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Information for Loan Borrowers

Student loans for college are an investment in your future.   You must repay your (loan) investment though, so be sure you understand your options and responsibilities. Make sure you understand who is making the loan and the terms and conditions of the loan.

 

Loan Borrowing at CSULB

Borrowing a Student Loan
As part of your financial aid offer, you may have been offered a loan (Direct Loan or DREAM Loan). If you accept the loan offer, you will be borrowing money and agreeing to repay it under the terms and conditions of the loan.

Although a student loan is a convenient source of funding for your education, it is something that you repay with interest. Be sure to budget and borrow carefully.  Use a Loan Calculator to estimate how much you can afford to borrow for your degree & career objectives and the potential monthly loan payment you can expect in repayment.

Remember:  You are obligated to repay your loan regardless of whether you complete your education, are satisfied with your education, or are able to find a job.

Do I Have To Accept A Loan?
No. Do not accept a loan if you can meet your educational expenses without a loan. Even after you accept a loan, you may reconsider your decision. Visit our office to discuss your situation with a member of our Financial Aid Team.

What If I Want to Increase the Amount I Accepted, or Reinstate a Loan I Declined?
Contact our office to complete an Award Adjustment Request Form to increase or reinstate your loan.

What If I want to Cancel an Accepted Loan?
Contact our office to complete an Award Adjustment Request Form to cancel your accepted loan. Please note that if you are canceling a loan that has already been paid you may have to repay CSULB.

Required Steps for Your DREAM Loans at CSULB

The California Dream Loan Program provides eligible AB540 Undergraduate students with the option to borrow a loan to help cover the cost of attending CSULB.  The Dream Loan is borrowed money that you must repay with interest.

  • Accept the Loan via MyCSULB
  • Complete Entrance Counseling with ECSI (information is provided after accepting the loan)
  • Complete a DREAM Loan Promissory Note each year you borrow the DREAM Loan

ECSI is the contracted servicer of this loan program

Accept Your Loan
If you are eligible for the DREAM Loan you will be notified by email after the loan has been added to your Award Summary (on MyCSULB).  Accept your loan offer on MyCSULB by the deadline listed in your email notification. 

You may choose to decline the loan offer, or accept less than what is offered to you, but funds are limited and you may not be able to increase your loan at a later time.

Complete Entrance Counseling & Promissory Note
Once you have accepted your loan, the Entrance Counseling and Promissory Note requirement will be posted on your To Do List on MyCSULB.  You will receive an email from ECSI with instructions for completing these items. Be sure to complete all items prior to the deadline listed in your To Do List.

When all steps have been completed, ECSI will notify our office (within 3 business days), after which we will remove the items from your To Do List, and will be able to release the DREAM Loan funds to your student account. Any amount received in excess of outstanding CSULB charges will be refunded to you.

When does repayment begin?
You begin repaying your loan at the end of a 6-month grace period.  The grace period begins once you graduate, leave school, or enroll in less than half-time.  During the grace period, interest does not accrue, and no payments are required.

  • No payments required during the 6-month grace period
  • Repayment Period is 10 years
  • Minimum monthly payment is $50
  • You can pay off your loan earlier without penalty

Exit Counseling For Dream Loan Borrowers

Exit counseling provides important information to prepare you to repay your Dream loan(s).

If you have received a Dream Loan, you must complete exit counseling each time you:

  • Drop below half-time enrollment
  • Graduate
  • Leave school

When it is time for you to complete your Exit Counseling, you will be notified by CSULB and ECSI with instructions on how to complete the requirement.

Required Steps for Your Direct Loans at CSULB

If you are a first-time Direct Loan borrower at CSU Long Beach, you will need to complete two requirements online before your loan funds can be released:

These steps only need to be completed the FIRST TIME you borrow a Direct Loan at CSULB.

Loan Entrance Counseling
The Federal Government requires you to complete entrance counseling before you can receive your first Federal Direct Loan (at CSULB) to ensure that you understand the responsibilities and obligations you are assuming as a loan borrower.

The Entrance Counseling process takes approximately 30 minutes, and must be completed in one single session.

  • Undergraduate Students:  Your Entrance Counseling will fulfill counseling requirements for both Direct Subsidized and Direct Unsubsidized Loans.
  • Graduate Students:  Your Entrance counseling will fulfill counseling requirements for Direct Unsubsidized Loans and Direct PLUS Loans.

Loan Agreement for A Subsidized/Unsubsidized Loan (MPN)
The MPN is a legal document in which you promise to repay your federal student loan(s) and any accrued interest and fees to your lender or loan holder. There is one MPN for Direct Subsidized/Unsubsidized Loans; all Direct Subsidized/Unsubsidized Loans you receive at CSULB will use a single MPN.

The MPN process takes approximately 30 minutes, and must be completed in one single session.

To complete your Loan Counseling Session, as well as the MPN, you will need the following:

  • Your Verified FSA ID
  • Personal Information
  • School Name (CSU Long Beach)
  • Reference Information for two people with different U.S. addresses (Required for the MPN only)
  • Entrance Counseling
  • Loan Agreement (MPN)

Required Steps for Your Direct PLUS Loan at CSULB

If you are a Direct PLUS Loan borrower (Graduate Student, or Parent of a Dependent Student) at CSU Long Beach, you will need to complete the following steps in order for your funds to be released.

  • CSULB PLUS Loan Request Form
  • Complete a Direct PLUS Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN)

CSULB PLUS Loan Request Form
The CSULB PLUS Loan Request Form kicks off the process for borrowing a PLUS Loan at CSULB.  Once we have received your Request Form, we will initiate the credit-check with the U.S. Department of Education.  If credit-approved, the loan will be added to your Award Summary on MyCSULB.

Direct PLUS Loan MPN
The MPN is a legal document in which you promise to repay your federal student loan(s) and any accrued interest and fees to your lender or loan holder. The MPN for the PLUS Loan is separate from the  MPN for Direct Subsidized/Unsubsidized Loans.

The PLUS MPN process takes approximately 30 minutes, and must be completed in one single session.

To complete your MPN, you will need the following:

  • Your Verified FSA ID
  • Personal Information
  • Employer’s Information (if applicable)
  • School Name (CSU Long Beach)
  • Reference Information for two people with different U.S. addresses
  • Student Information (For Parent PLUS Borrowers)

PLUS Credit Counseling

Although not part of the initial PLUS Loan requirements, we strongly encourage students & parents applying for a PLUS Loan to complete the PLUS Credit Counseling.

PLUS Credit Counseling helps borrowers understand the obligations associated with borrowing a PLUS loan and assist them in making careful decisions about taking on student loan debt.

PLUS Credit Counseling can be completed voluntarily at any time. If PLUS Credit Counseling is completed voluntarily and you are determined to have an adverse credit history by the U.S. Department of Education within 30 days of PLUS Credit Counseling completion, your PLUS Credit Counseling requirement will be considered to be fulfilled.

*PLUS Credit Counseling is required if the U.S. Department of Education has informed you that you have an adverse credit history and you have:

  • Obtained an endorser or
  • Documented extenuating circumstances to the satisfaction of the U.S. Department of Education

The PLUS Credit Counseling session takes approximately 30 minutes, and must be completed in one single session.

To complete your Credit Counseling Session, you will need the following:

  • Your Verified FSA ID
  • Details on your income, financial aid, and living expenses

Direct Loan Exit Counseling

Exit counseling provides important information to prepare you to repay your federal student loan(s).

If you have received a subsidized, unsubsidized or PLUS loan under the Direct Loan Program, you must complete exit counseling each time you:

  • Drop below half-time enrollment
  • Graduate
  • Leave school

At the end of the session, you'll need to provide the name, address, e-mail address, and telephone number for your closest living relative, two references who live in the U.S., and current or expected employer (if known).

The Exit Counseling session takes approximately 30 minutes, and must be completed in one single session.

To complete your Loan Counseling Session, you will need the following:

  • Your Verified FSA ID
  • Personal Information
  • School Name (CSU Long Beach)
  • Reference Information for two people with different U.S. addresses
  • Direct Loan Exit Counseling

Student Loan Repayment (DIRECT Loans)

There is a lot to consider when it comes to repaying federal student loans.  Understanding the details of repayment can go a long way in your financial planning.  Find out when your repayment begins, how to make a payment, repayment plan options and what to do if you have trouble making payments and much more.   You can access your federal student loan information using the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS). 

Repayment Estimator
You can use the Repayment Estimator to get an early look at which plans you may be eligible for and see estimates for how much you would pay monthly and overall.                        

Repayment Plans
To make your payments more affordable, repayment plans can give you more time to repay your loans or can be based on your income.

Although you may select or be assigned a repayment plan when you first begin repaying your student loan, you can change repayment plans at any time—for free. 

To compare plans you may be eligible for and view estimates for how much you would pay monthly or over the life of the loan, please visit the Student Loans website.

Contact your loan servicer if you would like to discuss repayment plan options or change your repayment plan. You can get information about all of the federal student loans you have received and find the loan servicer­ for your loans by logging in to your account with NSLDS.

Avoid Default

If you do not make a payment on time or you miss a payment, your loan is considered delinquent.  You need to bring your account current to take your loans out of delinquency.  If not, loan servicers report all delinquencies of at least 90 days to the three major credit bureaus.

To default means you failed to make monthly payments for 270 days.  Some consequences of defaulting include, losing eligibility for additional student aid, negative credit, federal and state tax refunds withheld, loan debt increase due to additional fees (court, collection, late fees, etc.), wage garnishment, etc.

Take the necessary steps to avoid defaulting on your student loans by:

  • Understanding your loan agreement - Master Promissory Note
  • Managing your borrowing - Don't borrow more than you need or expect to be able to repay
  • Tracking your loans online - Use the National Student Loan Data System for information on all your federal student loans
  • Keeping good records - Organize all your loan documents
  • Notifying your loan servicer - Always maintain contact with your loan servicer of any income / school changes

Additional information on avoiding default is available on the Federal Student Aid website.

Loan Forgiveness, Cancellation and Discharge Programs

Loan Forgiveness
Loan forgiveness is the cancellation of all or some portion of your remaining federal student loan balance. If your loan is forgiven, you are no longer responsible for repaying that remaining portion of the loan. Student borrowers are encouraged to research all loan forgiveness and loan assumption programs prior to going into repayment. 

Resources may be federal, state, or private.  Some non-profit employer programs and service organizations may, like the Peace Corps, Teach America, etc. may also assist with loan repayment.  The following list provides examples of some of the larger loan forgiveness programs.

Loan Cancellation and Discharge
Loan Cancellation
is the release of a borrower from the obligation to repay all or a designated portion of principal and interest on a student loan.  Types of cancelation include:

Loan Discharge is the release of a borrower from the obligation to repay the loan borrowed.  Types of in Discharge include:

Additional information on federal student loan forgiveness, cancellation or discharge, is available on the Federal Student Aid website.

Student Loan Borrower Rights and Responsibilities

There are a number of responsibilities – and rights – that go along with being a student loan borrower.

Student Loan Borrower Responsibilities:
When you accept a student loan, you agree to:

  • Repay your loan, including accrued interest and fees, whether or not you complete your education, complete the program within the regular time frame, obtain employment or are satisfied with your education;
  • Complete Exit Counseling before you leave school or drop below half-time enrollment;
  • Notify the current holder of your loan within 10 days if you change your name, address or phone number, drop below half-time status, withdraw from school or transfer or change your graduation date;
  • Direct all correspondence to the current holder or servicer of your loan;
  • Make monthly payments on your loan after leaving school, unless you are granted a deferment or forbearance; and
  • Notify the current holder of your loan of anything that might affect your eligibility for an existing deferment.

Student Loan Borrower Rights
As a student borrower, you have the right to:

  • Receive a copy of your promissory note either before or at the time the loan is made;
  • Receive a disclosure statement before repayment on your loan begins, including information about interest rates, fees, loan balance and the size and number of payments;
  • A grace period after you leave school or drop below half-time enrollment and before your loan payments begins (if applicable);
  • Prepay all or part of your loans without a prepayment penalty;
  • Consolidate your loans, if applicable;
  • Apply for loan forgiveness, if eligible;
  • Receive written notice if your loan is sold to a new holder;
  • Apply for deferment of your loan payments for certain specified periods, as long as you're eligible;
  • Request forbearance from the holder of your loan if you are unable to make payments and do not qualify for deferment (you must qualify according to the loan holder's requirements);
  • Loan cancellation under certain circumstances; and
  • Receive proof when your loan is paid in full.

Private Loans

Private loans are nonfederal education loans, made by a lender such as a bank or a credit union. These loans are typically borrowed by students who are not eligible or do not qualify for federal loans or who have exhausted their federal loan, or Dream Loan, eligibility.

Approval of the loan is typically based on your credit rating and debt-to-income ratio and may require a co-signer.   Private loans often carry higher interest rates and fees than federal loans and may have less attractive repayment terms. The interest rates are variable, meaning they can change on a monthly basis, and are determined by the information in your credit report.

If you have exhausted all sources of federal funding and decide to borrow a private loan, compare lenders to ensure you are making the best choice for you.

Truth in Lending Requirements:
The Truth in Lending Act requires lenders who provide private loans to comply with the following requirements:

  • Lenders must provide three separate loan disclosures to borrowers--one at the point of application, one when the loan is approved, and one before the loan is disbursed.
  • A waiting period of three business days is required between the time the borrower receives the final loan disclosure and the time that the loan is disbursed.
  • Students must also sign a self-certification form and submit it to the lender before the loan can be disbursed.


Your lender should provide you with all of the information you need to know about these requirements, but if you have questions, feel free to contact our office.

Private Education Loan Self-Certification:

  1. Your lender should provide you with a copy of the required Private Education Loan Self-Certification Form (pdf). If you do not receive one from your lender, you can request one from our office.
  2. To complete your Private Education Loan Self-Certification Form (pdf) you will need to know your cost of attendance and estimated financial assistance. If you receive financial aid, this information can be found on your Financial Aid Summary in MyCSULB.

CSU Student Lending Code of Conduct

The Higher Education Opportunity Act of August 14, 2008 includes provisions that campuses participating in Title IV programs publish a code of conduct which describes prohibited practices related to loan programs.

To avoid any conflict of interest in the area of student lending, all staff members of the CSULB Financial Aid Office adhere to the guidelines outlined in the CSU Code of Conduct. 

The CSU Code of Conduct prohibits the following:

  • Revenue sharing arrangements with any lender.
  • The solicitation or acceptance of gifts from a lender, guarantor or servicer by anyone with responsibilities with respect to loans at the institution.
  • Receipt of any fees, payments or other financial benefits (including a stock purchase option) by anyone with responsibilities with respect to loans from a lender as compensation for any type of consulting arrangement or contract to provide services to a lender or on behalf of a lender relating to education loans.
  • The assignment of a first-time borrower’s loan to a particular lender or refusing to certify or otherwise delay certification of any loan regardless of the lender or guaranty agency the borrower selects.
  • The acceptance of any funds to be used for private education loans in exchange for the institution providing concessions to the private lender. 
  • Requesting or accepting assistance with call center staffing or financial aid office staffing from any lender.
  • Any employee with responsibilities with respect to financial assistance at the institution who serves on an advisory board or commission of a lender or guarantor may not accept anything of value from the lender or guarantor except reimbursement for the reasonable expenses of serving on the board or commission.

For detailed information please refer to the Student Lending Code of Conduct (pdf) that applies to all CSU campuses.