Loans

Learn about available student loan programs and their interest rates, terms and eligibility criteria.
In this Section

What Are Loans?

Loans are borrowed money that you must repay with interest.  The interest rates, terms and eligibility criteria vary from one loan program to another. Some loan programs are based on need and are federally funded, while others are available regardless of need.

The first step in pursuing a loan to help pay for college expenses at UW-Stout is completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and any other required forms. A minimum enrollment status of half-time (6 credits for undergraduates, 5 credits per semester for graduates) is required to participate in all loan programs (except for some alternative loan programs).

    Subsidized Loan Options

    Federal Stafford Loan - Subsidized

    Eligibility

    • This loan is available to undergraduate students only.
    • Award is based on financial need.

    Interest Rate and Fees

    • Loans disbursed on or after July 1, 2018 will have a fixed interest rate of 5.05%.
    • Loans disbursed between October 1, 2017 and September 30, 2018 will be charged an origination fee of 1.066%. Loans disbursed after October 1, 2018 will be charged an origination fee of 1.062%.
    • No interest charged as long as the borrower is enrolled at least half-time.

    Awards

    • The award amount you receive is based on your amount of financial need (as determined by your FAFSA) and your grade level.

    Repayment

    • Repayment begins six months after the borrower graduates, leaves school, or drops below half-time enrollment. 
    • Repayment can be deferred or modified under certain conditions.
    • Visit studentaid.ed.gov for full repayment information.

    Master Promissory Note (MPN) and Entrance Counseling

    If you are a first-time borrower of a Direct Stafford Loan, you will need to first complete entrance loan counseling and a Master Promissory Note (MPN) before any loan will be disbursed and credit your tuition bill. Read step-by-step instructions.

    Unsubsidized Loan Options

    Federal Stafford Loan - Unsubsidized

    Eligibility

    • This loan is available to undergraduates and graduate-level students.
    • Award is not based on financial need.

    Interest Rate and Fees

    • Undergraduate students: Loans disbursed on or after July 1, 2018 will have a fixed interest rate of 5.05%. 
      Graduate students: Loans disbursed on or after July 1, 2018 will have a fixed interest rate of 6.60%.
    • Interest is charged when it first disburses and accumulates while you are enrolled.
    • You may pay the accumulating interest while you are in school, or you may choose to let it compound and pay it later.
    • Loans disbursed between October 1, 2017 and September 30, 2018 will be charged an origination fee of 1.066%. Loans disbursed after October 1, 2018 will be charged an origination fee of 1.062%.

    Awards

    • The award amount you receive is based on your grade level.
    • Loans plus other financial aid may not exceed your total cost of attendance.

    Repayment

    • Repayment begins six months after the borrower graduates, leaves school, or drops below half-time enrollment. 
    • Repayment can be deferred or modified under certain conditions.
    • Visit studentaid.ed.gov for full repayment information.

    Master Promissory Note (MPN) and Entrance Counseling

    If you are a first-time borrower of a Direct Stafford Loan, you will need to first complete entrance loan counseling and a Master Promissory Note (MPN) before any loan will be disbursed and credit your tuition bill. Read step-by-step instructions.

    Federal PLUS Loan for Parents

    Eligibility

    • Only a parent of the student may apply for a PLUS Loan. A parent is defined as the biological parent or adoptive parent. A stepparent may apply for a PLUS loan if the stepparent's information is included on the student's FAFSA.
    • The student must be an undergraduate student.
    • The student must be enrolled at least half-time (six credits) to be eligible to receive the PLUS Loan.

    Interest Rate and Fees

    • The interest rate is fixed at 7.595%, and there is a 4.272% origination fee (for loans disbursed between October 1, 2017 and October 1, 2018).

    Awards

    • You may apply for an academic year loan, fall-only, spring-only, or summer-only loan.
    • When completing the PLUS Request & Authorization Form, you will be asked the amount you'd like to request in the loan. If you are unsure of how much to request, please consult the "Calculating Your PLUS Loan Amount" section below.

    Calculating Your PLUS Loan Amount

    1. Find your total Cost of Attendance (COA).
    2. Subtract your financial aid (including any other aid like scholarships, veteran benefits, etc).
    3. The balance is the estimated maximum amount you may request in the PLUS Loan.

    Repayment and Disbursement

    • From the time our office receives the parent's PLUS Request & Authorization Form, it generally takes two to three weeks for the funds to be disbursed to UW-Stout. Funds do not credit the student's bill until the semester begins, however.
    • PLUS funds will electronically disburse to UW-Stout and directly credit the student's bill.
    • For an academic year loan, the amount you request will disburse half for fall and half for spring.
    • Repayment of interest and principal begins 60 days after the loan is fully disbursed. The borrower may elect to postpone (defer) repayment by contacting your lender after receiving the payment schedule. Interest during deferment can be paid monthly, quarterly, or capitalized (quarterly). If repayment is deferred, repayment will begin after a six-month period after the student is no longer enrolled at least half-time or graduates. The standard repayment period is ten years; however, there is a minimum repayment of $50 per month.

    Application

    1. Students must have submitted a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for the appropriate academic year.
    2. Complete the PLUS Request & Authorization Form.
      • Please submit your form by fax (715-232-5246) or by mail to:
        UW-Stout Financial Aid Office
        802 S Broadway St.
        Menomonie WI 54751
    3. Complete the Master Promissory Note (MPN) online.
      • If you have received a PLUS Loan for this student at UW-Stout in the last ten years, you may skip this step.
      • This may be done at the same time as Step 1 (you do not need to wait for a response from Step 1 to start Step 2).
      • The same parent who is listed on the PLUS Request & Authorization Form from Step 1 must sign the MPN online.

    If You Are Denied Based on Your Credit Check

    • Your student is eligible for an additional amount in the Unsubsidized Stafford Loan (up to $4,000 if the student has less than 60 credits earned; up to $5,000 if the student has more than 60 credits earned).
      or
    • You may still be eligible to receive the Parent PLUS Loan. To become eligible, you may take one of the following actions. Please contact our office if you choose to do either of these options:
      • Obtain an endorser and complete PLUS Counseling (an endorser is someone who does not have an adverse credit history and agrees to repay the loan if you do not repay it).
      • Document to the satisfaction of the US Department of Education that the information causing the denial is incorrect or that there are extenuating circumstances relating to the denial, and complete PLUS Counseling.

    Parent PLUS Loan vs. Alternative Loans

    Weighing these two loan options? Browse a side-by-side comparison to help determine the best option for you.

    SELF Loan

    Eligibility

    • This loan is available to undergraduate and graduate-level students who are Minnesota residents.
    • Credit-worthy co-signer required. 
    • Students must have a valid FAFSA on file with the UW-Stout Financial Aid Office for the current award year before this loan can be pursued. 

    Interest Rate

    • SELF Loan Fixed: Fixed interest rate of 6.0%
    • SELF Loan Variable: Interest rate is variable, but cannot change more than 3% in a 12-month period.

    Awards

    • Awards up to $20,000, per grade level, per year for both undergraduate and graduate students.
    • A cumulative maximum of $100,000 for undergraduate loans, and up to $140,000 for undergraduate and graduate (combined) loans.
    • SELF Loan funding must also fit within the student's cost of attendance (COA) budget, minus any financial aid awarded, for the academic year.

    Repayment

    • Borrowers are required to make interest payments on a quarterly basis while currently enrolled. Interest payments being within 90 days from the first disbursement.
    • Monthly repayment after borrower graduates or leaves school.

    Application

    • Apply online through the Minnesota Office of Higher Education.
    Alternative/Private Loans

    We encourage students to consider the Federal PLUS and the SELF loan programs before pursuing an alternative loan option. Graduate students: please contact the Financial Aid Office before pursuing this type of loan.

    Eligibility

    • Graduate or undergraduate students at an eligible postsecondary institution.
    • Credit-worthy co-signer suggested (may be required depending on the lender).
    • Student must have a valid FAFSA on file with the UW-Stout Financial Aid Office for the current award year before this loan can be pursued (per UW-Stout Financial Aid Policy).

    Interest Rate

    • The interest rate is either fixed or variable, is determined on credit-worthiness, and is generally a percentage added to a variable base (often PRIME or LIBOR). 
      Alternative education loans are NOT subsidized by the government.

    Awards

    • Annual maximum is limited to student's cost of attendance minus any other financial aid.

    Application

    Compare a list of private education loans through FASTChoice's online tool. You can link to loan applications directly from this site. Your lender will send your application to our office after your loan has been credit-approved and you have signed the promissory note. Your lender will provide you with interest rate, cosigner requirements, and loan disclosures.

    The inclusion of loan products and lenders on this site does not imply individual endorsement. We maintain professional relationships with ALL lenders. Our officials are prohibited from accepting financial or other benefits in exchange for displaying lenders and loan options in FASTChoice. The lenders on this list are included for three important reasons: first, they are loans that have remained popular with UW-Stout students over time. Also, the programs offer fully electronic processing and disbursement. Lastly, we feel the lenders included on the list provide the best service to our students. Information on the list is directly provided by the lenders and is subject to change. If you are interested in a lender not listed in FASTChoice, contact that lender directly or visit their website for more information. UW-Stout will process any approved private education loan.

    If you have begun a FAFSA application for regular financial aid, we will process your private loan AFTER you have been offered and have accepted your regular financial aid offer. This assures you'll receive the best aid package possible.

    Parent PLUS Loan vs. Alternative Loans

    Weighing these two loan options? Browse a side-by-side comparison to help determine the best option for you.