The William D. Ford Direct Loan Program
Maryland University of Integrative Health (MUIH) participates in the William D. Ford Direct Loan Program. This program offers loans that are funded by the federal government, guaranteed by guarantors, and reinsured by the federal government. The Federal Direct Stafford Unsubsidized Loan and the Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan are offered through this program to MUIH students attending at least half-time and seeking a master’s degree, post-baccalaureate certificate, or post-master’s certificate. Click here for more information about loan requirements.
Federal Direct Stafford Unsubsidized Loans
The Federal Direct Stafford Unsubsidized Loan is a non-need-based loan. If students qualify for an unsubsidized loan, they can receive up to $20,500. They will be charged interest from the time the loan is disbursed until it is paid in full. Students can choose to pay the interest while they are in school, or have the interest added to the principal of the loan. Current interest rates are published online on https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/types/loans/interest-rates. Repayment of the Federal Direct Stafford Unsubsidized Loan begins six months after the last date of attendance, or when student enrollment status drops to less than half-time. Students who have prior loans that are in repayment may be eligible for an in-school deferment. Students should contact their prior lender to verify eligibility. Click here for more information about loan requirements.
Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan
The Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan is a non-need-based loan which requires a credit check by the lender before approval to determine whether the student has an adverse credit history. The Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan allows students to receive funding up to the cost of attendance, less other financial aid students receive. Students should, therefore, apply for their annual Stafford Loan maximum eligibility before applying for the Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan. Current interest rates are published online on https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/types/loans/interest-rates. Interest begins to accumulate on the date of the first disbursement, and repayment begins six months after a student graduates or when student enrollment status drops to less than half-time. Lenders may offer deferment and/or forbearance repayment options. Interested students should contact the federal government for details. Click here for more information about loan requirements.
Alternative Loan Information
An Alternative loan is an educational loan through a lender with no ties to the federal government or MUIH that allows students to borrow additional funds after federal student loans have been exhausted. There are many private lenders that offer alternative loans.
- The choice of which lender to borrow from is a decision that the student must make.
- The Office of Financial Aid will certify an alternative loan from any lender the student chooses.
- Students should always consider the Federal Loan Programs first. We recommend that you conduct a search on the internet to identify alternative student loan lenders. Alternative loan programs differ from Federal Direct Loans in several important ways.
- Interest rates are normally variable rates that change on a quarterly basis. Students are responsible for researching the terms and conditions of all loan programs.
- Loan and interest rates are based on credit approval and approval is not guaranteed. · MUIH is not involved in the credit decisions or denials for these loans. Questions are best addressed to the individual lender.
- Loans are not federally guaranteed; therefore, they do not have the same deferment, cancellation and consolidation benefits. The entire alternative loan process can take up to six weeks.
- The amount a student may apply for is limited to their cost of attendance minus any other financial aid they are receiving.
- Students should review all lenders and determine which loan program best meets their needs.
- Please keep in mind that some alternative loan lenders require students be enrolled at least halftime or require that they meet reasonable academic progress.
- As you compare lenders, be sure to identify educational loan products.
- Not all lenders provide loans for students who are enrolled less than half-time, not in a degree seeking program or not making Satisfactory Academic Progress. You should select lenders who provide loans for students in your situation.
- After choosing a lender, a student should contact the lender directly to apply for the loan. Most lenders will have an on-line application process.
- While we encourage students to compare lenders, students should only apply with one lender.
- Lenders may require supporting income and employment documentation and/or co-signer.
- Once the lender has approved the loan, a certification request will be sent to MUIH. It can take up to 10 business days from the date the certification request was received until the loan is actually certified.
- Once MUIH receives the loan, the Financial Aid Office and Business Office will process the disbursement and issue a refund check if one is due.
Preferred Lender List/Preferred Lender Arrangements
MUIH does not use a Preferred Lender List. Students have the right and responsibility to select the lender of their choice.
Federal Student Financial Aid Penalties for Drug Law Violations
Students with criminal convictions have limited eligibility for federal student aid. Your eligibility for federal student aid can be affected by incarceration and/or the type of conviction you have. Click here for more information.
Code of Conduct
MUIH’s Student Loan Program Code of Conduct was adopted to ensure uniform student loan practices focusing on the best interest of student borrowers. The Student Loan Code of Conduct restrictions are defined to avoid any potential conflict of interest among school employees, lending institutions, and students in the student financial aid process.
- Revenue Sharing Prohibition: MUIH will not receive anything of value from any lending institution in exchange for an advantage sought by the lending institution.
- Gift Ban: MUIH employees with responsibility for financial aid work will not solicit or accept any gift from a lender, guarantor or servicer. A “gift” is defined as any gratuity, favor, discount, entertainment, hospitality, loan or other item having a monetary value of more than a small amount.
- Advisory Board Compensation Rules: MUIH employees with financial aid responsibility will not accept anything of value for serving on the advisory board of any lending institution.
- Opportunity Pools: MUIH will not request or accept from any lender any offer of funds to be used for private education loans, including funds for an opportunity pool loan, in exchange for MUIH providing concessions or promises of a specified number or volume of Title IV loans, or a preferred lender arrangement for Title IV loans.
- Contract Arrangement Prohibition: MUIH employees, officers and agents with educational loan responsibilities will not accept any fee, payment or other financial benefit (including the opportunity to purchase stock) from a lender as compensation for any type of consulting arrangement or other contract to provide services to a lender or on behalf of a lender relating to education loans.
- Staffing Assistance Ban: MUIH will not request or accept assistance from any lender to staff a call center or financial aid office.
- Loan Certification: MUIH employees will not refuse to certify or delay loan certification based on the borrower’s selection of a particular lender or guarantor.
- Assigning Lenders: MUIH employees will not assign first-time borrowers to a particular lender.
- Preferred Lender Guidelines/Disclosures: MUIH will not use a Preferred Lender List. Students will be told that they have the right and responsibility to select the lender of their choice.
Information regarding all policies and procedures described in this section is available through the MUIH website, unless otherwise noted.
As a MUIH Graduate student, you have the right to know the following:
- All federal, state, institutional, and private student financial assistance programs available, including both need and non-need-based programs.
- The cost of attending MUIH, how the Cost of Attendance is calculated, how the Expected Family Contribution is determined, and how your financial need is calculated using these numbers.
- Procedures, forms, deadlines, and eligibility requirements to apply for financial assistance
- How financial aid will be disbursed including an explanation of MUIH’s refund policy
- What portion of financial aid is a loan, which must be repaid, and what portion is a grant. If a loan has been received, you have the right to know the interest rate and loan repayment options and procedures. Sample repayment schedule is available through Entrance Counseling at https://studentloans.gov
- The satisfactory academic progress (SAP) requirements to maintain eligibility for financial assistance, how to appeal a loss of financial assistance due to failing to meet SAP requirements, and how to regain eligibility for financial assistance after failing to meet the standards without an appeal.
- Policies regarding confidentiality of financial aid records. MUIH complies with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974. Information can be found here: https://muih.edu/sites/default/files/documents/registrar/FERPA_Policy.pdf
- Who to contact and how to contact the appropriate MUIH personnel regarding student financial assistance
- Exit counseling information which is required upon transfer from or completion of your program at MUIH. Information is available here: https://studentloans.gov
- The general terms and conditions applicable to any employment provided to a student as part of the student’s financial assistance package.
As a MUIH Graduate student, you have the responsibility to do the following:
- Read and consider all information about MUIH before you enroll
- Complete all MUIH application forms accurately and submit them to the appropriate office(s) by required deadlines
- Accurately and honestly complete your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Errors can result in processing delays. False or misleading information is a criminal offense, and is subject to a fine, imprisonment, or both.
- Use all financial aid received solely for expenses related to attending MUIH
Get Your Loan Information
The U.S. Department of Education’s National Student Loan Data SystemSM (NSLDS) provides information on your federal loans including loan types, disbursed amounts, outstanding principal and interest, and the total amount of all your loans. To access NSLDS, go to www.nslds.ed.gov.
If you’re not sure who your loan servicer is, you can look it up on www.nslds.ed.gov or call the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-4-FED-AID FREE 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243 FREE 1-800-433-3243 ; TTY 1-800-730-8913 FREE 1-800-730-8913 ). To see a list of Federal Student Aid servicers for the Direct Loan Program and for FFEL Program Loans purchased by the U.S. Department of Education, go to the Loan Servicer page.
Borrower Grace Periods
After you graduate, leave school, or drop below half-time enrollment, you have a period of time before you have to begin repayment. This “grace period” will be
- Six months for a Federal Stafford Loan (Direct Loan ProgramSM or Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL Program).
- Nine months for Federal Perkins Loans.
PLUS Borrowers — The repayment period for a Direct PLUS Loan begins at the time the PLUS loan is fully disbursed, and the first payment is due within 60 days after the final disbursement. However, a graduate student PLUS Loan borrower (as well as a parent PLUS borrower who is also a student) can defer repayment while the borrower is enrolled at least half-time, and, for PLUS loans first disbursed on or after July 1, 2008, for an additional six months after the borrower is no longer enrolled at least half-time. Interest that accrues during these periods will be capitalized if not paid by the borrower during the deferment.
Parent PLUS Loan borrowers whose loans were first disbursed on or after July 1, 2008, may choose to have repayment deferred while the student for whom the parent borrowed is enrolled at least half-time and for an additional six months after that student is no longer enrolled at least half-time. Interest that accrues during these periods will be capitalized if not paid by the parent during the deferment.
You have a choice of several repayment plans that are designed to meet the different needs of individual borrowers. The amount you pay and the length of time to repay your loans will vary depending on the repayment plan you choose. Go to Repayment Plans and Calculators for more information about the various repayment plans and to calculate your estimated repayment amount under each of the different plans.
If you have specific questions about repaying FFEL, Direct, or Perkins Loans, contact your loan servicer. In the case of Perkins Loans, your servicer will be the school that made the loan. If you don’t know who your loan servicer is, go to www.nslds.ed.gov to find out.
Loan Interest Rates
Click here to find interest rates for Direct and FFEL Program Loans.
To access information on your federal loans, go to www.nslds.ed.gov.
Additional Interest Rate Information:
Why does the amount of interest I pay vary from month to month?
Interest accrues on a daily basis on your loans. Factors such as the number of days between your last payment, the interest rate, and the amount of your loan balance determine the amount of interest that accrues each month.
You can calculate the monthly interest on your loan by using the Simple Daily Interest Formula.
Trouble Making Payments
If you’re having trouble making payments on your loans, contact your loan servicer as soon as possible. Your servicer will work with you to determine the best option for you. Options include:
- Changing repayment plans.
- Requesting a deferment – If you meet certain requirements, a deferment allows you to temporarily stop making payments on your loan.
- Requesting a forbearance – If you don’t meet the eligibility requirements for a deferment but are temporarily unable to make your loan payments, then (in limited circumstances) a forbearance allows you to temporarily stop making payments on your loan, temporarily make smaller payments, or extend the time for making payments.
If you stop making payments and don’t get a deferment or forbearance, your loan could go into default (see Default section below), which has serious consequences.
Consequences of Default
The consequences of default can be severe:
- The entire unpaid balance of your loan and any interest is immediately due and payable.
- You lose eligibility for deferment, forbearance, and repayment plans.
- You lose eligibility for additional federal student aid.
- You loan account is assigned to a collection agency.
- The loan will be reported as a delinquent to credit bureaus, damaging your credit rating. This will affect your ability to buy a car or house or to get a credit card.
- Your federal and state taxes may be withheld through a tax offset. This means that the Internal Revenue Service can take your federal and state tax refund to collect any of your defaulted student loan debt.
- Your student loan debt will increase because of the late fees, additional interest, court costs, collection fees, attorney’s fees, and any other cost associated with the collections process.
- Your employer (at the request of the federal government) can withhold money from your pay and send the money to the government. This process is called wage garnishment.
- The loan holder can take legal action against you , and you may not be able to purchase or sell assets such as real estate.
- Federal employees face the possibility of having 15% of their disposable pay offset by their employer toward repayment of their loan through federal salary offset.
- It will take years to reestablish your credit and recover from default.