Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships

Loans

The federal government has a variety of federal loan options available for students and parents, and we encourage you to review the following information carefully before making any decisions about your loans.

If you have previously borrowed federal student loans at the University of Northern Iowa or another postsecondary institution, you should begin by reviewing your borrowing history at the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) using your FSA ID. Most importantly, remember these are loans and they must be repaid, so borrow only what you need.  Please refer to the following links to help you better understand your loan options.  You do not have to make payments on Direct Loans while you are enrolled at least half-time. You also have a six month grace period after you graduate or drop below half-time enrollment before you begin repayment. For more information on repayment, please review our website: Loan Repayment.

Types of Loans

  • Federal Direct Loans: Loan option that is available to all undergraduate and graduate students, with both Subsidized and Unsubsidized options depending on financial need

  • Federal Direct PLUS Loans: Loan option for parents of undergraduate students

  • Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loans: Loan option for graduate students that have already exhausted their Federal Direct Loan options

  • Private Education Loans: Loan option offered through private banks and lenders; generally only accepted if all other financial aid options have been exhausted

Loan Forgiveness Programs

Public Service Loan Forgiveness Help Tool

The Department of Education (ED) has released a new online loan forgiveness help tool to help borrowers assess their eligibility for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program. The tool  will help inform borrowers of any necessary or suggested actions to take in order to qualify, help them self-assess their eligibility using employment information, and help them decide which form to submit—an Employment Certification Form (ECF) or an application for loan forgiveness. The tool will not, however, assist borrowers in submitting either form. It will instead populate a fully-completed PDF that borrowers can save and have signed to submit on their own later on.