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.

Federal Direct Student Loan Annual Limits

Dependent StudentsSubsidized AmountAdditional Unsubsidized Loan Amount
Independent StudentsSubsidized AmountAdditional Unsubsidized Loan Amount
These amounts are the annual maximums set by Federal regulations. Students attending Illinois Central College may not qualify for the total amounts if they are receiving grants, scholarships, Federal Work Study, waivers or other educational assistance.

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.


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.

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 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

(877) 557-2575
(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.

Private Loans

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.

Helpful Videos

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.

Loan Repayment

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.

Financial Assistance

Mon – Thur: 8 am – 4:30 pm
Fri: 8 am – 2 pm
Virtual Hours
Mon-Tue: 8 am – 6 pm
Edwards Library / Administration Building » L211
East Peoria Campus
Arbor Hall » A002
Peoria Campus