Loans are funds that must be paid back within a specified period of time after the student graduates or leaves college for any reason. Loans provide students and their families with flexibility because the money may be used for tuition and other expenses associated with college attendance. In addition, student loans usually carry lower interest charges than the standard commercial rates.

Just like any other loan student loans must be repaid with interest. After you graduate you will be required to repay what you have borrowed. If you fail to meet the terms of the loan with regard to repayment it will impact on your ability to borrow for a car, a home and other purchases in your future. If you have any questions about the repayment terms of a loan you should not sign the promissory note.

If you find that you will need to borrow money to pay for some of the costs of your college education, there are federal loans available to you. CUNY participates in the Direct Loan Program where students borrow directly from the federal government. If you have financial need you are eligible for a subsidized Direct Loan and there is no interest charged as long as you maintain half-time (6 credits) enrollment in school. Most of your questions about Federal Direct Loans also called Stafford Loans can be answered in the college financial aid office.

Receive entrance and exit counseling: First-time borrowers must complete an entrance counseling session before your first loan disbursement for useful tips and tools to help you develop a budget for managing your education expenses and help you to understand your loan responsibilities. Parent PLUS Loan borrowers do not participate in entrance counseling. You also must receive exit counseling before you leave school to make sure you understand your rights and responsibilities as a borrower. For exit and entrance counseling and further information on the loan process, visit www.StudentLoans.gov and www.nslds.ed.gov.