Financial Aid  
Direct Lending Information - FAQs

 

ACCEPTING AWARDS IN BLUELINK

  • Log onto your BlueLink account
  • Click the Student Financial Services tab
  • On the top left, click on financial aid awards
  • Select that you want to view only the web page content that was delivered securely
  • Select the current financial aid year (award year 2013 – 2014)
  • Read all five tabs completely, in order. If you do this, you will see where you will be able to Accept these awards.
  • If you have already done your entrance counseling and Master Promissory Notes, once you Accept the awards, they will appear the following business day in your account.
  • If you have not completed your MPN or entrance counseling, you will see the links that will take you to the appropriate web site to do them.
 
 

COMPLETING STAFFORD LOAN MASTER PROMISSORY NOTE

What is a Master Promissory Note?
Private vs. Federal Direct Subsidized/Unsubsidized Loan?
  • Log onto studentloans.gov using your social security number and the PIN you used to sign your FAFSA.
  • Click on the 10th item- "Complete MPN", then click "Subsidized/Unsubsidized". These Federal Direct Loans are available to undergraduate or graduate/professional students. Students must be signed in with their own Federal Student Aid PIN.
  • This is a somewhat interactive process and you will probably need to have the names and addresses of family members or references. It's a 4 step process, and when you're finished, you will receive a "Congratulations" message. To be on the safe side, please go back and click the second Item- "Completed MPNs" to ensure the MPN posted correctly.

    To apply for a Stafford Direct Subsidized or Unsubsidized Loan, you only have to accept them in BlueLink.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

COMPLETING ENTRANCE COUNSELING

  • Log onto studentloans.gov using your social security number and the PIN you used to sign your FAFSA.
  • Click on the 12th item; "Complete Entrance Counseling". Then, click again on "Complete Entrance Counseling". You will now have a choice
  • For Stafford Direct Loans and Graduate-PLUS Loans for graduate students, you will select the second option: "I am completing entrance counseling in order to receive loans as a graduate or professional student". You will be presented with counseling which will fulfill counseling requirements for Direct Subsidized, Direct Unsubsidized, and Direct PLUS Loans
  • For Stafford Direct Loans for undergraduate students, you will select the first option: "I am completing entrance counseling in order to receive loans as an undergraduate student". You will be presented with counseling which will fulfill counseling requirements for your Direct Subsidized and Direct Unsubsidized Loans.
  • It will explain the counseling session; don't panic about the word "quiz", it's open book and the answers are on the same page. The counseling session is in four-parts and is finished when you receive the "Congratulations" message.

We always recommend clicking the last item in the left column "View Previously Completed Counseling" after you're finished to ensure the counseling correctly posted.
 
 
 

APPLYING FOR A GRADUATE PLUS LOAN

What is a Grad PLUS Loan?
What is the interest rate on my Grad PLUS loan?
In order to receive a PLUS Loan, you must apply for it. As a general rule, a qualified Graduate PLUS Loan borrower does not have an adverse credit history (such as being 90 days or more delinquent on any debt, or having a credit report that shows default, discharge, foreclosure, repossession, tax lien, wage garnishment or write-off of a Title IV debt during the five years preceding the date of the credit report). Unlike private loans, graduate student PLUS Loans do not use any kind of a debt-to-income ratio or credit score. If you are declined for a Graduate PLUS Loan on your own credit, you can usually use a co-signer.

To apply for the Graduate PLUS Loan you must complete the following:
    • Go to studentloans.gov and sign-in using your social security number and PIN. This is the same PIN you used on your FAFSA.
    • On the left column, click on "Request for PLUS Loan". This is the credit check portion of the process. You will then select "Graduate PLUS". There are about four steps in the process, and you'll notice that most of the information is already completed.

      Note: You will have the option to ask for a specific dollar amount, or to just request the "Maximum Authorized Amount". I usually suggest that the student request the maximum authorized amount. This way, if later in the school year you encounter additional educational expenses, your PLUS Loan can be increased without having to complete another application and subsequent credit check (it will be much faster).
    • Once you receive the "Congratulations Message", you're done with that step.
    • If you are disapproved, you will receive information on how to appeal the credit decision or have a co-signer endorse the PLUS Loan.
      1. Please remember that if you require an endorser, you will most probably need one for any increase later in the year.
      2. If you have an endorser, you will need to complete another Master Promissory Note after your co-signer endorses your loan.
    • On the left column, find and click "Complete MPN (Master Promissory Note)" the Graduate PLUS Loan application is not complete until both the application and Master Promissory Note are submitted.
      1. Yes, it is almost identical to the Stafford Master Promissory Note you have probably completed.
      2. No, the MPN you completed for your Stafford Loan will not suffice.
    • It will consist of four steps. After you view the promissory note, reduce it until you see the "Next Button" and click it. Once again, you'll receive a "Congratulations Message" which indicates that it is finished.
    If you have any questions, please call the Loan Coordinator at (405) 208-5212
- back -

 

APPLYING FOR A PARENT PLUS LOAN

What is a PLUS Loan?
In order to receive a Parent PLUS Loan, you must apply for it. As a general rule, a qualified Parent PLUS Loan borrower does not have an adverse credit history (such as being 90 days or more delinquent on any debt, or having a credit report that shows default, discharge, foreclosure, repossession, tax lien, wage garnishment or write-off of a Title IV debt during the five years preceding the date of the credit report). Unlike private loans, Parent PLUS Loans do not use any kind of a debt-to-income ratio or credit score. If you are declined for a Parent PLUS Loan on your own credit, you can usually use a co-signer.

To apply for the Parent PLUS Loan you must complete the following:
    • Go to studentloans.gov and sign-in using your social security number and PIN. This is the same PIN you used on your FAFSA, and is different than the student's PIN.
    • On the left column, click on "Request for PLUS Loan". This is the credit check portion of the process. You will then select "Parent PLUS". There are about four steps in the process, and you'll notice that most of the information is already completed.

      Note: You will have the option to ask for a specific dollar amount, or to just request the "Maximum Authorized Amount". We usually suggest that the parents request the maximum authorized amount. This way, if later in the school year you encounter additional educational expenses, the PLUS Loan can be increased without having to complete another application and subsequent credit check (it will be much faster).
    • Once you receive the "Congratulations Message" you're done with that step.
    • If you are disapproved, you will receive information on how to appeal the credit decision or have a co-signer endorse the PLUS Loan.
      1. Please remember that if you require an endorser, you will most probably need one for any increase later in the year.
      2. If you have an endorser, you will need to complete another Master Promissory Note after your co-signer endorses your loan.
    • On the left column, find and click "Complete MPN (Master Promissory Note)" the Parent PLUS Loan application is not complete until both the application and Master Promissory Note are submitted.
      1. Yes, it is almost identical to the Stafford Master Promissory Note you may have already completed.
      2. No, the MPN you completed for the student's Stafford Loan will not suffice.
    • It will consist of four steps. After you view the promissory note, reduce it until you see the "Next Button" and click it. Once again, you'll receive a "Congratulations Message" which indicates that it is finished.
    If you have any questions, please call the Loan coordinator at (405) 208-5212

 

How can I receive Direct Loans?

What is the interest rate on a Federal Direct Student Loan?

The application process for Direct Loans is the same as previous years. US Citizens or permanent residents can apply for Direct Loans by completing both the FAFSA (fafsa.ed.gov) and the Oklahoma City University Student Data Form. The Student Financial Services Office will process your application and send you notification when your financial aid is ready to review and accept. Once you have accepted your awards online and completed a new Direct Loan MPN your loans should be set to arrive in a timely manner. However you are encouraged to check your financial aid information through BlueLink (bluelink.okcu.edu) as well as read and respond to any and all email or letter notification that you receive from any member of the Student Financial Services department.

 

 

 

 

 

Where can I find information about who services my other federal loans?

You can find information about the servicing of your other federal loans at nslds.ed.gov. You will need your pin number from the FAFSA to access this information.
 
 
 

Will I still be able to borrow private loans through an outside lender?

What is a private loan?

Yes, if you meet the qualifications of the individual lender, you will still be able to borrow private loans through an outside lender. You will be responsible for complying with the rules of the lender you choose.

 

 

 

 

 

How can I consolidate my loans with the Direct Loan Program?

Students can visit here for information about loan consolidation. You are not able to consolidate while in school.
 
 

 

Do I have to sign a new Master Promissory Note?

Yes, all new and returning students will need to complete a new Master Promissory Note. You will need your FAFSA pin number.
 
 

 

What is Public Service Loan Forgiveness?

There is a new loan forgiveness program for public service employees. Under this program, the amount forgiven is the remaining outstanding balance of principal and accrued interest on an eligible Direct Loan for a borrower who is not in default and who makes 120 monthly payments on the loans after October 1, 2007. The borrower must be employed full-time in a public service job during the same period in which the qualifying payments are made and at the time that the cancellation is granted. Students can visit here for more information on the terms and conditions of the program and to understand what types of public service jobs qualify. 


 

What are my repayment options?



1. Standard Repayment - With the standard plan, you will pay a fixed amount each month until your loans are paid in full. Your monthly payments will be at least $50, and you will have up to 10 years to repay your loans.

2. Extended Repayment – To be eligible for the extended plan, you must have more than $30,000 in Direct Loan debt, but you have 25 years to repay it. Under the extended plan you have two options: fixed or graduated payments.
    1. Fixed Payments
      Fixed payments are the same amount each month you are in repayment, as with the standard plan, while graduated payments start low and increase every two years, as with the graduated plan below.
    2. Graduated Repayment
      With this plan your payments start out low and increase every two years. The length of your repayment period will be up to ten years. If you expect your income to increase steadily over time, this plan may be right for you. Your monthly payment will never be less than the amount of interest that accrues between payments. Although your monthly payment will gradually increase, no single payment under this plan will be more than three times greater than any other payment.

3. Income Contingent Repayment
This plan gives you the flexibility to meet your Direct Loan obligations without causing undue financial hardship. Each year, your monthly payments will be calculated on the basis of your adjusted gross income (AGI, plus your spouse’s income if you are married), family size, and the total amount of your Direct Loans. Under the ICR plan you will pay each month the lesser of:
  1. The amount you would pay if you repaid your loan in 12 years multiplied by an income percentage factor that varies with your annual income, or
  2. 20 percent of your monthly discretionary income.
If your payments are not large enough to cover the interest that has accumulated on your loans, the unpaid amount will be capitalized once each year. However, capitalization will not exceed 10 percent of the original amount you owed when you entered repayment. Interest will continue to accumulate but will no longer be capitalized (added to the loan principal). The maximum repayment period is 25 years. If you haven't fully repaid your loans after 25 years (time spent in deferment or forbearance does not count) under this plan, the unpaid portion will be discharged. You may, however, have to pay taxes on the amount that is discharged. As of July 1, 2009, graduate and professional student Direct PLUS Loan borrowers are eligible to use the ICR plan. Parent Direct PLUS Loan borrowers are not eligible for the ICR repayment plan.

To calculate your estimated loan payments, go to the ICR plan calculator

4. Income Based Repayment (IBR) – Effective July 1, 2009
Income Based Repayment is a new repayment plan for the major types of federal loans made to students. Under this plan the required monthly payment will be based on your income during any period when you have a partial financial hardship. Your monthly payment may be adjusted annually. The maximum repayment period under this plan may exceed 10 years. If you meet certain requirements over a specified period of time, you may qualify for cancellation of any outstanding balance of your loans. For more important information about IBR go to IBR Plan Information