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A loan is a financial aid award that must be repaid with interest. Be sure to plan your finances carefully and borrow only what you can afford to repay. Work with your financial aid specialist in order to develop a plan to graduate from Southern Virginia with as little student loan debt as possible.

As with all federal aid, students must maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress to qualify for a federal grant or loan.

{expander}Direct Stafford Loans

Fixed-rate federal student loans offered by the U.S. Department of Education to students who are enrolled at least half time and pursing a degree.

Subsidized Loans:

Need-based loans for which the federal government pays the accrued interest while the student is enrolled at least half time (6 credits) and is pursing a degree.

Unsubsidized Loans:

Loans for which the student must pay the interest accrued while enrolled in school. Since these are not need-based loans, any student who completes a FAFSA for the current academic year may apply for an unsubsidized loan. Students have the option to pay the interest while they are in school or defer payment until after graduation.


The maximum amount students can borrow depends on their status and the number of credits they have earned.

Credits Subsidized Dependent* Unsubsidized Independent* Unsubsidized
0-25 $3500 $2000 $6000
26-55 $4500 $2000 $6000
56-87 $5500 $2000 $7000
88+ $5500 $2000 $7000

*Independent students are defined as meeting at least one of the following requirements:

  • At least 24-years old
  • Married
  • Have a dependent for which you provide more than fifty percent of their support
  • Have a parent that was denied application for a parent PLUS loan
  • 5.045 percent for Subsidized and Unsubsidized Direct Stafford Loans with a first disbursement on or after July 1, 2018
  • Enrolled in a minimum of 6 credits
  • Demonstrate financial need (subsidized loans only)
  1. Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
  2. Receive the Financial Aid Award Letter detailing eligibility to apply for a Direct Subsidized or Unsubsidized Loan
  3. Complete online loan entrance counseling and Master Promissory note (MPN)* (Online)

*Federal Student Aid PIN used on the FAFSA is required to log in and sign the MPN


Priority is given to students who have their loans processed by these dates:

  • July 1 for full-year and Fall Semester
  • December 1 for Spring Semester
  • May 1 for Summer Semester

The Direct Loan Entrance Counseling is valid for the duration of the student’s enrollment at Southern Virginia.

Graduating/Leaving Southern Virginia:

Complete Loan Exit Counseling (Online)

{expander}Direct Parent PLUS Loan

Fixed-interest federal loan disbursed by the U.S. Department of Education for parents of dependent students.


Up to the total cost of attendance at Southern Virginia University minus any other aid


7.595 percent fixed

  • Borrower must be the biological or adoptive parent of the student
  • Borrower and student must be U.S. Citizens or eligible noncitizens
  • Borrower must pass credit check for approval
  • Dependent student must be enrolled in at least 6 credits and pursuing a degree

Note: The PLUS Loan is not a need-based loan, so any parent with a dependent student may apply.


To be completed by the parent:

*If the borrower selects “maximum amount,” Student Financial Services will contact the borrower to verify the loan amount. Once confirmation is received the loan will be processed.


Priority is given to students who have their loans processed by these dates:

  • July 1 for full-year and Fall Semester
  • December 1 for Spring Semester
  • May 1 for Summer Semester

Parents must re-apply each academic year

{expander}Private Loans

Available through lenders whose loans are unassociated with any federal student loan program. Students are strongly encouraged to exhaust all other alternatives before applying for an private loan.

  • Minimum loan amounts range from $500 to $1,000 depending on the lender
  • Maximum loan amounts cannot exceed the cost of attendance after subtracting all other financial aid.
  • Varies by lender (several options are available for fixed and variable rates)
  • Determined by credit score
  • Each lender has a different cap on their interest rate
  • Interest usually accrues while the student is in school
  • Enrolled in school
  • Borrower must be a U.S. Citizen, eligible non-citizen, or international student with a U.S. Citizen Cosigner
  • Both eligible non-citizens and international students must have a current address in the United States

Before applying for a private loan be sure to:

  • File the FAFSA for possible federal aid
  • Consider applying for Stafford Subsidized and Unsubsidized loans and Parent PLUS loans
  • Apply for the VTAG if a Virginia resident
  • Apply for outside scholarships
  • Research and compare benefits of each loan

Application Process:

  1. Determine loan amount (the maximum amount you can borrow is the cost of attendance after subtracting all other financial aid)
  2. Go to FASTChoice to compare lenders and loan benefits and terms
  3. Select a lender and complete the lender’s online application and promissory note
  4. Provide all necessary information to lender
    • All lenders require a self-certification form, which they provide (to complete the form you will need the average cost of attendance, which is $22,900)
    • May include proof of identity or income

Note: Southern Virginia will process any private loan application, including loans from lenders not included on FASTChoice. If you choose not to borrow from one of these lenders, please provide Student Financial Services with the name and phone number of the lender, the amount you requested, and whether the loan is for a particular semester.


Due to recent federal regulations regarding application processing, students will need to respond to all of their requests immediately and allow at least four weeks for the processing to occur.


Students must re-apply each academic year.


As each lender has various options for repayment, ensure that your information is up-to-date by frequently viewing their websites.

Students should regularly log in to The National Student Loan Data System to view the current balance of their federal loans and see their servicer. Listed below is general information regarding repayment of these student loans.

Students that do not have federal loans should contact their private lender.

Grace Period

After leaving, graduating, or registering below half-time status at Southern Virginia University, students are allowed one grace periodof six months. During this time the student is not required to make payments on student loans but may do so. It is wise to at least pay the interest on the loans whenever possible.

Any time absent from the regular school year (mission, withdrawing from a semester, etc.) reduces time from the allotted grace period. Missionaries will have used their entire grace period while on their mission. Summers do not use your grace period if you are enrolled to return to school.

Repayment Process

{expander}1. Exit Counseling

Students who have borrowed under the Federal Direct Stafford Loan Program must complete Loan Exit Counseling on line prior to leaving Southern Virginia University. They are also required to meet with a representative of Financial Aid to have questions answered, their loans reviewed, and to receive counsel on loan repayment. Group sessions may be provided in the Fall and Spring for students to attend if they don't need a private appointment.

To set up an exit counseling appointment, contact Financial Services.

{expander}2. Delaying Repayment

If a student is unable to make the payments they owe they may be eligible to have their monthly payments delayed by contacting their servicer. Note that while payments can be postponed, the loan will continue to gain interest and still must be paid in full by the end of the payment term.


A deferment allows a student to temporarily delay repayment of student loans. Students can be eligible for deferment for a variety of reasons, including: unemployment, enrollment in school, or economic hardship.


Forbearance is an option available to those who do not qualify for a deferment. If unable to make the monthly loan payments, a student may be eligible for a temporary suspension or reduction of payments. There is no additional grace period following forbearance.

{expander}3. Choosing a Payment Plan

Pick a plan that works best for you. Any student who does not pick a payment option will automatically be placed in the Standard Repayment Plan.

Standard Plan

Standard Repayment allows a student to make equal monthly payments during the entire term of the loan (typically 10 years). This results in the least amount of interest paid, but the highest monthly payments.

Graduated Plan

Graduated Repayment lowers the monthly payment amount as the student seeks employment after graduation. Payments increase every two years as the student is more independent and financially stable. The repayment term is 10 years.

Extended Plan

Extended Repayment is available for students with loan debt greater than $30,000. The repayment term for these loans may be extended up to 25 years.

Income-Based Plan

Income-Based Repayment (IBR) is a new payment option for federal student loans. With this option, monthly payments are capped based on the student’s income and family size. IBR will also forgive remaining debt after 25 years of making payments.

View More Information Regarding IBR

Public Service Loan Forgiveness

Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) also is a new program for federal student loan borrowers. Students seeking public service jobs will have their remaining debt forgiven after 10 years of eligible employment and making loan payments.

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