Student Loan Frequently Asked Questions

You've got questions about a complex subject—student loans. We've got the answers.

FAFSA

Direct Loans

Transcripts

What loans can I get?

How often do I need to apply?

FAFSA

Where can I get a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form to complete?

The FAFSA is the application for federal student aid, such as grants, work-study and federal student loans. In addition, many states and colleges utilize the FAFSA to determine eligibility for state and school aid.

 

You can fill out the form online at www.fafsa.ed.gov. Students are strongly encouraged to apply online but if you prefer you can complete a paper version of the FAFSA and send it via mail. Check with your high school guidance counselor or college financial aid office for a paper form.

 

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Direct Loans

How do I apply for Federal Direct Loans?

You will need to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form. This form will enable your college to determine your eligibility for all types of federal aid, including the Federal Direct Loan. After you find out whether you are eligible for the Federal Direct Loan, you will need to complete a Federal Direct Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN). Visit the federal student aid site for more information about the Direct Loan program.

 

How much can I borrow through the Federal Direct Loan program?

If you are a dependent student, the maximum you can borrow under the Federal Direct Loan is $5,500 as a Freshman, $6,500 as a Sophomore, and $7,500 as a Junior and Senior. If you are an independent student, the maximum amounts are $9,500 as a Freshman, $10,500 as a Sophomore, and $12,500 as a Junior and Senior.

 

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Transcripts

How do I get my hands on my official transcript? And what is it?

The transcript is your official high school academic record. It contains a list of your courses and grades, an explanation of the school's grading scale, and a list of the school's course offerings.

 

Check with your high school guidance counselor to find out what you need to do to get transcripts sent to your selected schools. There may be a minimal charge for sending them. Keep deadlines in mind and allow plenty of time to get your transcripts out the door.

 

I was homeschooled, and I don't have an official transcript. What should I do?

If you have been homeschooled, you may not follow the typical transcript or testing scenarios. Instead, you might be able to substitute a portfolio of your best work, a logbook of your community activities, or college credits earned before applying for admissions. Check with the schools you're applying to in order to find out what they need.

 

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What loans can I get?

I have received my financial aid award letter, but I still owe money to the school. Are there other loans I can apply for?

We do offer a private loan, the Citizens Bank Student Loan™. In general, private loans allow you to borrow whatever else you need to cover your balance for the year. These loans are credit based, so most students will probably require a creditworthy cosigner, such as a parent or legal guardian.

 

Is there a loan that my parents can take out for my education?

If you are a dependent, undergraduate student, your parent(s) can apply for the Federal Direct PLUS Loan. This loan allows your parents to apply for whatever amount they need to cover your balance for the year.

 

Further, we now offer the Citizens Bank Student Loan™ for Parents, which enables parents to borrow a private student loan under their own signature for their student.

 

Can I borrow a loan to help pay for my books and my personal expenses while I am at school?

Yes. Our Citizens Bank Student Loan™, a private student loan, as well as the Federal Direct PLUS Loan, can be used to help pay for your indirect costs while you are enrolled in school. The maximum you can borrow each year is determined by your individual school.

 

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How often do I need to apply?

With our new Multi Year Borrowing Option, qualified borrowers have access to a simplified, streamlined process to request funds in subsequent years. Terms and Conditions apply.1 Applicants who qualify will be presented with the Multi Year Borrowing Option in the application. As the only lender to offer this option, we’re committed to staying with you all the way to graduation day.

 

Do I need to apply for financial aid each year?

Yes. You will need to complete the FAFSA form each year. Every year you will receive a new financial aid award letter from your school.

 

Do I have to fill out a new Federal Stafford Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN) each year?

Usually, you do not have to complete a new MPN each year. These forms are good for 10 years. You may have to fill out a new form if you change schools or change your lender.

 

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1Borrowers need to remain credit qualified in order to access funds in subsequent years. We reserve the right to discontinue this loan program at any time. If we do so, we will provide you with advance notice. If you enroll in this loan program, your Promissory Note will describe the complete terms, conditions and limitations of the program.