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FAQs – Loans

1. What’s the difference between Subsidized and Unsubsidized loans?

Federal Direct Subsidized loans are available to undergraduate students who demonstrate financial need and who are enrolled at least half-time (6 or more credit hours). The federal government pays the interest on a subsidized loan while you are in school at least half-time and during periods of grace and deferment.

Federal Direct Unsubsidized loans are available to both undergraduate and graduate students who are enrolled at least half-time (HT) (undergraduate HT status: 6 or more credit hours; graduate HT status: 3 or more credit hours). The interest is NOT paid by the federal government, and is therefore paid for by the student. Interest begins to accrue on an unsubsidized loan on the disbursement date. The interest continues to accrue and capitalizes during repayment.

2. What is the interest rate for Federal Direct Loans?

DIRECT LOAN INTEREST RATES (effective July 1, 2013)
Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans for undergraduate students 3.86%
Direct Unsubsidized Loans for graduate students 5.41%
Direct PLUS Loans 6.41%

3. How do I accept my Stafford loans?

  • First, we send you an email about your financial aid package.
  • When you receive your email, go to E-Services to accept your financial aid. You can take the amount we offer you, or if it’s more than you need or want, you can reduce it in E-Services. 
  • If this is your first time receiving a loan at UHCL you will need to complete a Direct Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN). The MPN can be completed online at www.studentloans.gov.  
  • If this is your time receiving a loan, you must complete Stafford Loan Entrance Counseling. The Entrance Counseling can be found at www.studentloans.gov.

4. How do I change the amount of my Stafford loan?

We will award you the maximum loan amount you qualify for. If you’d like to reduce the amount, go to E-Services and select “Accept/Decline Award.” From there, you can choose “accept” for the loan(s) you wish to change. This opens the field so that you can type in a lower amount. Then, submit the award to our office.

If you decide to reduce your loan amount, or to see if you qualify for additional loan funds, please contact financial aid at uhcl_fao@uhcl.edu

5. Why do I need to complete Entrance Loan Counseling?

We are required to provide Entrance Loan Counseling to all first-time student loan borrowers before we disburse the money to your account. Entrance Loan Counseling is a short online tutorial that explains why you need to repay your student loans. It tells you the consequences if you fail to repay, and also helps you budget your money while in school. We can’t release your loan funds until you have completed Entrance Counseling at www.studentloans.gov.

6. Why do I need to complete Exit Loan Counseling?

We are required to provide additional loan counseling to students once you have dropped below half-time status or have graduated. If you have a loan and you are planning to graduate, complete Exit Loan Counseling online at www.studentloans.gov.

7. Why did I only receive half of my expected loan amount?

Federal regulations require us to split your loan funds into at least two equal payments. If your loan is for fall and spring, you’ll get half of your loan at the beginning of fall and the other half at the beginning of the spring semester. If your loan is for one semester only (e.g. summer), however, you will get just one loan disbursement at the beginning of that semester.

8. Why hasn’t my loan been credited to my student account?

Before we can credit a loan to your account you must

  • Accepted the loan in E-services
  • Have a current Master Promissory Note (MPN) on file. 
  • Be enrolled at least half-time (6 hours for undergraduates, 3 hours for graduate students).
  • Have completed Entrance Loan Counseling (if this is your first Stafford loan).
  • Be maintaining Satisfactory Academic Progress.
  • Not be in default on any federal loans or owe a Title IV overpayment.

9. Why hasn’t my Perkins Loan money been given to me?

To receive your Perkins Loan money, complete an electronic Perkins Note online in E-Services. You will see this in E-Services when you accept a Perkins loan as part of your award package. If borrowing your first Perkins Loan from UHCL, you must also complete Perkins Entrance Counseling. Register for at least half-time (6 hours for undergraduates, 3 hours for graduate students), maintain satisfactory academic progress. You can’t be in default on any federal loans or owe a Title IV overpayment.




Contact Us

Mail:
University of Houston-Clear Lake
Office of Financial Aid
SSCB 1.105
2700 Bay Area Blvd.
Houston, TX 77058-1098

Phone:
(281) 283-2480

Fax:
(281) 283-2502

E-mail:
uhcl_fao@uhcl.edu

Fall/Spring Hours:
Mon-Thurs. 8am - 6pm
Fri. 8am-5pm

Summer Hours:
Mon-Thurs. 9am - 6pm
Fri. 8am-noon

School Code: 011711
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