Student loans, unlike grants and work-study, are borrowed money that must be repaid, with interest, just like car loans and mortgages. You cannot have these loans canceled because you didn’t like the education you received, didn’t get a job in your field of study or because you’re having financial difficulty. Loans are legal obligations, so before you take out a student loan, think about the amount you’ll have to repay over the years. Learn more about managing your student loan.

As with any student loan, be conservative and only borrow what you absolutely need.

Promissory notes for Direct Loans are for both subsidized and unsubsidized loans. Graduate PLUS and Parent PLUS Loans require a separate promissory note. A master promissory note is valid for ten years. If a PLUS loan includes an endorser, the promissory note is only valid for that one endorsed loan, and a new promissory note must be signed for another PLUS loan.

Federal Direct Loans

The U.S. Department of Education administers the William D. Ford Direct Loan program to provide low-interest Direct and PLUS Loans for students who are attending at least half-time. Under this program, funds for your student/parent loan come directly from the federal government. The Department of Education serves as the lender for all Direct Loans.

Subsidized and Unsubsidized Direct Loans

The Federal Direct Loan Program is the most common student loan program for funding undergraduate and graduate education. There are two types of Direct Loans, Subsidized and Unsubsidized.  The subsidized loan is only available to students with financial need. A federal subsidy pays the interest that accrues on the loan while the student is enrolled at least half-time.  Additional student loan options are available through the unsubsidized loan program. Regardless of financial need, a student may qualify for an unsubsidized loan.

Parent PLUS loans

Unlike the Direct Loan, eligibility for the Parent PLUS Loan is based on the borrower’s creditworthiness. These loans are available to parents of dependent undergraduate students only. The parent is the borrower and responsible for repaying the loan, not the student.

Private Education Loans

We strongly encourage you to use all available federal loan programs before using private loans.

  • Credit approval is required, and the process is more comprehensive than the Federal PLUS Loan
  • Students with an insufficient credit history may qualify with a co-signer
  • The minimum loan is $1,000; borrowing limits may vary by lender
  • Unlike federal loans, this type of loan may be used to pay a previous semester’s balance.

Private Education Loan lenders

Self-Certification Form

Item Federal Loans Private Loans
Co-signer Requirement No Depends on Loan
Credit Check Requirement Direct Loans-No
Deferment Yes Depends on Loan
Grace Period Direct Loans- 6 months
PLUS- 6 months
Depends on Loan
Interest Rate Fixed Fixed & Variable
Fees Direct Loan
Depends on Loan
Loan Forgiveness/Discharge Yes No
Penalty for Early Repayment No Depends on Loan

UA Little Rock Student Loan Code of Conduct