Making early interest payments reduces the amount you'll owe later.
Federal student loans are borrowed funds that you must repay with interest. A federal student loan allows students and their parents to borrow money to help pay for college through loan programs supported by the federal government. They have low interest rates and offer flexible repayment terms, benefits, and options.
How do I get a loan?
Types of financial aid loans
Loans are limited and must be repaid, so take only what you need for your education. Learn how to responsibly borrow for school in Panther Tracks: Managing Your Financial Aid.
The most utilized loan program is the William D. Ford Federal Direct Stafford Loan. The Direct Loan is made through the U.S. Department of Education. Direct Loans are either subsidized or unsubsidized - subsidized loans have slightly better terms to help out students with financial need. Read more at the Department of Education's Direct Loans page.
Steps for Direct Loan borrowers:
If you are a first-time borrower, you must complete these steps before receiving your Direct Loan:
- Complete entrance counseling. Sign in at StudentLoans.gov and click Complete Entrance Counseling.
- Under Counseling Type, choose to complete entrance counseling as an undergraduate student.
- Answer all questions and submit.
- Sign a master promissory note. Sign in at StudentLoans.gov and click Complete Master Promissory Note. Read and complete all sections.
When you leave PCC or drop below half-time, you will complete these steps:
- See what you owe. Visit the National Student Loan Data System website to see your Direct Loan amounts and servicers.
- Estimate your loan payments. Go to the Direct Loan Calculator and Interest Rates page and estimate your current loan payments under a standard repayment plan.
- Complete exit counseling. In exit counseling, you will learn about all your options as a student loan borrower, such as loan refinancing, loan consolidation, deferment, and forbearance. You are required to complete exit counseling when you leave PCC or drop below half-time (6 credits per term). To complete exit counseling, sign in to StudentLoans.gov
Parents of dependent students may borrow money in their name to help meet the student's educational expenses. To be eligible for a Parents' Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS loan), you must demonstrate that you have unmet financial need and that you do not have an adverse credit history. If you are eligible, your son/daughter will receive an email providing further instruction.
The maximum PLUS loan amount you can borrow is the cost of attendance minus any other financial assistance received, like scholarships or financial aid. For more on PLUS loan eligibility and borrowing limits, visit the Department of Education's PLUS Loan page.
The Perkins Loan is a fixed 5% deferred-interest loan based on financial need as determined by federal and institutional guidelines. PCC is your lending institution for this loan. No interest accrues on this loan while you are enrolled at least half-time. To learn about the Perkins Loan, visit the Department of Education's Federal Perkins Loan page. If you have questions about the Perkins Loan, contact Doreen Hanna.
Steps for Perkins Loan borrowers:
Taking out a loan
You must complete these steps before receiving your Perkins Loan:
- Complete documents. When you accept a Perkins Loan, you must complete the following documents in blue or black ink:
- a master promissory note
- loan reference information
- a statement of rights and responsibilities
Student Loan Office, CC 202C
Portland Community College
PO Box 19000
Portland, OR 97280-0990
- Complete entrance counseling. Sign in at Mapping your Future and click Complete Online Counseling in the sidebar, then click Perkins Entrance. Answer all questions and submit.
The Nursing Loan is funded through the Department of Health and Human Services. It is a fixed 5% deferred-interest loan based on financial need as determined by federal and institutional guidelines. PCC is your lending institution for this loan. No interest accrues on this loan while you are enrolled at least half-time in the Nursing Program and is only available to those students enrolled in the Nursing Program. If you have questions about the Nursing Loan, contact Doreen Hanna.
Steps for Nursing Loan borrowers:
Taking out a loan
You must complete these steps before receiving your Nursing Loan: