Cost & Financial Aid

Loans

A loan is financial assistance that enables students and parents to borrow money from the federal government or private lenders.

These loans must be repaid.  Before applying for a student loan, please refer to our Financial Aid Literacy Guide.

On this page:

 

FEDERAL DIRECT LOANS

The Direct Loan program is provided and administered by the Federal government, U.S. Department of Education. Student loan borrowing cannot exceed the cost of attendance, nor may you borrow over the annual and lifetime aggregates that are set for the Direct Loan. The Department of Education assesses an origination fee on each loan upon disbursement. The type of loan you are offered is based upon the results of the FAFSA.

FEDERAL DIRECT SUBSIDIZED LOAN

The Federal Direct Subsidized Loan is awarded on the basis of need. You will not be charged any interest prior to repayment or during any authorized periods of deferment. The federal government pays the interest on the loan until the time of repayment.

Eligibility

  • You must have a "need" as determined by the FAFSA.

  • You must be enrolled at least half-time (6 hours) at Piedmont Technical College.

  • You must maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress.

  • You may not exceed annual or lifetime aggregate loan limits.

>Federal Direct Loan Limits

>Processing Steps for Completing the Federal Direct Loan Application

 

FEDERAL DIRECT UNSUBSIDIZED LOAN

The Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan is not awarded on the basis of need. You are responsible for any accruing interest during in-school and deferment periods. Interest accruing during those periods may be paid or capitalized as agreed by the borrower and lender.

Eligibility

  • You must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

  • You must be enrolled at least half-time (6 hours) at Piedmont Technical College.

  • You must maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress.

  • You may not exceed annual or lifetime aggregate loan limits.

>Federal Direct Loan Limits

>Processing Steps for Completing the Federal Direct Loan Application

 

FEDERAL DIRECT PARENT LOAN FOR UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS (PLUS)

The Federal Direct Parent Loan (PLUS) is available to the parents of dependent, undergraduate students. The parent may only borrow up to the Cost of Attendance (excluding any other financial aid). An origination fee of 2.5% (initially 4.0% less a 1.5% up front rebate) is charged upon disbursement. All funds are received electronically and are posted to the student's billing account to pay PTC authorized tuition and fees. Completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is not required, but it is recommended.

PLUS loans are the financial responsibility of the parents, not the student.

Eligibility and Requirements:

  • The student must be attending at least half-time (6 hours).

  • The student must be meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress.

  • Applicant must be the parent/step-parent of the student whose information is reported on the FAFSA. (Guardians & grandparents cannot apply.) NOTE: Eligible step-parents are those whose information was reported on the FAFSA.

  • The loan record will be sent for a credit check once the Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan has been accepted and the PLUS Loan Application  has been received and processed. If credit is approved, the loan record is sent from Piedmont Technical College to the Department of Education for approval to disburse the loan funds and to the Direct Loan Servicer, which checks the promissory note status.

  • Parent applicant must sign the electronic Parent PLUS Master Promissory Note (eMPN) online at www.studentloans.gov. Parent applicant must have a Department of Education Personal Identification Number (PIN) to sign the Parent PLUS eMPN. This is the same PIN that is used to sign the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The signature process is complete once the applicant can view their confirmation page.

  • Parent applicants can apply for forbearance with their lender to defer payments for 12 month increments. While parent applicants must reapply for forbearance every 12 months, it is possible to defer payments until the student has graduated from college. To apply for forbearance parent applicants should contact Direct Loan Servicing.

Interest Rate:
Direct PLUS loans have a fixed interest rate of 7.90%.

 

 

ALTERNATIVE LOANS

Alternative (private) loans are administered and processed by private lending institutions to be used for educational costs. Alternative loans are not part of the Federal student loan programs, and should be used for circumstances where you have exhausted all other options in regards to financing your education.

We highly recommend that you apply for financial aid using the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) prior to seeking an Alternative loan option with this application. You may be eligible for the Federal Direct loan. Benefits of the Direct loan over an Alternative loan may include lower interest rates and greater repayment options.

You are free to choose any lender for the Alternative loan. The choice of a lender is entirely yours and must be made before your loan(s) will be funded. However, borrowing an Alternative (private) loan is based on credit checks and should only be done after reviewing all of your funding options and contacting different lenders for the best terms.  For over the past five years, Piedmont Technical College students borrowed Private (Alternative) Loans through the following lenders:

>SC Student Loan Corporation (PAL)

>Wells Fargo

>Wachovia

Note that the interest rates and repayment terms are different for each lender

Points to consider when choosing a lender

  • Interest Rate – It may be capitalized more often increasing the amount of money you ultimately owe. Consider using a cosigner. You may qualify for slightly lower rates.

  • Fees – The interest rates and fees that you pay are based on your credit score and the credit score of your cosigner if you choose to use a cosigner.

  • Borrower Benefits – These vary by lender.

  • Repayment Terms – Some lenders require you to pay while you are in school. Others will defer payments until after graduation.

  • Eligibility Requirements - Check the requirements for the loan.

NEW LAW-Effective February 14, 2010

As a result of the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) of 2009, borrowers will be required to submit a Private Education Loan Applicant Self-Certification to their lender before funds can be disbursed. Your lender will provide you with this form when you apply for the Private Alternative loan.

Please keep in mind that due to these new requirements, your Private Alternative Loan disbursement may be delayed as required by this new law.

Helpful websites to compare alternative lenders:

http://www.studentlendinganalytics.com/alternative_loan_options.html

http://www.finaid.org/loans/privatestudentloans.phtml
 

INTEREST RATES

Loan Type Interest Rate
Undergraduate Unsubsidized Direct Loan 6.8%
Undergraduate Subsidized Direct Loan 5.6% on or after July 1, 2009 and before July 1, 2010

4.5% on or after July 1, 2010 and before July 1, 2011

3.4% on or after July 1, 2011 and before July 1, 2012

6.8% on or after July 1, 2012

REPAYMENT, CONSOLIDATION & DEFERMENT

FEDERAL DIRECT STUDENT LOAN REPAYMENT

Repayment:

  • May be deferred until the student drops below half-time enrollment or graduates.

  • Standard repayment term is up to 10 years.

Direct Loan Borrower Servicers:
Visit the Direct Loan Servicing website, where you can:

  • Make online payments

  • View account balances

  • Change billing options

  • Enroll in electronic services...and much more

The National Student Data System records your Federal student loan history disbursement amounts, dates and lenders). This data should be checked, as you would all credit history, for updates and errors.

The Repayment Plans and Calculator provided by the Department of Ed will help to give you a good idea of income needed and discretionary income available at different debt levels.

 

FEDERAL STUDENT LOAN CONSOLIDATION

Loan consolidation is the result of combining two or more student loans into a single loan. Federal student loan consolidation combines specific student loans into a single loan.
As long as they are borrowed by the same person, any and all of the following loans can be included into a Federal Consolidation Loan.

  • FFELP Loans

  • Direct Loans

  • Perkins Loans*

  • Federal Insured Student Loan (FISL)*

  • Health Professions Student Loans (HPSL)*

  • Loans for Disadvantaged Students (LDS)*

  • Health Education Assistance Loans (HEAL)*

  • Nursing Student Loans (NSL)*

*These loans are not offered at Piedmont Technical College but may have been obtained at another institution.

“Alternative” or “outside” loans cannot be consolidated into a Federal Consolidation. As of July 1, 2006, joint spousal consolidation is no longer offered.

You may also consolidate an existing consolidation loan if at least one other FFELP or Direct loan is included into the existing consolidation.

You may consolidate your loans while in the repayment grace period (after you withdraw from school, drop below half-time or graduate), during repayment or deferment. You may not consolidate your loans while you are in school and have not entered into the grace period. It is recommended that you begin your consolidation application at least one month before you wish the consolidation to take effect.

For detailed instructions on loan consolidation, visit http://loanconsolidation.ed.gov/ or www.studentloans.gov.

 

FEDERAL LOAN DEFERMENT

A deferment allows you to temporarily postpone payments on your loan. If you have a subsidized loan you will not be charged interest during the deferment. If your loan is unsubsidized, you will be responsible for the interest on the loan during the deferment. If you do not pay the interest as it accrues, it will be capitalized and increase the amount you will have to repay.

Direct and FFELP borrowers should contact the lenders or agencies holding the loans.  You cannot receive a deferment if your loan is in default. Eight deferment forms are available that cover many deferment types. The eight deferment forms are used for both Direct and FFEL loans and are listed below.

>Economic Hardship Deferment Request

>Education Related Deferment Request

>In-School Deferment Request

>Parental Leave/Working Mother Deferment Request

>PLUS Borrower with Dependent Student Deferment Request

>Public Service Deferment Request

>Temporary Total Disability Deferment Request

>Unemployment Deferment Request

LOAN LIMITS & LOAN COUNSELING

 

DIRECT LOAN LIMITS

Annual and lifetime (total debt) limits for subsidized and unsubsidized student loans are mandated by the U.S. Department of Education. The amounts include the outstanding principal balance on the loan(s) and not interest or other charges incurred.

Dependent Undergraduate Students
  Subsidized Loan Additional Unsubsidized
Freshman $3,500 $2,000
Sophomore $4,500 $2,000
Maximum Total Debt $31,000 ($23,000 may be Subsidized)

Independent Undergraduate Students
 

Subsidized Loan

Additional Unsubsidized

Freshman $3,500 $6,000
Sophomore $4,500 $6,000
Maximum Total Debt $57,500 ($23,000 may be Subsidized)

All “Maximum Total Debt” amounts (lifetime limits) include both DIRECT and FFELP subsidized and unsubsidized loans.

 

DIRECT LOAN COUNSELING

Entrance Counseling:

First time borrowers must complete an Entrance Loan Counseling session.

The entrance counseling requirement for the Federal Direct Loan program needs to be completed just once while in attendance at Piedmont Technical College; therefore, students who borrow in subsequent years need not repeat the entrance counseling requirement.

If you have previously completed entrance loan counseling for a Federal Stafford Loan received at PTC, you will not be required to complete it again for the Direct Loan Program. Only new borrowers at PTC are required to complete entrance counseling.

Exit Counseling:

All students who leave Piedmont Technical College, graduate, or drop below half-time status (6 hours) must complete an Exit Loan Counseling session. Students who fail to complete Exit Counseling will have holds placed on all records and will not be allowed to receive transcripts or re-enroll.