Important Information About Your Student Loan When applying for a loan or any financial aid, the applicant or borrower needs to remember that financial aid awards are for the academic year specific, and that a financial aid award (including loans) cannot cross over academic years. For example: The 2009-2010 award year includes the Fall 2009 and Spring 2010 terms. The summer term is included if the loan applicant is enrolled in a 12-month program of study. Houston Community College participates in the Federal Family Educational Loan (FFEL) program and awards Stafford Loans to eligible students that submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and complete the Loan Entrance Counseling and a Master Promissory Note (MPN) using the Loans-By-Web site. Steps to Apply for a Federal Student Loan: 1. If you haven’t already done so, the first thing that you will need to do is complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) process at www.fafsa.ed.gov. The FAFSA must be completed before any federal financial aid programs (Federal Grants or Loans) can be awarded. 2. Complete the Online Loan Entrance Counseling. The Student Loan Entrance Counseling is an online interactive session that offers important information about your student loan. You should be able to complete this counseling session in a relatively short amount of time. If you choose to leave the session before completing it, your responses will be temporarily saved and you can return to complete the session at a later time. Loan entrance counseling is required each academic year. 3. Complete the Online Master Promissory Note (MPN). When completing the Online MPN, you must indicate the name of your lender on the MPN. If you do not indicate a lender, we cannot process your loan application. 4. Be sure to read the “BORROWER’S RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES” information found in the HCC web site. This section includes information on borrowing limits for “independent”, “dependent”, “first year” and “second year” applicants. Know the difference between “subsidized” and “unsubsidized” loans. It is recommended that if you borrow an unsubsidized loan, choose to pay the interest as it accrues, or you’ll end up paying “interest on the interest” (capitalization). List of Suggested Lenders: Although the following lenders are listed for your convenience and ease of loan processing. You do not have to select or use any of the lenders that we have listed. However, please keep in mind that we have already established loan procedures with the below lenders and if you obtain a loan from a lender that is not listed below there may be delays in processing your loan application: Wells Fargo Bank (807176) Key Bank (813760) Nelnet (833669) Smart Financial Credit Union (827999) School Certification of Loan: If you are borrowing from a suggested lender our Financial Aid Office will finalize your loan by completing and submitting an online “School Certification” via the Texas Guaranteed Student Loan Corporation (TGSLC) web site. If you are borrowing from a lender not on the suggested list, please keep in mind the lender may have chosen not make any new loans to community college students. If that is the case, your application will be denied and you will be required to complete a new application using one of the suggested lenders. Disbursement of Loan: Your student loan funds will be sent to the college via Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT). The disbursement of your loan funds is determined by the academic terms in your loan period. The funds will be credited to your student account to pay outstanding balances. Any funds in excess of current charges will be issued to you by via your student debit card or applied directly to your bank account. The Houston Community College Financial Aid Office does NOT release loan funds to a student until 30 days into the term. Please do not call our Financial Aid Office to see if your funds have arrived. To verify the status of your loan, wait at least 10 days beyond the date of your Disclosure Statement or call TGSLC at 1-800-845-6267. If you are enrolled in all Fall Regular Term classes, your student loan funds will be disbursed to your student account on September 25, 2009, and applied to your debit card or directly to your bank account in approximately five to seven business days. If you are enrolled in all Spring Regular Term classes, your student loan funds will be disbursed to your student account on February 19, 2010, and applied to your debit card or directly to your bank account in approximately five to seven business days. If you are enrolled in one Fall Regular Term class and one Second Start class, your student loan funds will be disbursed to your student account on October 23, 2009, and applied to your debit card or directly to your bank account in approximately five to seven business days. If you are enrolled in one Spring Regular Term class and one Second Start class, your student loan funds will be disbursed to your student account on March 22, 2010, and applied to your debit card or directly to your bank account in approximately five to seven business days. If you are enrolled in all Fall Term Second Start classes, your student loan funds will be disbursed to your student account on October 26, 2009, and applied to your debit card or directly to your bank account in approximately five to seven business days. If you are enrolled in all Spring Term Second Start classes, your student loan funds will be disbursed to your student account on March 23, 2010, and applied to your debit card or directly to your bank account in approximately five to seven business days. Loan Disbursements: All federal loans come in at least two or more disbursements, one at the beginning of the loan period, and the others halfway through the loan period. This is true even for loan periods of only one semester or term. For all borrowers at HCC, the first disbursement will not be available until at least 30 days after the first day of class. This means the loan payment will not arrive until after the after the official date of record. The Business Office will allow these borrowers to remain in classes without penalty; however, if the amount of tuition exceeds the first disbursement the balance must be paid by the end of the semester to avoid the HCC student collections process. Loan Inquiries: Please Do NOT call the Houston Community College Financial Aid Office to see if your loan has arrived. Our office will send you a disbursement notice when funds arrive at the school to your student email account. To view your student loan award, please follow the instructions below: 1. Log onto the HCC web site at www.hccs.edu. 2. Click on Register for classes. 3. Click on Registration (online). 4. Log on using your User ID: and Password. 5. Click on Finances. 6. Click on View My Financial Aid. 7. Select the 2010 aid year. 8. Read the information provided. 9. If you do not want the award that has been offered to you, you can decline the award, and select the SUMBIT button. Each semester, the amount you have been awarded may increase/decrease if you drop, add or withdraw from classes. Checking your account frequently will keep you informed of any changes to your aid amount. Exit Counseling Interview: Federal regulations require that any student who borrows money under the Stafford Loan program must complete an Exit Counseling Interview when they have completed with their degree program and/or ready to leave school. Go online to the Houston Community College website at www.hccs.edu and click on “Learn About Financial Aid”, the click on Loan Counseling. Additional Loan Information: The National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) website (www.nslds.ed.gov) allows students to access data about their Federal Student Loan(s) and Pell Grant(s). You must have your Federal Student Aid PIN number to access your information. The Texas Guaranteed Student Loan Corporation (TGSLC) website (www.tgslc.org) offers a budget calculator, online loan counseling, tracking of loan status, debt management and publications regarding loan programs. There is also a student loan and financial aid eligibility estimator to help your estimate your financial need. The Federal Student Aid Ombudsman website (www.ombudsman.ed.gov) provides information for students with questions or concerns regarding their federal student loans.
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