Sometimes it is necessary to borrow money to finance your education.

However, caution is advised. Generally, a student should not rely primarily on loans and is advised not to borrow more than what is needed to meet expenses.




Apply at

UAH CODE: 001055

Important Dates

August: Get your FAFSA FSA ID (formerly pin)
October: Fill out your FAFSA online at
May-July: Complete loan entrance counseling and sign the promissory note at

Federal Loan Information

Federal Direct loans are low-interest loans for students and parents to help pay for the cost of a college education. The lender is the U.S. Department of Education. These loans typically have low interest rates and offer attractive repayment terms, benefits, and options. Generally, repayment of a federal loan does not begin until after the student leaves school.

Direct Loans allow you to:

  • Borrow directly from the federal government and have a single contact - your loan servicer - for everything related to repayment, even if you receive Direct Loans at different schools
  • Have online access to your Direct Loan account information via your school's website
  • Choose from several repayment plans, and change repayment plans if needed

Annual Maximum Loan Limits

Grade LevelDependent StudentIndependent Student
Freshman: 0 - 30 credit hours $5,500 (no more than $3,500 subsidized) $9,500 (no more than $3,500 subsidized)
Sophomore: 31 - 60 credit hours $6,500 (no more than $4,500 subsidized) $10,500 (no more than $4,500 subsidized)

Junior: 61 - 90 credit hours

$7,500 (no more than $5,500 subsidized) $12,500 (no more than $5,500 subsidized)
Senior: 91+ credit hours $7,500 (no more than $5,500 subsidized) $12,500 (no more than $5,500 subsidized)
Graduate Professional N/A $20,500

Aggregate Maximum Loan Limits

Dependent Student $31,000 (no more than $23,000 subsidized)
Independent Student $57,500 (no more than $23,000 subsidized)
Graduate/Professional $138,500

Loan amounts represent either unsubsidized loans, or a combination of subsidized and unsubsidized loans, and are based on need, grade level, and classification as an independent or dependent student as determined by your FAFSA application.

Federal Direct Subsidized Stafford Loan

To apply for a Federal Direct Subsidized Loan, you must complete the FAFSA. If you are eligible for a Federal Direct Subsidized Loan, it will be included in your financial aid package.

  • A Federal Direct Subsidized Stafford Loan is awarded based on financial need as well as other specific federal requirements.
  • To be eligible for an award, you must be an undergraduate student enrolled in at least six hours per semester.
  • Interest does not accrue as long as the borrower is enrolled at least half-time (6 hours per semester).
  • Graduate students are not eligible.
  • A borrower may receive subsidized loans, in the aggregate, to 150 percent of the published length of the student's current educational program. Once the student reaches that limit, he or she may borrow only unsubsidized loans, and interest begins to accrue on the student's outstanding subsidized loan.

Loan Requirements

  1. Accept Loan Offer
  2. Complete Master Promissory Note (MPN)
  3. Complete Entrance Counseling
Both Entrance Counseling and the Master Promissory Note are good for ten years.

Adjust/Cancel your Loan

  • Log into your student account via MyUAH, using your Charger ID and password. !--For assistance, log into Charger ID/Password-->
  • Select Financial Aid/Award/Award for Aid Year/aid year/Accept Award Offer tab
  • Click on the Loan Adjustment option

Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan

To apply for a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan, you must complete the FAFSA. If you are eligible for a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan, it will be included in your financial aid package.

A Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan is not based on financial need, but specific federal requirements must be met. Interest accrues throughout the life of the loan. The borrower may choose to pay the accruing interest at any time, or allow it to be capitalized (added to the loan principal).

  • Federal Unsubsidized loans provide low interest rates and are available to all who apply regardless of financial need.
  • To be eligible for an unsubsidized loan, minimum enrollment for undergraduate students is 6 credit hours per semester.   Minimum enrollment for graduate students during the fall and spring semesters is 4.5 hours.  Minimum enrollment for graduate students during the summer semester is 3 hours.
  • A credit check is not required.
  • The borrower is responsible for all accrued interest, but may choose to re-pay at any time or allow the accrued interest to be capitalized (added to the loan principal).
  • Required repayment begins six months after the borrower is no longer enrolled in school at least half-time (6 hours per semester).

  1. Accept Terms & Conditions
  2. Accept Loan Offer
  3. Complete Master Promissory Note (MPN)
  4. Complete Entrance Counseling
Both Entrance Counseling and the Master Promissory Note are good for ten years.

Adjust/Cancel your Loan

  • Go to your Student Banner Account. Enter Secure Area using your UAH user ID and password. If you do not know your user ID and password, contact Charger Central at 1-800-UAH-CALL.
  • Select financial aid/award/award for aid year Accept Award Offer tab
  • Click on the Loan Adjustment option

Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan

Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loans are available to parents of dependent undergraduate students and for graduate or professional students (see below for more information on Federal Direct Graduate PLUS loans for graduate and professional students). These loans are low interest and available to students who have successfully submitted a FAFSA application (

  • Funds may be borrowed up to the estimated cost of attendance for one year.
  • Borrowed funds accrue interest from the date of disbursal until the loan is paid in full.
  • The student must be enrolled at least half-time (6 hours per semester for undergraduate and 4.5 hours per semester for graduate students).
  • Demonstrated financial need is not required.
  • A credit check is required and in some instances, an eligible co-signer.
  • Standard repayment of PLUS loans begins following the final disbursement for the year

2 Steps to applying for the Parent PLUS Loan

  1. PLUS Loan Application After logging in, click on "Complete PLUS Request Process". The e-sign process does require that the parent borrower have a federal PIN, which is the PIN you used to sign the FAFSA. If you are a biological parent whose information is not on the FAFSA, you should apply for a federal PIN.
  2. Master Promissory Note valid up to ten years


Both the parent borrower and the student must:

  • Be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen
  • Not be in default on any student loan or owe a federal grant repayment
  • The student must be in compliance with the UAH Satisfactory Academic Progress Requirements
  • Be enrolled at least half-time

The parent borrower must:

  • Be a biological parent
  • Be an adoptive parent (not a legal guardian)
  • Be a step-parent, eligible only if income and assets were included on FAFSA to calculate student's
  • Expected Family Contribution (EFC)

The processed FAFSA application and a completed award package must be posted on the student account for the award year in which the student is enrolled before the parent completes the PLUS Request Process

Please allow two weeks for our office to process and post to the student award once you have received an approval.

The Financial Aid Office will disburse funds to the student's account as long as the student meets eligibility requirements.

If the disbursed amount exceeds charges on the student's account, a refund check is issued to either the parent or the student based on the parent's choice when the completing the Parent PLUS application.

Loan amounts

Parent borrowers may borrow a PLUS loan for an amount up to the student's cost of attendance minus other financial aid/scholarships/resources received. It is recommended that you borrow the minimum amount needed to cover the student's educational costs.

Interest, loan fees, repayment

  • An origination fee of 4.248% is deducted at disbursement for Federal Direct PLUS Loans.
  • Federal Direct PLUS Loans accrue interest from the date of disbursal until the loan is paid in full.
  • Repayment begins within 60 days after the loan has fully disbursed.
  • Federal Direct PLUS Loan information is also available at

Adverse credit history

If your Plus Loan is denied due to adverse credit history and you indicated on the Parent PLUS Authorization Form that you will have an endorser, you have 14 days to obtain an approved endorser. If you have not obtained an approved endorser within14 days, your PLUS loan application will be terminated. If you obtain an approved endorser and the PLUS denial is reversed, please contact our office.

If the applicant is approved for a Direct PLUS Loan after documenting extenuating circumstances or obtaining an endorser, he or she will be required to complete PLUS Loan counseling on

The mandatory PLUS Loan counseling does not fulfill the Entrance Counseling requirement for first-time Graduate and Professional student Direct Loan applicants. Graduate or Professional student applicants may have to complete both types of counseling.

Federal Direct Graduate PLUS

Graduate PLUS Loans are federal loans for graduate and professional students with good credit histories. Below is important information about these loans:

  • Graduate PLUS loans require a credit check and, in some instances, an eligible co-signer
  • Recipients must be enrolled in at least six credit hours each fall and spring semester and three credit hours during the summer semester
  • Eligible students may borrow up to the full cost of attendance less all other financial aid.
  • Students must also complete a separate Entrance Counseling and Master Promissory Note
  • An origination fee of 4.248% will be deducted from the loan
  • Repayment of PLUS loans begins following the final disbursement for the year although deferment until the student is no longer enrolled in school at least half time is possible


Our office recommends that your Federal Loans be exhausted prior to applying for a Grad Plus Loan

  1. Complete the online application at
  2. Complete Master Promissory Note for Grad Plus
  3. Complete Entrance Counseling for Grad Plus

Federal Direct Graduate Plus Loan Processing

The Direct Loan Processor will notify the student borrower of the results of the credit check. The borrower cannot have been 90 days or more delinquent on the repayment of any debt or the subject of a default determination, bankruptcy discharge, foreclosure, repossession, tax lien, wage garnishment or write-off of a Title IV debt during the last five years. If credit is approved, loan funds will be posted to the student's school award.

Receipt of Funds

The funds will be applied to tuition, fees, and other university charges. If the Federal Direct Graduate Plus disbursement generates a refund after University charges are paid, the excess amount will be applied to the students account and refunded via Direct Deposit though the Bursar's Office.

Credit approval is valid for 90 days. Your credit is evaluated every time you request a new loan, unless you have had a credit decision within the preceding 90 days.

If you think you may have one or more of the items outlined in the credit requirements listed above, you may want to obtain your credit report in advance of applying for a Grad PLUS Loan. You should work to correct negative items on your credit report as soon as possible.

Credit denial options include:

  • Apply for the loan with an endorser, which is a credit-worthy loan cosigner
  • Correct any invalid information on your credit report and reapply

  • If a Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan Application is denied, you will need to contact Direct Loans at 1.800.848.0979 to add a cosigner

Loan Details

  • Complete a FAFSA each year you need aid.
  • UAH processes and disburses loan funds to your student account. You can accept, reduce, cancel or adjust your loans on your student account
  • Loans require half-time enrollment. For undergraduate students that is 6 credit hours per semester and for graduate students, it is 4.5 credit hours fall and spring, and 3 credit hours summer semester
  • Interest on Subsidized Loans is paid by the government while the student is in school at least half-time
  • Unsubsidized Loans begin accruing interest once they have disbursed
  • Locate the servicer of your loan at
  • Repayment begins six months after graduation or six months after the student ceases half-time enrollment.
  • The U.S. Department of Education contracts with multiple servicers to manage Direct Loans. These servicers are responsible for the billing, collection and processing of all deferments, forbearances and cancellations.

Dependent students have a maximum loan limit of $31,000 while obtaining their undergraduate degree.

Independent students have a maximum loan limit of $57,500 while obtaining their undergraduate degree.

Graduate/Professional students have a maximum loan limit of $138,500 while obtaining their degree.

Please note: For all new borrowers who receive a loan on or after July 1, 2013 a 150% limitation is in effect. This means a student who is eligible for a subsidized loan will reach their subsidized limit at 150% of a program's length of study. Once a student has reached their 150% limitation, their interest subsidy loan limit will end on all outstanding loans that were disbursed after July 1, 2013, and interest will begin to accrue. Students are therefore encouraged to complete undergraduate study on a timely basis.

A Master Promissory Note (MPN) is a promise to repay the loan and must be completed before disbursement will occur.

Entrance Counseling is a tutorial and quiz that will explain your rights and responsibilities as a Direct Loan borrower and is required before a loan will disburse.

The MPN and Entrance Counseling are valid for ten years.

Direct Loan Exit Counseling is required and will explain your rights and responsibilities as a borrower. Exit Counseling is required when you drop below half-time student status or cease to be a student at UAH.

By accepting your financial awards, you are agreeing to give UAH permissions to use the funds to pay any direct institutional charges incurred incidental to your enrollment.

Outside assistance that pays tuition must be reported on the Outside Resource Form or your aid maybe reduced or cancelled.

The Federal Student Aid Ombudsman Group of the U.S. Department of Education is dedicated to helping resolve disputes related to Direct Loans, Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program loans, Guaranteed Student Loans, and Perkins Loans. The Ombudsman Group is a neutral, informal, and confidential resource to help resolve disputes about your federal student loans.

Use the following list of common problems to help you identify exactly what type of problem you are having with your loan and what you should do to prepare to solve it.

  • IF: You believe you've made all of your payments on time, but it looks like your account balance might be wrong.

    THEN: Check your payment history, gather the documents necessary to show what payments you've made, and contact your loan servicer to find out how to submit the proof.

  • IF: You believe you've made all of your payments on time, but your loan is in default.

    THEN: Gather the documents necessary to prove that your payments were made on time, and contact your loan servicer to find out how to submit your proof.

  • IF: You believe your loan servicer has reported inaccurate information to the credit bureaus.

    THEN: File a consumer dispute with the bureaus. Contact the three national credit bureaus in writing to tell them what information you believe is inaccurate:

  • IF: You completed bankruptcy but are still getting loan repayment bills.

    THEN: It is unlikely that you are eligible to have your loan discharged through bankruptcy. If you filed for bankruptcy after October 7, 1998, your loan cannot automatically be discharged.

  • IF: You are not the person listed in the loan records.

    THEN: You will need to provide proof of your identity. Contact your loan servicer to find out what documents are needed and how you should present them.

  • IF: You have to withdraw from all your classes in the midst of a term.

    THEN: You would be required to repay a portion of any federal aid received during the term. A percentage of the completed semester is calculated and the percentage of aid earned is determined; please see the section on policy for more information.

  • IF: You only have to withdraw (drop) one class?

    THEN: You would not owe funds back immediately; however, it could affect your Satisfactory Academic Progress and potentially your eligibility for future aid. See the section on Satisfactory Academic Progress.

Contact Your Loan Servicer

To deal effectively with your loan servicer, keep in mind the tips below. Locate the servicer of your loan at

  • Request a copy of your customer service history; some loan servicers make available copies of the notes that customer service representatives make on your account.
  • When you speak with someone, make a note of whom you speak to and when, and what was said. When you use mail, keep a copy of your letter and of any replies you receive.
  • Save the originals of all receipts, bills, letters, and e-mails regarding your account. Provide copies of the originals if you are asked for them. Send letters via certified mail, with a return receipt requested.
  • Don't let the emotion of the moment get to you. If you are not getting a proper response to your questions, calmly explain again what information or resolution you are seeking.
  • Be polite and courteous, but don't be afraid to give the detail of any incident and to state your concerns. Write down the facts in the order they took place and stick to what is relevant. Include important details such as your account number.
  • Ask for a response in a reasonable time, and be sure to tell the customer service representative how you can be reached.

Problem not solved? If you are still not satisfied, you might wish to contact the Federal Student Aid Ombudsman Group to help you resolve your dispute. Contact the Ombudsman Group only as a last resort; and first, be sure to be prepared before seeking help.

  • Telephone: 877-557-2575
  • Fax: 202-275-0549
  • Mail:

    U.S. Department of Education
    FSA Ombudsman Group
    830 First Street, N. E., Mail Stop 5144
    Washington, D.C. 20202-5144

Origination Fee Change

As of October 1, 2019, origination fees charged to Direct Loan borrowers are 1.059 percent for Direct Subsidized Loans and Direct Unsubsidized Loans and 4.236 percent for Direct PLUS Loans (both parent and graduate student PLUS Loans).

Private Loans

Need additional funds beyond scholarships and federal aid?

Private student loans are a means of financing educational expenses not covered by other sources of financial aid.

Be sure that you have applied for federal loans via the FAFSA before considering private loans. Federal Unsubsidized Loans are not based on financial need, so definitely explore this option before applying for private loans.

Private Loan Self-Certification Form

  • UAH does not maintain a preferred lender list. Since private loan lenders are profit-oriented, our office cannot recommend one lender over another.
  • One way to identify lenders is to search the internet. Most lenders provide information concerning their student loan programs online and also provide an online application process.
  • Loan terms, fees, interest rates, and eligibility criteria vary widely between lenders. Compare rates and terms before choosing a lender. Read the fine print to insure you are making an educated choice.
  • The application process for a private student loan is between you and the lender: UAH is not involved in the initial application process.
  • As part of the application process, the lender will do a credit check. If you have not built a credit history, or if your credit rating is low, the lender will require you to have a credit-worthy co-signer. Adding a credit worthy cosigner will help increase the chances for approval, and could lower the interest rate on the loan.
  • Most lenders provide an online application process. However, some lenders may require additional documentation (such as a Self-Certification form) and signatures. Be sure to react promptly to any requests for information or signatures from your lender in order to keep the application process moving.

Private loan applications include a question about the estimated Cost of Attendance (COA). Below is a chart containing the UAH COA figures for 2022-2023. This chart shows the total COA for the fall and spring semesters combined. The COA for one semester would be half of the amount shown in the chart.

2022-2023 UAH Cost of Attendance
includes estimated living expenses

 Full Time3/4 Time1/2 Time
Undergraduate Resident On/Off Campus $29,878 $27,302 $21,311
Undergraduate Resident Living with Parents $22,456 $19,880 $13,889
Undergraduate Non-Resident On/Off Campus $43,332 $39,716 $28,503
Undergraduate Non-Resident Living with Parents $35,910 $32,294 $21,081
Graduate Resident $30,204 $27,798 $24,271
Graduate Non-Resident $44,116 $41,376 $35,181

Your maximum eligible loan amount is determined by subtracting the total of your financial aid and scholarships for the loan period from the estimated UAH Cost of Attendance for the loan period.

Borrow only what you need! This is a loan that must be repaid with interest.

The loan period you select on the application is very important because it determines the number of disbursements (payments) for the loan. For example, if the specified loan period is 8/01/2022 thru 5/1/2023, then it is assumed that the loan relates to the fall and spring semesters and therefore the loan amount will be disbursed in two payments (one per semester).

The loan period must fall within a single academic year. The academic year at UAH begins with the Fall semester and ends with the Summer semester.

After a student has been pre-approved for a private loan, the lender will send a certification request to UAH for processing. As part of the certification process, our office will provide the following information:

  • verification that the student is registered for classes at UAH during the specified loan period
  • the number of credit hours in which the student is enrolled
  • the amount of financial aid/scholarships the student is receiving
  • approved loan amount
  • disbursement dates

Please note: our office will not certify private loans for an amount that exceeds the cost of attendance minus other financial aid or that require funding or financial guarantees by the university. If the requested loan amount exceeds eligibility limits, the loan amount will be reduced to the maximum eligible amount on the loan certification.

Disbursement dates indicate when the lender will send the funds to UAH. Our office will specify the first date that you will be attending class during the semester as the disbursement dates to all lenders as part of the certification process.

If an applicable disbursement date has already passed by the time the loan is certified, then the lender will schedule the first possible disbursement date, taking into consideration a mandatory 3 day right-to-cancel period as well as their processing schedules. If you have completed the final sign-off of the terms of your loan, you can contact your lender to find out the scheduled disbursement dates for your loan funds.

When your loan funds are received by UAH, the funds will first be applied to any outstanding charges on your UAH bill. Any remaining funds will be refunded to you by paper check, by direct deposit, or by a credit back to your credit card if a credit card was used to make a payment for that semester. Students are strongly encouraged to sign up for direct deposit when expecting a refund.

Still have questions?

Contact Us