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Loan Information

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.

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 and 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. Watch this short video on loan borrowing then review the information below.

 

Loan Borrowing at CSULB

Do I have to accept a loan?
No. There is no need to accept a loan if you can meet your educational expenses without a loan. Even after you accept a loan, you may reconsider your decision. You can always talk over your financing options by calling our office at (562) 985-8403 or joining the queue to talk to a counselor.

What if I want to increase the amount I accepted, or reinstate a loan I declined?
Complete an Award Adjustment Request Form to increase or reinstate your loan.

What if I want to cancel an accepted loan?
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 to your student account, you may have to repay CSULB.

Direct Loans 

Federal Direct Loans are loans offered by the Department of Education to help you pay for your education. They have a fixed interest rate and a variety of repayment options. 

Applying for the loan

You will have been offered Direct Loans in your financial aid package, if you are eligible for the funding. The Direct Loan program offers two types of loans: Subsidized and Unsubsidized. Depending on your eligibility, as determined by your FAFSA, you might be offered either or both types of loans. Watch this short video on the difference between Subsidized and Unsubsidized loans.

There are limits on how much you can borrow based on your grade level; enrollment; your dependency status; and your overall lifetime borrowing. You can review the maximum eligibility amounts on the Student Aid website and then check your own lifetime and annual borrowing on the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS).

Accept your loan

Determine how much of your offered loans you would like to accept, and then accept that amount on MyCSULB.

Complete Entrance Counseling & Promissory Note 

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: Direct Loan Entrance Counseling and Master Promissory Note for a Subsidized/Unsubsidized Loan (MPN). Entrance Counseling will explain your rights and responsibilities as a borrower and the MPN is an agreement by which you agree to repay the loan, including any interest and fees, to your lender. You only need to complete these requirements the first time you borrow a Direct Loan at CSULB.

When does repayment begin?

You will enter repayment any time you drop below half-time, whether that is due to graduation, withdrawal, or enrolling in less than half-time. You will have a 6-month grace period at the start of repayment; there are no payments required during the grace period and interest does not accrue on your loans. There are a variety of repayment options available for Direct Loans. You can pay off your loan earlier without any penalty. You can use the Department of Education's Repayment Estimator to see your repayment options.

Exit Counseling For Direct Loan Borrowers

Exit counseling provides important information to prepare you to repay your Direct loan(s). If you have borrowed a Direct Loan, you must complete exit counseling each time you drop below half-time enrollment; graduate; or leave school.

DREAM Loans

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. 

Applying for the loan

If you are interested in borrowing a DREAM Loan, make an appointment with a financial aid counselor in Beach Central to talk over next steps.

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, the loan servicer, with instructions for completing these items. Be sure to complete all items prior to the deadline listed in your To Do List. You will need to complete the Promissory Note each year that you borrow a DREAM loan. 

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 will enter repayment any time you drop below half-time, whether that is due to graduation, withdrawal, or enrolling in less than half-time. You will have a 6-month grace period at the start of repayment; there are no payments required during the grace period and interest does not accrue on your loans. After the grace period, you will begin making payments to ECSI, the Dream Loan servicer.

The repayment period is a standard 10 years with a minimum monthly payment of $50. You can pay off your loan earlier without any 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; or leave school.

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

Graduate PLUS Loans 

Graduate PLUS Loans are loans offered by the Department of Education to help you pay for your education. Grad PLUS loans have a fixed interest rate and a variety of repayment options; you must not have an adverse credit history to borrow a Grad PLUS loan. 

Applying for the loan

Grad PLUS Loans are an option for graduate or doctoral students who have borrowed their maximum annual Student Loan amount. PLUS loans can be borrowed up to the cost of attendance, minus any other aid received. Watch this short video on the difference between Subsidized and Unsubsidized loans and the Grad PLUS Loan.

If you are interested in borrowing a Grad PLUS loan, please apply by going to Student Loans.gov; step-by-step instructions are provided in the Graduate PLUS Instruction (PDF).

You will apply for the amount of loan that you would like to borrow on the Graduate PLUS Loan Request form. If you are approved for the loan, through a credit check, the amount you are eligible for will be posted to your financial aid package.

Complete Entrance Counseling & Promissory Note 

If you are a first-time PLUS Loan borrower at CSU Long Beach, you will need to complete Direct PLUS Loan Entrance Counseling and Master Promissory Note (MPN). Entrance Counseling will explain your rights and responsibilities as a borrower and the MPN is an agreement by which you agree to repay the loan, including any interest and fees, to your lender. You only need to complete these requirements the first time you borrow a PLUS Loan at CSULB.

When does repayment begin?

You will enter repayment any time you drop below half-time, whether that is due to graduation, withdrawal, or enrolling in less than half-time. You will have a 6-month grace period at the start of repayment; there are no payments required during the grace period and interest does not accrue on your loans. There are a variety of repayment options available for PLUS Loans. You can pay off your loan earlier without any penalty.

What if my PLUS Loan application is denied?

If you do not pass the credit check for your PLUS loan, you have the following options:

  • You may appeal the credit decision
  • You may apply with a credit-worthy endorser.
    • This person will be responsible to repay the loan in the event you are unable to make payments
You will receive the results of your credit check by the Federal Loan Servicing Center. If you decide to appeal the credit check or to apply with a credit-worthy endorser, follow the instructions provided by the Loan Servicing Center (which includes completing the PLUS Credit Counseling module on www.studentloans.gov). Be sure to indicate on the Loan Request form what you would like to do, in the event your loan is credit-denied.

Parent PLUS Loans 

Parent PLUS Loans are loans offered by the Department of Education to help you pay for your student's education. Parent PLUS loans have a fixed interest rate and a variety of repayment options; you must not have an adverse credit history to borrow a Parent PLUS loan. 

Applying for the loan

Parent PLUS Loans are an option for parents of dependent students to help cover educational expenses. PLUS loans can be borrowed up to the cost of attendance, minus any other aid received. Watch this short video on the Parent PLUS loan.

If you are interested in borrowing a Parent PLUS loan, please apply by going to Student Loans.gov; step-by-step instructions are provided in the Parent PLUS Instruction (PDF).

You will apply for the amount of loan that you would like to borrow on the Parent PLUS Loan Request form. If you are approved for the loan, through a credit check, the amount you are eligible for will be posted to your student's financial aid package. If you are not approved for a PLUS loan, you still have options. You can review information about PLUS loan denial in this short video.

Complete Entrance Counseling & Promissory Note 

If you are a first-time PLUS Loan borrower at CSU Long Beach, you will need to complete Direct PLUS Loan Entrance Counseling and Master Promissory Note (MPN). Entrance Counseling will explain your rights and responsibilities as a borrower and the MPN is an agreement by which you agree to repay the loan, including any interest and fees, to your lender. You only need to complete these requirements the first time you borrow a PLUS Loan at CSULB.

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

When does repayment begin?

You can request a deferment and then you will not need to make payments while your child is enrolled at least half-time and for an additional six months after your child graduates, leaves school, or drops below half-time enrollment. You would request deferment with your loan servicer. If you do not request a deferment from your loan servicer, you will be expected to begin making payments after the loan is fully disbursed. There are a variety of repayment options available for PLUS Loans. You can pay off your loan earlier without any penalty.

What if my PLUS Loan application is denied?

If you do not pass the credit check for your PLUS loan, you have the following options:

  • You may appeal the credit decision
  • You may apply with a credit-worthy endorser.
    • This person will be responsible to repay the loan in the event you are unable to make payments
You will receive the results of your credit check by the Federal Loan Servicing Center. If you decide to appeal the credit check or to apply with a credit-worthy endorser, follow the instructions provided by the Loan Servicing Center (which includes completing the PLUS Credit Counseling module on www.studentloans.gov). Be sure to indicate on the Loan Request form what you would like to do, in the event your loan is credit-denied.

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.

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 cancellation 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.

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.