Federal Direct Loans at UCI

Managing Your Federal Direct Loans

A college education is an investment in your future and student loans are a tool to help you finance it. A loan is money you and/or your parent can borrow and pay back with interest

The U.S. Department of Education (ED) offers Direct Loans through the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program. UCI offers several loan options, and it is important to be well informed of the terms and conditions prior to borrowing.

We encourage you and parents to use the Financial Awareness Counseling through the Department of Education to become aware of the responsibilities on borrowing. These are the three types of loans that can help you and your parents pay for your education.

Responsible Borrowing

Are you thinking about taking out a federal student loan to help pay for college or career school? Check out this video to learn about your responsibilities as a borrower and what you should consider when taking out loans for college.

William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Programs

Direct Subsidized Loans
Undergraduate students who have financial need

Direct Unsubsidized Loans
Undergraduate, graduate, and professional degree students

Direct PLUS Loans
Graduate and professional degree students and parents of undergraduate students

Become an educated borrower.

Making wise financial decisions may affect your life for many years to come. It is very important that you understand the responsibilities that come with borrowing. To help you make that decision, we have put together a list of tools.

Student loans can also come from a variety of financial institutions. These are often called private or alternative student loans.

Direct Loans have many benefits that private/alternative loans don’t typically offer, such as:

  • Low fixed interest rates Flexible repayment plans, some based on income
  • Ability for cancellation, discharge, and forgiveness of loans under special circumstances
  • Deferments, forbearance and postponement due to economic hardship.
  • To learn more about the differences between Direct Loans and private loans, visit the U.S. Department of Education.

Basic Eligibility:

Download the Federal Student Loans Basics for Students to learn more.

Student Loan Repayment FAQs

Q: When do student loan payments resume?

A: For federal student loan borrowers in repayment, interest begins accruing on loan balances September 1, 2023 and payments will resume in October. Visit studentaid.gov to view your dashboard and the status of your federal student loans.

Q: How do I make my loan payments?

A: Your federal student loans were assigned to a servicer after they disbursed to your student account. Your loan servicer manages your loan repayment. Visit studentaid.gov to view your dashboard with includes your federal student loan borrowing history and loan servicer contact information for repayment information. You can also call the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-433-3243.

Q: I graduated during the COVID-19 emergency and haven’t received any information about loan repayment. What do I do?

A: Visit studentaid.gov to view your dashboard which includes your federal student loan borrowing history and loan servicer contact information with repayment information. Contact your servicer and verify that your contact information is accurate and up to date so you can ensure you are receiving your billing statements and important repayment updates.

Q: I cannot afford my current student loan payment. What are my options?

A: The new SAVE repayment plan offers the lowest monthly payments of any income-driven repayment (IDR) plan for qualified borrowers. We encourage all borrowers to explore the SAVE repayment plan and other IDR plans offered by the Department of Education. Contact your loan servicer with any questions about making payments.

Q: Can I defer my student loan payments beyond October?

A: You may qualify for a federal loan deferment and pause your payments depending on your circumstances. Interest, if applicable, will continue to accrue.

Q: What happened to the student loan forgiveness program?

A: Following a Supreme Court ruling, the Department of Education is prohibited from forgiving any federal loans under the President Biden’s one-time debt relief program.

Q: Are there other student loan forgiveness programs?

A: Yes.

Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PLSF): Federal loan borrowers can qualify for loan forgiveness if they work for a qualifying public service employer, including 501(c)(3) not-for-profits and government agencies. They must work for a qualifying employer full-time for 10 years and make 120 payments under a qualifying payment plan. For borrowers pursuing PSLF, Mohela is their loan servicer. Any existing loans will be transferred to Mohela when the borrower notifies their current servicer of their intentions to apply for PSLF.

Teacher Loan Forgiveness: Teacher Loan Forgiveness provides up to $17,500 in loan forgiveness to teachers who work for 5 full and consecutive academic years in a low-income school or education agency and teach high-need subjects.

Income Driven Repayment Discharge: Under an IDR plan, you get a reduced payment based on your discretionary income and a new loan term of 20 or 25 years. The government forgives the remaining amount if you still have a loan balance at the end of your term.

Q: My federal student loans are in default. What are my options?

A: For a limited time, the Department of Education is providing students the option to return their loans to good standing by applying for the Fresh Start program. When approved to participate, your defaulted loans will be transferred from the Default Resolution Group (or from a guaranty agency) to a loan servicer with an “in repayment” status. The record of default will be removed from your credit report, and you will be offered the opportunity to enroll in an affordable IDR plan, which can have monthly payments as low as $0.


Federal Student Aid Information Center (FSAIC)

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