Loans

Borrowing money for school can be a confusing and daunting process for students and their families.  Selecting the student loan or combination of loans that meet your specific needs is crucial because the loan choices you make today will have an impact on your financial well-being for many years after you leave school. 

The following information is designed to provide an overview of the student loans that are available to choose from.   Each loan has it's own unique eligibility requirements and repayment terms.  It is important that you select the loan or combination of loans that best fit your specific needs.  Detailed information for each loan can be found by clicking on the individual links.     

This guide will provide a brief overview of the Federal Direct Stafford, Federal Direct Parent PLUS and the Federal Direct Graduate/Professional PLUS loan programs, as well as State, Private/Alternative (credit based), and Consolidation loans.

Due to the considerable benefits, favorable interest rates, and repayment options offered by the federal loan programs, SMU recommends the use of federal loans prior to selecting a private/alternative (credit-based) loan program.   

If you accepted the "Credit-Based Loan" option in My.SMU, you must submit an additional application for credit approval with your lender.  The credit-based loan options including application instructions are identified below.      

Loan

Interest

Eligibility

Terms

How to Apply

FEDERAL

Direct Subsidized

(no credit check required)

3.73% fixed


  • Undergraduate Students Only
  • Need-based
  • Must be enrolled at least half-time status (6 or more credit hours) and in degree seeking program
  • Limits based on grade level in school


  • 1.057% Origination fee deducted at disbursement
  • Repayment deferred, no interest while enrolled at least half-time
  • Interest accrues during 6-month grace period before repayment begins
  • Limited deferment provisions
  • Automatic consideration for this when you file the FAFSA
  • Must sign Master Promissory Note and complete Entrance Counseling to receive funds. Go toStudentaid.gov.

FEDERAL

Direct Unsubsidized

(no credit check required)

3.73% fixed for Under-graduate students


5.28% fixed for Graduate students


  • Undergraduate & Graduate Students


  • Must be enrolled at least half-time (6 or more credit hours) and in degree seeking program


  • Limits based on grade level in school.
  • Interest accrues after disbursement and is capitalized upon repayment. Interest payments may be made while in school to lower overall payments once loan enters repayment.
  • Repayment of principal deferred if enrolled at least ½ time (at least six credit hrs)
  • Other limited deferment provisions
  • 1.057% origination fee deducted at disbursement
  • You are automatically considered for this when you file the FAFSA


  • Unsub loan will appear in your financial aid award package in my.smu


  • 1st, accept the loan in my.smu


  • 2nd, sign Master Promissory Note and complete Entrance Counseling to receive funds. Go toStudentaid.gov.

 Credit-Based Loan Options

(The following loans require an additional application for credit approval.  See application instructions below)

FEDERAL

Direct Parent PLUS

(Requires additional application for credit approval)

6.28% fixed

  • Non-need based
  • Parent borrows on behalf of student
  • May borrow up to cost of attendance (COA) minus other aid
  • Student must be enrolled at least half-time (6 or more credit hours) in degree seeking program.
  • Interest begins to accrue upon loan disbursement.
  • Repayment of principal and interest begins after the loan is fully disbursed.
  • Limited deferment provisions
  • 4.228% origination fee deducted at disbursement


  • First, STUDENT must complete FAFSA
  • Second, accept the "additional loan eligibility" in my.SMU.
  • Third, Parent must submit PLUS Loan application for immediate credit decision thru  studentloans.gov/
  • Fourth, Parent must sign Master Promissory Note to receive funds.

(PARENT must go to Studentaid.gov to submit application for credit approval. Those who apply with a credit-worthy endorser or negative credit appeal a decision must complete credit counseling)

FEDERAL

Direct Graduate PLUS

(Requires additional application for credit approval)

6.28% fixed

  • Non-need based
  • May borrow up to cost of attendance minus other aid
  • Student must be enrolled at least half-time in a degree-seeking program (at least six credit hours per term)


  • Interest begins to accrue upon loan disbursement.
  • Repayment of principal and interest begins after the loan is fully disbursed.
  • Limited deferment provisions
  • 4.228% origination fee deducted at disbursement


  • First, STUDENT must complete FAFSA
  • Second, after receiving the award notification, student must  accept the "additional loan eligibility" in my.SMU.
  • Third, student must submit GRADPLUS Loan application for immediate credit decision thru  studentloans.gov
  • Fourth, student must sign Master Promissory Note to receive funds.

(Student must go to Studentaid.gov to submit application for credit approval. Those who apply with a credit-worthy endorser or receive a negative credit appeal decision must complete credit counseling)

STATE of TEXAS

College Access Loan – CAL

(Requires additional application for credit approval)

3.75%

  • Undergraduate & Graduate Students
  • Verified Texas Resident
  • Must be enrolled at least ½ time in degree seeking program
  • May need a credit-worthy co-signer



  • No origination fee
  • Loans have a six-month grace period from the date a borrower ceases to be enrolled at least half-time at an eligible institution.
  • Principal balances under $30,000 have up to a ten-year repayment period with minimum monthly payments of $50.
  • Principal balances of $30,000 or more have a repayment period up to 20 years.
  • Postponements of loan repayment and income-sensitive or graduated repayment schedules are available.


Private/Alternative 

Various Private-Alternative Loans

(Requires additional application for credit approval).

Varies

  • Based on credit check
  • Non-need based
  • Other criteria varies widely, however most require at least ½ time and meeting SAP requirements
  • May need a credit-worthy co-signer
  • Varies by lender

Methodist





Institutional (if any)





For more Details on Loan options follow the links below: