For both the subsidized and unsubsidized Federal Stafford loans, you must first submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
After the financial aid process has been completed, you must submit the following to complete your loan file:
- A completed Triton College Loan Request Form
- A completed Master Promissory Note
- An Entrance Interview for all new borrowers
Federal Direct Student Loan Program (Direct Stafford Loan)
- Stafford loans let students borrow money for college at a low interest rate. Repayment begins six months after you cease to be enrolled in six or more credit hours of school.
- You may borrow up to $3,500 in a subsidized loan, if eligible.
- A student who has successfully completed the first year of a program of study of undergraduate education (with a minimum of 30 credit hours), but who has not yet successfully completed the remainder of the program, may borrow up to $4,500 for the second year of study.
- Additionally, dependent students may borrow up to $2,000 in an unsubsidized loan, and independent students may borrow up to $6,000 in an unsubsidized loan.
|Academic Level||Dependent Student||Independent Student|
(0-29 Credit Hours Completed)
+ $2,000 Unsubsidized
= $5,500 Combined
+ $6,000 Unsubsidized
= $9,500 Combined
(30-+ Credit Hours Completed)
+ $2,000 Unsubsidized
= $6,500 Combined
+ $6,000 Unsubsidized
= $10,500 Combined
Subsidized Stafford Loan (3.76% Fixed Interest Rate):
A subsidized loan is awarded on the basis of financial need. You will not be charged any interest while attending school with at least half-time enrollment. The federal government "subsidizes," or pays, the interest during that period on behalf of the student.
Unsubsidized Stafford Loan (3.76% Fixed Interest Rate):
An unsubsidized loan is not awarded on the basis of need. You will be charged interest from the time the loan is disbursed until it is paid in full. If you allow the interest to accrue (accumulate) while you are in school or during other periods of nonpayment, it will be capitalized – that is, the interest will be added to the principal amount of your loan, and additional interest will be based on that higher amount.
Parent PLUS Loan (6.31% Fixed Interest Rate):
A PLUS loans is a federal loan that parents of dependent undergraduate students can use to help pay education expenses. The borrower must not have an adverse credit history. The maximum loan amount is the student’s cost of attendance (determined by the school) minus any other financial aid received. If a parent borrower is unable to secure a PLUS loan, the undergraduate dependent student may be eligible for additional unsubsidized loans to help pay for his or her education.
150% Subsidized Usage Limit (for students with no outstanding federal loan balance as of July 1, 2013):
There is a limit on the maximum period of time that students can receive Direct Subsidized Loans. If this limit applies, you may not receive Direct Subsidized Loans for more than 150% of the length of your academic program. The maximum eligibility period is based on the published length of your current academic program (available in the course catalog).
If you are enrolled in a two-year associate degree program, the maximum period for which you can receive Direct Subsidized Loans is three years (150% of 2 years = 3 years). If you are a part-time student or enrolled for only one term, your maximum eligibility period will be adjusted based on your enrollment.
Because your maximum eligibility period is based on the length of your current program of study, the maximum eligibility period can change if you change to a program that has a different length. Also, if you receive Direct Subsidized Loans for one program and change to another program, the Direct Subsidized Loans received for the earlier program will generally count toward your new maximum eligibility period.
If you do not complete your program within your maximum eligibility period and you enroll in the same program, you will become responsible for the interest that accrues on your Direct Subsidized Loans, from the date of your enrollment after meeting the 150% limit.
Student Loan Code of Conduct
The Triton College Financial Aid Office has developed a Student Loan Code of Conduct to ensure the Student Loan Program at the college is administered in an honest, ethical and legal manner; and to comply with the requirements of the Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) of 2008, signed into law on Aug. 14, 2008. All Triton College employees who are directly or indirectly involved with the administration of student loans, and officers and agents of the institution, adhere to the following principles:
- Prohibition of Revenue-Sharing - Triton College will not enter into revenue sharing agreements or arrangements between the college and a lender or vendor that is based on loans being made, insured or guaranteed to students attending Triton College or to families of Triton students. Triton College will not accept gifts from any outside entity in exchange for loan referrals. A gift is defined as any gratuity, favor, discount, entertainment, hospitality, loan or other item having monetary value of more than a nominal amount.
- Prohibition on Contracting Arrangements - Triton College Financial Aid Office employees (or employees or agents who otherwise have responsibilities with respect to education loans) will not accept from any lender, guarantor or servicer any fee, payment or other financial benefit as compensation for any type of consulting arrangement or other contract to provide services to or on behalf of a lender, guarantor or servicer related to educational loans.
- Prohibition on Offers of Funds for Private Loans - Triton College will not request or accept from any lender, guarantor or servicer any offer of funds to be used for private educational loans, including a pool of funds to students in exchange for the college providing concessions or promises to the lender, guarantor or servicer for a specific number of loans made, insured, or guaranteed, a specified loan volume, or a preferred lender arrangement. Prohibited financial benefits include but are not limited to revenue sharing, fees, payments, printing costs, cash, gifts, stocks, expenses paid trips, entertainment, lodging, meals or travel costs.
- Gift Restrictions - Triton College Financial Aid employees are prohibited from soliciting or accepting any gift from a lender, guarantor or servicer of educational loans. Gifts include but are not limited to any cash, gratuity, favor, discount, entertainment, hospitality, loan, stocks, printing costs, expense paid trips or reimbursement for lodging, meals or travel to conferences or training seminars. Training materials are not considered gifts.
- Preferred Lender Lists - Triton College currently does not utilize a preferred lender list for student educational loans. No lender is given preferred status or is given any advantage in securing potential borrowers. Students and parents are free to select the lending institution of their choice. Triton College will not restrict students from selecting a particular lender, delay certification, or refuse to certify educational loans for students based on the lender or guarantor.
- Advisory Board Compensation Rules - Triton College Financial Aid employees who serve on an advisory board, commission, or group established by a lender, guarantor or servicer shall not receive any remuneration for such service nor any reimbursement of expenses from same service.
- Staff Assistance -The Triton College Financial Aid Office shall not request or accept any staffing assistance from any lender, guarantor or servicer.
How do I access my loan information?
The U.S. Department of Education's National Student Loan Data System provides information on your federal loans including loan types, disbursed amounts, outstanding principal and interest, and the total amount of all your loans. To access NSLDS, go to www.nslds.ed.gov.
If you're not sure who your loan servicer is, you can look it up on www.nslds.ed.gov or call the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243).
Do I have to start repaying my loans right after I graduate?
Borrower Grace Periods
After you graduate, leave school, or drop below half-time enrollment, you have a period of time before you have to begin repayment. This "grace period" will be:
- Six months for a Federal Stafford Loan (Direct Loan Program or Federal Family Education Loan (FFELP) Program.)
- Nine months for Federal Perkins Loans.
- PLUS Borrowers: The repayment period for all PLUS Loans begins on the date the loan is fully disbursed, and the first payment is due within 60 days of the final disbursement. Parent PLUS Loan borrowers whose loans were first disbursed on or after July 1, 2008, may choose to have repayment deferred while the student for whom the parent borrowed is enrolled at least half-time and for an additional six months after that student is no longer enrolled at least half-time. Interest that accrues during these periods will be capitalized if not paid by the parent during the deferment.
Make Your Payments on Time
Your loan servicer will provide information about repayment and will notify you of the date loan repayment begins. It is very important that you make your full loan payment on time either monthly (which is usually when you'll pay) or according to your repayment schedule. If you don't, you could end up in default, which has serious consequences. Student loans are real loans—just as real as car loans or mortgages. You have to pay back your student loans.
I'm having trouble making payments, what do I do?
If you're having trouble making payments on your loans, contact your loan servicer as soon as possible. Your servicer will work with you to determine the best option for you.
- Requesting a Deferment: If you meet certain requirements, a deferment allows you to temporarily stop making payments on your loan.
- Requesting a Forbearance: If you don't meet the eligibility requirements for a deferment but are temporarily unable to make your loan payments, then (in limited circumstances) a forbearance allows you to temporarily stop making payments on your loan, temporarily make smaller payments, or extend the time for making payments.
If you stop making payments and don't get a deferment or forbearance, your loan could go into default, which has serious consequences.
Paying interest on your loan while you are in school
If you choose not to pay the interest on your Direct Unsubsidized or PLUS Loan while you're in school, the government will add it to the unpaid principal amount of your loan when you enter repayment. This is called "capitalization." Capitalization increases the unpaid principal balance of your loan, and the government will then charge interest on the increased principal amount. Check your interest statements, and use the online calculators at www.dl.ed.gov to find out how much you'll pay over the life of the loan if the in-school interest is added to your loan balance. If you want to pay the interest that accrues on your Direct Unsubsidized Loan or your PLUS Loan while you're in school, contact the Direct Loan Servicing Center at 1-800-848-0979.
How much time will I have to repay my loan, and how much will I have to pay each month?
Generally, you'll have from 10 to 25 years to repay your loan, depending on the repayment plan that you choose. Your monthly payment amount will be based on the amount you borrowed and the repayment plan you select.
Direct Loan student borrowers may choose one of several repayment plans:
- Standard Repayment Plan: You make fixed monthly payments for up to 10 years
- Graduated Repayment Plan: Your payments start off lower at first and then gradually increase, usually every two years. The loan must be repaid within 10 years.
- Extended Fixed or Extended Graduated Repayment Plan: You make fixed or graduated monthly payments over a period of time not to exceed 25 years. Extended repayment plans are available only to new Direct Loan borrowers on or after Oct. 7, 1998, who currently have an outstanding Direct Loan balance of more than $30,000.
- Pay As You Earn (PAYE): Your monthly payment is adjusted each year based on your annual income (and your spouse's income, if you're married), your family size, and the total amount of your Direct Loans. Payments will not be more than 10% of your discretionary income*. After 20 years, any unpaid loan amount will be forgiven. You must be a new borrower as of October 1, 2007 and received your first loan disbursement as of October 1, 2011.
- Revised Pay As You Earn (REPAYE): Your monthly payment is adjusted each year based on your annual income (and your spouse's income, if you're married), your family size, and the total amount of your Direct Loans. Payments will not be more than 10% of your discretionary income*. After 20 or 25 years, any unpaid loan amount will be forgiven. Any Direct Loan borrower with eligible loans can choose this plan.
- Income Contingent Repayment Plan (ICR): Your monthly payment is adjusted each year based on your annual income (and your spouse's income, if you're married), your family size, and the total amount of your Direct Loans. Payments will not be more than 20% of your discretionary income*. After 25 years, any unpaid loan amount will be forgiven.
- Income Based Repayment Plan (IBR): Your monthly payment is adjusted each year based on your annual income (and your spouse's income, if you're married), your family size, and the total amount of your Direct Loans. Payments will not be more than 10 or 15% of your discretionary income*. After 20 or 25 years, any unpaid loan amount will be forgiven.
- Income Sensitive Repayment Plan: Your monthly payment is adjusted each year based on your annual income over 15 years.
*Discretionary Income: the difference between your income and 150 percent of the poverty guideline for your family size and state of residence.
Can I get help repaying my loan?
Public Service Loan Forgiveness: If you are employed in certain public service jobs and have made 120 payments on your Direct Loans (after Oct. 1, 2007), the remaining balance that you owe may be forgiven. Only payments made under certain repayment plans may be counted toward the required 120 payments. You must not be in default on the loans that are forgiven.
Teacher Loan Forgiveness: If you are a teacher and also a new borrower (after Oct. 1, 1998) and have been teaching full-time in a low-income elementary or secondary school or educational service agency for five consecutive years, you may be able to have as much as $17,500 of your subsidized or unsubsidized loans forgiven.
Armed Forces: As part of their recruitment programs, the Armed Forces may repay your education loan if you enlist in the military. For more information, contact your local military service recruitment office.
Can my loan ever be canceled or discharged?
You must repay your loan even if you don't complete or can't find a job related to your program of study, or if you are unhappy with the education you paid for with your loan. However, the government will cancel your loan if you have your loan discharged in bankruptcy or if you become totally and permanently disabled and meet certain additional requirements. The government may discharge some or all of your loan if:
- The school closed before you completed your program.
- The school forged your signature on your promissory note or falsely certified that you were eligible to get the loan.
- A loan in your name was falsely certified through identity theft.
- You withdrew from school but the school didn't return the portion of your aid award that it was required to return under our regulations (See the written notice on return of aid that your school provides to its students).
What is loan consolidation?
A Consolidation Loan allows you to combine your federal student loans into a single loan, which may allow you to extend the repayment period. The interest rate for a Direct Consolidation Loan is based on a weighted average of the loans being consolidated.
Note: While extending the repayment period may lower your monthly payments, you may pay more interest over the life of the Direct Consolidation Loan.
How do I consolidate my loans?
You can consolidate your loans by doing the following:
- Apply for a consolidation loan.
- You will need information/paperwork regarding the outstanding student loans that you owe.
Is there a downside to consolidation?
Although consolidation can help many students manage their monthly payments, there are some cases when consolidation may not be right for you.
- You may lose certain benefits (such as cancellation benefits, interest subsidies, etc.) that were offered on the loans being consolidated.
- If you are close to paying off your student loans, it may not make sense to consolidate or extend your payments. By extending the years of repayment for your loans, you may be increasing the total amount you have to pay in interest.
Discuss your options with the financial aid office at your school.
What happens if I default on my loan?
Default occurs when you become 270 days delinquent in making payments on your loan. At the time of default, outstanding interest is capitalized and collection fees may be added, resulting in a loan balance that is higher than the amount borrowed. Borrowers who default on student loans face serious consequences.
What is loan default?
If a student fails to make a payment, the government will send the student a reminder that their payment is late. If the student's account remains delinquent, the government will send out warning notices reminding the student of their obligation to repay their loan and the consequences of default. Late fees may be added if payments are late, and delinquency will be reported to one or more national credit bureaus.
If you default on a loan, the following may occur:
- The entire unpaid amount of your loan becomes due and payable.
- Your default will be reported to national credit bureaus.
- The government may sue you, or take all or part of your federal tax refund or other federal payments, or garnish your wages so that your employer is required to send the government part of your salary to pay off your loan, or use a combination of these actions.
- You'll have to pay collection fees and costs, plus court costs and attorney fees.
- You'll lose eligibility for other federal student aid and most other federal benefit programs.
- You'll no longer be eligible for loan deferments (such as deferments while you're in school, unemployed, or experiencing economic hardship).
How do I avoid loan default?
Avoid loan default by doing the following:
- Notify your school and the Direct Loan Servicing Center if you change your name (for example, to your married name), local address, permanent address or telephone number.
- Make your payments on time.
- Stay in contact with your lender/holder of your loan.
- Make sure you take advantage of deferments and forbearances when you need them. A deferment is a temporary suspension of your monthly loan payment. There are many different types of deferments available. For more information about deferments, contact the Direct Loan Servicing Center.
- Borrow conservatively. Calculate your expenses for the semester and/or year and only borrow what you absolutely need.
You may qualify for a deferment if:
- You return to school at least half-time at a school that’s eligible to participate in the Department’s Federal Student Aid programs.
- You are unemployed or meet the rules for economic hardship.
- You are serving on active duty during a war or other military operation or national emergency, or you are performing qualifying National Guard duty during a war or other military operation or national emergency, and if you are serving on or after Oct. 1, 2007, for the 180-day period following the demobilization date for your qualifying service.
- You are a member of the National Guard or other reserve component of the U.S. Armed Forces (current or retired) and are called or ordered to active duty while enrolled at an eligible school, or within six months after having been enrolled. For this deferment, the deferment period is after the completion of the active duty service.
If you don’t qualify for a deferment but are temporarily unable to make loan payments for such reasons as illness or financial hardship, you may be eligible for a forbearance. A forbearance also allows you to defer loan payments in certain situations, such as during an illness. Interest is charged on on Direct Unsubsidized and PLUS Loans during all periods of deferment and forbearance. Interest on Direct Subsidized Loans is charged only during periods of forbearance.
Who do I contact about loans at Triton College?
The Loan Specialist for the Triton College Financial Aid Office can be reached at:
Stephanie SantoroTriton College
Financial Aid Office, B-160
2000 Fifth Ave.
River Grove, IL 60171
Phone:(708) 456-0300 Ext. 3045
Fax: (708) 583-3180