Federal student loans allow you to borrow money to help pay for college through programs supported by the federal government. They generally have low interest rates and offer flexible repayment terms.
Federal Direct Loans
The Federal Direct Loan is a low-interest, long-term educational loan available to students. Loan capital is supplied directly by the federal government. The federal government also serves as the guarantor. There are two different forms of this loan: the Federal Direct Subsidized Loan and the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan. If you show demonstrated financial need based on the information from your FAFSA, your loan may be subsidized — that is, the federal government will pay the interest on the loan as long as you are in school. If you do not qualify for the subsidy on a need basis, you can still borrow up to your maximum eligibility under the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan Program. In this program, interest is not subsidized, and will accrue (accumulate) while you are in school. You have the option of paying the interest while in school or deferring the interest and allowing it to add to your principal balance. Repayment of the principal will begin six months after graduation or after you cease to enroll at least half-time.
Maximum amount you can borrow in the Federal Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loan Program:
First year - $5,500 ($3,500 maximum subsidized)
Second year - $6,500 ($4,500 maximum subsidized)
Third year-graduation - $7,500 ($5,500 maximum subsidized)
Four-year total - $27,000 ($19,000 maximum subsidized)
Interest rate: Interest rates for the 2021-2022 academic year are fixed at 3.73 percent for both Direct Subsidized Loans and Direct Unsubsidized Loans.
Origination fee: For all loans where the first disbursement is made on or after October 1, 2020, and before October 1, 2022, the loan fee is 1.057 percent for Direct Subsidized Loans and for Direct Unsubsidized Loans. As an example, the loan fee on a $5,500 loan would be $58.13.
Repayment terms: Repayment to the Department of Education, through your assigned Loan Servicer, begins six months after you graduate or leave school. You may extend your repayment period beyond 10 years.
For more information:
- Learn more about the Federal Direct Loan program.
- Sign your Master Promissory Note.
- Complete Entrance Counseling.
- If you have a federal loan and are looking for payment information, visit the Federal Student Aid website.
College of the Holy Cross Loan
An institutional loan program offering a fixed interest rate to students who demonstrate financial need. The loan is awarded by the Office of Financial Aid based on demonstrated financial need, and the program is administered by the College with a limited amount of funds available each year. This loan was put in place in response to the expiration of the Federal Perkins Loan Program.
Amount you can borrow: Holy Cross students are awarded up to $6,800 over four years.
Interest rate: 6%
Repayment terms: Repayment begins when your three month grace period — discussed on your Holy Cross Loan Master Promissory Note — ends. You have up to 10 years to repay the loan in full.
For more information: See the College of the Holy Cross Loan Information Sheet (PDF).
Federal Perkins Loans
A limited, low-interest program for students with exceptional financial need. Perkins Loans made to Holy Cross students are administered by the Bursar's office. Once you're at Holy Cross, you'll work closely with the Perkins Loan Coordinator.
Interest rate: 5%
Repayment terms: Repayment begins when your grace period — discussed on your promissory note — ends. You have up to 10 years to repay the loan in full.
For more information: See the Bursar's page on Perkins Loans.
The federal government has allowed the Federal Perkins Loan Program to expire in 2017. Therefore, no colleges may offer new Perkins Loans beginning in the 2018-2019 academic year.