and be sure to keep making payments on your loan until the deferment or forbearance is in place.

How do I request a deferment?

Most deferments are not automatic, and you will likely need to submit a request to your loan servicer, the organization that handles your loan account. If you are enrolled in school at least half-time and you would like to request an in-school deferment, you'll need to contact your loan servicer. Your deferment request should be submitted to the organization to which you make your loan payments.

How do I request forbearance?

Receiving loan forbearance is not automatic. You must apply by making a request to your loan servicer. In some cases, you must provide documentation to support your request.

What is default?

If you don't make your loan payments, you risk going into default. Defaulting on your loan has serious consequences. Your school, the financial institution that made or owns your loan, your loan guarantor, and the federal government all can take action to recover the money you owe.

There are steps you can take to repay your federal student loan successfully and avoid going into default. Understanding your loan agreement, staying on top of your loan information, and making sure to contact your loan servicer if you are having trouble making payments can help you avoid default.

When placed in default, any William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan) Program loan that is owned by the U.S. Department of Education (ED) is assigned to ED's Default Resolution Group for collection.

Don't get discouraged if you are in default on your federal student loan. You have several options for getting your loan out of default. These include

Loan consolidation allows you to pay off the outstanding combined balance(s) for one or more federal student loans to create a new single loan with a fixed interest rate.

Work with your loan servicer to choose a federal student loan repayment plan that is best for you.

To make your payments more affordable, repayment plans can give you more time to repay your loans or be based on your income. Use the Repayment Calculator at www.studentloans.gov, Managing Repayment Tab >>Repaying Your Loans.

For additional information on these subjects, please go to www.studentloans.gov