Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon Portland Community College

Financial aid loans

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. To qualify for student loans, students must be eligible to complete a FAFSA. ORSAA students are not eligible for loans.

How to get a loan

To get a loan, follow the steps to receiving financial aid, beginning with Step 1: Apply for financial aid. If you are eligible for a loan, it will be listed when you review your award.

Want to save some money?

Making early interest payments reduces the amount you’ll owe later. Consider making (small) monthly interest payments on your loans while you’re in school. You’ll save money a lot of money in the long run.

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 Student Loans.

Direct Loan

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 loans page.

Steps for Direct Loan borrowers:

Starting school

If you are a first-time borrower, you must complete these steps before receiving your Direct Loan:

  1. Complete entrance counseling. Sign in to the Federal Student Aid site and click Complete Entrance Counseling.
    • Under Counseling Type, choose to complete entrance counseling as an undergraduate student.
    • Answer all questions and submit.
  2. Sign a master promissory note. Sign in to the Federal Student Aid site and click Complete Master Promissory Note. Read and complete all sections.
Leaving school

When you leave PCC or drop below half-time, you will complete these steps:

  1. See what you owe. Visit the National Student Loan Data System website to see your Direct Loan amounts and servicers.
  2. 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.
  3. 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 the Federal Student Aid site.
PLUS Loan

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.

Nursing Loan

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 Eva Qualindo Quiroz.

Steps for Nursing Loan borrowers:

Taking out a loan
  1. Check your PCC email for a message from webmaster@ecsi.net asking you to complete your electronic promissory note, loan counseling and loan disclosures online at the beginning of August. Haven’t received your email? Please contact ECSI at 888-549-3274 or cservice@ecsi.net
  2. Complete the Nursing Inquiry requirement posted on your MyPCC Financial Aid dashboard.
Repaying a loan
  1. After you graduate or leave school, you will have a 9 months grace period before entering the Nursing Loan Repayment period with a maximum of 10 years to pay back the loan.
  2. Contact ECSI, our loan servicer, with questions about your monthly payment, loan consolidations, deferments, and more at 888-549-3274 or visit the ECSI website.

About the NSLDS

PCC sends information about your loans to the National Student Loan Data System, or “NSLDS”. This system stores records about your student debt. These records can be accessed by authorized users, such as other schools, lenders, or guarantors. Check this page for more info about how and when to log in to NSLDS: When do I repay?