You have a choice about how you pay for your education. Understanding loans can help you decide if they are the right financial choice for your situation.
You can apply for loans from the government and from private lenders. In either case, the most important thing about student loans is that they must be repaid.
Direct Loan Program (Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans)
You can choose to accept or decline your federal loan(s) after you have enrolled for classes for the semester that you are wanting to use loan funds. Loans will be certified after your financial aid offer determined.
You must be enrolled in an eligible program leading to a certificate or degree and be enrolled for at least six eligible credit hours to borrow a Federal Direct Loan for any semester of attendance. Students that are in default on students loans are not eligible for student loans or any financial aid in the future.
- How to Borrow Federal Funds
Loan Acceptance and Refunds
Loans will be certified for the amount requested or for the amount you are eligible for, if less than the requested amount. If you are enrolled in less than 12 credit hours and/or have a period of enrollment shorter than the full semester, your cost of attendance is adjusted to reflect your actual credit hours enrolled / period of enrollment and your loan award will be recalculated.
Any change in your enrollment status (drop, add or withdrawal) after your loan is certified by ICC may require additional recalculation and revision of your original loan amount. If you decide not to attend ICC, you must officially withdraw from your classes prior to the refund date of each class or you will be responsible for payment of your tuition.
Please refer to your class schedule for the refund dates of your classes.
Interest Rates & Origination Fees
- Direct Loan interest rates for undergraduate students in the 2023-2024 academic year are 5.50%. Loan origination fees total 1.057%.
- Direct PLUS Loans disbursed on or after July 1, 2023 and before July 1, 2024, the interest rate is 8.05%. Loan origination fees total 4.228%
Lifetime Loan Limits
- Undergraduate Dependent Students = $31,000 (no more than $23,000 of which can be subsidized)
- Undergraduate Independent Students = $57,500 (no more than $23,000 of which can be subsidized)
How Loans Are Disbursed (Paid)
Loan disbursements are completed in two payments during the loan period. If you have requested a two semester loan (i.e. fall and spring loan), you’ll receive one disbursement in each of the semesters after the census date. If you want a one semester loan (i.e. fall only loan), you will receive two disbursements in the semester. The second disbursement is processed after the midterm.
Per Federal Regulations, disbursements for first time loan borrowers are not processed until 30 days after the start of the semester (approximately the 5th week of the academic semester).
Situations That May Delay or Cancel Your Loan
- Enrollment in late start (12-Week and 2nd 8-Week) courses may delay your loan until after these classes start.
- Change in your enrollment status may require a recalculation of your loan eligibility.
- Dropping below six credit hours will result in cancelation of undisbursed loan funds.
COVID-19 Federal Loan Changes
Find information about COVID-19 relief for federal student loans.
Federal Direct Student Loan Annual Limits
|Additional Unsubsidized Loan Amount
|Additional Unsubsidized Loan Amount
Estimating Your Monthly Payments
The minimum monthly payment is $50 and the standard repayment period is 10 years.
The Loan Simulator helps you calculate student loan payments and choose a loan repayment option that best meets your needs and goals. You can also use it to decide whether to consolidate your student loans.Use the Loan Simulator
Direct PLUS Loans for Parents
Parents of dependent undergraduate students may apply for a PLUS loan on their student’s behalf.
- Students must be enrolled at least half-time (6 hours).
- Financial need is not required but the loan is limited to the school’s cost of attendance, which varies depending on the number of credit hours enrolled, minus other aid the student is receiving.
- FAFSA filing is required and parents must not have an adverse credit history.
- Watch our PLUS loan video for more information.
Direct PLUS loan repayment begins on the date the loan is fully disbursed as there is no grace period. Payments may be deferred while the dependent student is enrolled at least half-time. A parent borrower who is also a student may defer repayment while he or she is enrolled at least half-time. Deferments must be requested by contacting the agency that services your loan.
More information about the PLUS loan procedures can be found on the Financial Aid How to Apply page.
Students in Certificate or Applied Science Programs
Our Special Academic Services department provides assistance and support to students enrolled in applied science and certificate programs. Funded by the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Improvement Act of 2006, these services include both academic and financial support.View Special Academic Services
What if I Drop a Class or Withdraw?
Return of Title IV Aid
If a recipient of Federal financial aid withdraws during a payment period (or a period of enrollment), the school must calculate the amount of aid the student earned through the date of last attendance. Unearned aid, including loans, must be returned to Federal financial aid programs.
Loan Exit Counseling and Repayment
Student loan borrowers are required to complete Student Loan Exit Counseling after ceasing at least half-time enrollment at Illinois Central College (this includes graduating, withdrawing, dropping courses, and leaving or transferring from ICC).
Student loans enter repayment six months after ceasing enrollment in at least six credit hours. The six-month grace period for repayment is a one-time grace period. If the student has used the six-month grace period in the past, repayment will begin immediately after falling below an enrollment level of at least six credit hours.
You will receive notification regarding loan repayment from your loan servicer during your grace period. In order to look up your loan servicer’s name and contact information, as well as specific information on all of your student loans, go to StudentAid.gov and sign in to view your loan information.
What if I Can’t Pay Back My Loan?
Student loan default, or not repaying your student loan debt, carries serious consequences. When taking out a student loan, you want to exhaust all other possible funding methods and borrow conservatively. Students that are in default on student loans are not eligible for any financial aid until the default has been resolved. Defaulted loans prevent students from renewing professional licenses.
The Federal Government can collect on defaulted loans by confiscating federal tax refunds and wage garnishment. It is the student’s responsibility to always stay in contact with the loan servicing center to stay current with address and enrollment information to help avoid default.
If you and your loan servicer disagree about the balance or status of your student loan and you have done everything you can to resolve the issue you can contact the Federal Student Aid Ombudsman Group. They can help you find some resolution to the matter.
Please use the following information to contact the FSA Student Loan Ombudsman Group:
US Department of Education
FSA Ombudsman Group
830 First Street, N.E., Mail Stop 5144
Washington, DC 20202-5144
(202) 275-0549 — Fax
Cohort Default Rate
A cohort default rate is the percentage of a school’s borrowers who enter repayment on certain Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program or William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan) Program loans during a particular federal fiscal year (FY), October 1 to September 30, and default or meet other specified conditions prior to the end of the second following fiscal year.
- FY 2019 National Average – 2.3%
- FY 2019 ICC Average – 3.4%
Private loans, also known as alternative loans, provide another borrowing option. Although the FASFA is not required, private loans may have varying interest rates and limited repayment options. You should consider alternative loans as a “last resort” lending option.
Illinois Central College will certify private education loan requests for any lender you choose, regardless if they appear on Credible or not. The lender you choose will provide you with current interest rates, processing fees, and co-signer requirements. The lender based on the student and co-signer’s credit worthiness determines interest rates for loans. The Office of Financial Assistance does not endorse, recommend, or promote any lender for private loans. The listings shown on Credible are not preferred lender lists, nor do they represent every lender that provides private educational loans.
Loan Exit Counseling
Loan Exit Counseling is required when you graduate, leave school, or drop below half-time enrollment status. Exit Counseling provides you with important information that will prepare you for repaying your federal student loans.
Learn about five important things to know about repaying your student loans.
What is a Parent PLUS Loan?
A Parent PLUS Loan is an educational loan provided by the Federal Government to parents of dependent students. The Parent PLUS Loan is designed to help students who have financial need to pay for educational expenses while attending.