Financial aid loans are low-interest loans for students or parents and are often awarded based on financial need. These must be repaid.

To qualify for most loans, you must file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). You need to file a FAFSA every year you are in college.

Manage Your Loans

Ball State University is dedicated to helping you manage your student loan debt level. Therefore, we have partnered with iontuition, which is provided to you at no cost to help you manage all of your student loans through a single portal. Begin managing your student loans.

Federal Direct Stafford

The Direct Stafford Loan Program is one of the Federal Student Aid programs of the U.S. Department of Education. Generally known as Stafford Loans, these can provide you with a simple, convenient, and flexible way to borrow money to pay for your education.

The process is simple for borrowers. Direct Loan borrowers first need to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid  (FAFSA). Based on the information provided on the FAFSA, our office will determine the type and amount of financial aid you are eligible to receive.

Types of Direct Loans

Direct Stafford Subsidized Loan (Undergraduate Only)

With a subsidized loan, the government pays the interest on this loan while you are attending school at least half-time and for loans first disbursed on or after July 1, 2015, during the six-month grace period, which begins after you graduate or stop attending at least half-time.

Direct Stafford Unsubsidized Loan

You can get this loan regardless of your family’s income. This loan is a non-need-based loan, and you must pay the interest on a semiannual basis while you are enrolled in school and during the grace period, or the interest will be added to the principal (original amount) of your loan at the time of repayment. To estimate monthly loan payments, use this online loan calculator.

Accept Your Loans

You must accept the loan(s) at MyBSU to indicate the type of loan and amount you wish to borrow: subsidized and/or unsubsidized. Subsequent loan requests may require submission of a paper form. It is possible to have both a subsidized and an unsubsidized loan at the same time. You must be enrolled for at least six credit hours undergraduate or five credit hours graduate.

The interest rate for Direct Stafford Loans first disbursed on or after July 1, 2017 and before July 1, 2018 are:

  • For undergraduate students – 4.45 percent
  • For graduate or professional students – 6.00 percent
All interest rates shown are fixed rates for the life of the loan.  Interest rates on federal student loans are set by Congress.

Most federal student loans have loan fees that are a percentage of the total loan amount.  The loan fee is deducted proportionately from each loan disbursement you receive.  This means the money you receive will be less than the amount you actually borrow.  You are responsible for repaying the entire amount you borrowed and not just the amount you received.  Loan fees are:

  • 1.069 percent loan fee for loans with a first disbursement on or after Oct. 1, 2016 and before Oct. 1, 2017 will be deducted from each loan disbursement.
  • 1.066 percent loan fee for loans with a first disbursement on or after Oct. 1, 2017 and before Oct. 1, 2018 will be deducted from each loan disbursement.

Loan limits for undergraduate students vary depending on your class level and your dependency status as determined by the information provided on your FAFSA.

  • freshmen – 29 credit hours or fewer
  • sophomores – 30 to 59 credit hours
  • juniors – 60 to 89 credit hours
  • seniors – 90 credit hours or more

Annual Limits for Dependent Students

  • $5,500 for a freshman (no more than $3,500 of this amount can be in subsidized loans)
  • $6,500 for a sophomore (no more than $4,500 of this amount can be in subsidized loans)
  • $7,500 for a junior or senior (no more than $5,500 of this amount can be in subsidized loans)

Annual Limits for Independent Undergraduate Students

  • $9,500 for a freshman (no more than $3,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans)
  • $10,500 for a sophomore (no more than $4,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans)
  • $12,500 for a junior or senior (no more than $5,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans)

Annual Limit for Graduate or Post-Baccalaureate Students

  • $20,500 unsubsidized for graduate students. Students seeking a second undergraduate degree may borrow only at the undergraduate level.
  • $12,500 ($7,000 must be unsubsidized loans) is the borrowing limit for students seeking instructional licensure

Total Loan Debt

The total Federal Stafford Loan debt you can acquire is:
  • $31,000 as a dependent undergraduate student; no more than $23,000 of this amount may be in subsidized loans
  • $57,500 as an independent undergraduate student; no more than $23,000 of this amount may be in subsidized loans
  • $138,500 as a graduate student (this includes undergraduate loans)

Loan proceeds will be credited directly to your eBill account. Tuition and room-and-board charges will be paid.

If the amount of your loan is greater than the amount of these charges or if these charges have already been paid, a refund will be issued to you.

Federal regulations require that first-time borrowers complete a Master Promissory Note at StudentLoans.gov. Loan proceeds will not be disbursed until the MPN has been completed.

If you are a first-time borrower, you must complete an online loan counseling session at StudentLoans.gov. Loan proceeds will not be disbursed until the loan counseling requirement has been met.

Also, if you graduate, drop below half-time, or withdraw from Ball State, you are required to complete an online exit interview at StudentLoans.gov.

During this session you will receive general information on expected monthly repayments, repayment options, and debt management planning to facilitate repayment.

Repayment of your Federal Direct Stafford loan(s) begins six months after you cease to be enrolled at least half-time. Minimum monthly payments are $40.

You have seven repayment plans to select from:

  • standard (10 years) 
  • extended (not to exceed 25 years)
  • graduated (not to exceed 10 years)
  • income-contingent
  • income-based
  • income-sensitive
  • pay as you earn

Federal Direct Graduate PLUS

Graduate PLUS loans are from the U.S. Department of Education for students seeking master’s, doctoral, or specialist degrees. The Graduate PLUS enables graduate students to borrow up to the cost of education minus any other financial aid.

To qualify for one of these loans, you must:

  • be accepted for enrollment in a degree-seeking program (MA, Ed. D, Ed. S, Ph. D) 
  • be registered at least half-time in courses counting toward a graduate or professional degree
  • file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
  • first apply for the maximum loan eligibility under the Federal Unsubsidized Stafford Loan Program
  • not be in default on any type of student loan
  • not owe a repayment on a student grant
  • pass a credit check by the U.S. Department of Education.

You can choose to apply for a Federal Direct Graduate PLUS loan by submitting a loan request form online at StudentLoans.gov. Students must have a good credit history and pass a credit check performed by the U.S Department of Education to be eligible for this loan.

The interest rate for Graduate PLUS loans first disbursed on or after July 1, 2017, and before July 1, 2018 is 7.00 percent.

The interest rate is a fixed rate for the life of the loan.  Interest rates on federal student loans are set by Congress.

Most federal student loans have loan fees that are a percentage of the total loan amount.  The loan fee is deducted proportionately from each loan disbursement you receive.  This means the money you receive will be less than the amount you actually borrow.  You are responsible for repaying the entire amount you borrowed and not just the amount you received.

  • A 4.276 percent loan fee will be deducted proportionately each time a loan disbursement is made for loans first disbursed on or after Oct. 1, 2016 and before Oct 1, 2017.
  • A 4.264 percent loan fee will be deducted proportionately each time a loan disbursement is made for loans first disbursed on or after Oct. 1, 2017 and before Oct 1, 2018.

Loan proceeds will be credited directly to your eBill. Tuition, fees, and room and board will be paid.

If the amount of your loan is greater than the amount of these charges or if these charges have already been paid, you will receive a refund.

Federal regulations require that first-time Graduate PLUS borrowers complete a Master Promissory Note at StudentLoans.gov before receiving any money from the Federal Direct Loan Program. If you have borrowed previously but are a new borrower with the Graduate PLUS Program, you must complete an MPN.

All first-time Graduate PLUS borrowers must complete an online loan counseling session at StudentLoans.gov. Loan proceeds will not be disbursed until the loan counseling requirement has been met.

Repayment of a Federal Direct Graduate PLUS loan begins within 60 days of the final disbursement of the loan.

You may be eligible for an in-school deferment if you continue to be enrolled at least half-time.

Federal Direct Parent PLUS

A Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan is a non-need-based source of loan funds to assist parents of dependent students.

You can choose to apply for a Federal Direct Parent PLUS loan by submitting a loan request form online at StudentLoans.gov.

Parents must have a good credit history and pass a credit check performed by the U.S Department of Education to be eligible for this loan.

The interest rate for PLUS loans first disbursed on or after July 1, 2017, and before July 1, 2018 is 7.00 percent.

The interest rate is a fixed rate for the life of the loan.  Interest rates on federal student loans are set by Congress.

Most federal student loans have loan fees that are a percentage of the total loan amount.  The loan fee is deducted proportionately from each loan disbursement you receive.  This means the money you receive will be less than the amount you actually borrow.  You are responsible for repaying the entire amount you borrowed and not just the amount you received.

  • A 4.276 percent loan fee will be deducted proportionately each time a loan disbursement is made for loans first disbursed on or after Oct. 1, 2016 and before Oct 1, 2017.
  • A 4.264 percent loan fee will be deducted proportionately each time a loan disbursement is made for loans first disbursed on or after Oct. 1, 2017 and before Oct 1, 2018.

Your parents may borrow an amount up to the maximum cost of attendance, minus all other financial assistance.

Federal regulations allow both of your parents to apply for separate PLUS loans.

Federal regulations require that first-time borrowers complete a Master Promissory Note at StudentLoans.gov before receiving any money from the Federal Direct Loan Program.

Loan proceeds will be credited directly to your eBill. Tuition, fees, room and board, and any other authorized charges will be paid.

If the amount of your loan is greater than the amount of these charges or if these charges have already been paid, parents will have the option of allowing the remaining money to be refunded to the student or parent.

Repayment of a Federal Direct Parent PLUS loan begins within 60 days of the final disbursement.

Federal provisions permit the borrower to combine all Title IV loans into one repayment program. Federal Perkins Loan, Federal Direct Stafford Loans (subsidized/unsubsidized), and Federal Family Educational Loans (subsidized/unsubsidized), may be consolidated.

Federal Direct Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students may be consolidated as a separate loan, but not with the student loans. The maximum repayment period is 30 years, and loan holders are required to offer both flexible and graduated repayment plans.

Minimum monthly payments are

  • $40 for Perkins Loans
  • $40 for Stafford Loans
  • $50 for PLUS Loans

The holder of your loan will tell you what your specific loan repayment schedule will be.

Learn more about loan consolidation.

Federal Perkins

These are low-interest, long-term educational loans awarded annually, depending on financial need and as determined by the information you provided on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

To receive a Federal Perkins Loan, you must enroll for at least six credit hours. If you are eligible for a Perkins Loan, it will be offered in your award package. Acceptance and Master Promissory Note: Requirements must be completed by Oct. 1.

You may borrow up to $5,500 a year, up to a total of $27,500 for an undergraduate degree.

Loan limits are determined by funding availability and federal maximum limits. For the latest about loan limits and other details, go to the U. S. Department of Education’s Perkins Loan Program page.

Loan proceeds will be credited directly to your ebill.

Tuition, fees, and room-and-board charges will be paid. If the amount of your loan is greater than the amount of these charges or if these charges have already been paid, you will receive a refund.

The interest rate is fixed at 5 percent.

Interest does not accrue while you are enrolled at least half-time. Interest starts to accrue at the end of your nine-month grace period after you cease to be enrolled at least half-time.

To receive a Federal Perkins Loan, you will need to accept it at MyBSU.

If you have not previously received a Federal Perkins Loan at Ball State or the last time you accepted one was prior to July 1, 2007, you will receive an email at your assigned Ball State email address from ECSI (Ball State’s servicer for Perkins loans) with instructions on how to complete the online entrance counseling interview and Master Promissory Note. If you completed a Federal Perkins Loan Master Promissory Note on or after July 1, 2007, the loan will disburse to your student account after your acceptance has been confirmed.

The repayment period for a Federal Perkins Loan begins nine months after you cease to be enrolled at least half-time. The minimum monthly payment is $40. The maximum repayment period is 10 years but may be extended for up to 10 more years if Ball State determines that you are or will be a “low-income individual” as defined in the federal regulations published by the U.S. Department of Education.

You can view and pay your Perkins Loans online through Educational Computer Systems Inc. (ECSI). ECSI administers the billing and servicing of these loans. ECSI is a billing service for Ball State, not a collection agency. With this partnership, Ball State can allow you full access to view your loan accounts, make online payments, sign up for ebilling, use electronic draft payments, obtain deferment forms online, and make online changes to your address.

All borrowers under the Federal Perkins Loan program who graduate, drop below half-time status, or withdraw from Ball State are required to complete exit counseling. This interview should take place before you leave the university.

Exit interview counseling is designed to prepare you for the repayment of your student loan(s), provide you with detailed information regarding deferment and/or cancellation privileges, and to assist you with personal financial management. To complete your online exit interview, access ECSI’s website at www.ecsi.net.

If you have any trouble completing your online exit interview, please contact ECSI at 888-549-3274, Ball State University at 765-285-5822, or email cservice@ecsi.net.

Ball State actively pursues the collection of delinquent loans and initiates legal action if necessary.

Private

Private loans, sometimes called alternative loans, are available from private lenders and offer additional financial assistance. A credit check is required for private loans, and some of the loan terms and conditions may be based upon your credit standing. If you are a student, be aware that most lenders will require a co-signer.

Please carefully review your need to borrow. We recommend that you exhaust all federal grant and loan programs before you consider a private loan.

The Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships will process a private loan from any lender of your choosing. The lender does not have to be a lender listed in the links below. The lenders listed on this website were selected from the lenders who responded to our request for information. Our goal was to provide students with an array of lenders whom we have confidence in based on their terms and service capabilities. Ball State University has no affiliation with any private lenders, and financial aid employees abide by an established Code of Conduct.

Loan Terms

  • Unlike federal loans, private lenders set the terms for the loans, which can mean they have different criteria for both loan eligibility and loan rates. Before you decide to apply for a private student loan, we encourage you to research all of your options and keep a few things in mind.
  • Private student loans have a range of interest rates, fees, and repayment options.
  • We strongly encourage you to apply with a credit-worthy co-signer to both increase your chances of being approved for the loan and to obtain a better interest rate.
  • Interest rates can be either fixed or variable. Variable rates can increase or decrease over time, depending on market conditions. Interest rates on private loans may depend on your and/or your co-signer’s credit rating.
  • Before accepting any private student loan, you should determine the interest rate and any fees associated with the loan.
  • Be aware that a private education loan may reduce your eligibility for free or lower-cost federal, state, or school-based student financial aid. Make sure you have exhausted other options.
  • Borrowers who choose different private loan lenders to fund their postsecondary education will likely have multiple student loan payments to make upon leaving school. It can be advantageous and economical to consider using the same lender for all of your private education loan needs.
  • Initially apply to multiple lenders. Student loans are provided special protections under the credit reporting rules. As long as students conduct their ‘shopping’ within a 30-day period, there should be no impact on their credit rating and no impact on their loan terms.

Questions?

If you have general questions about private loans you may certainly contact our office. However, please remember that we cannot offer assistance on your choosing of a lender or product. Each family’s circumstances are unique, and the loan terms and benefits offered to you may be dependent upon your specific credit standing.

Due to requirements in the Truth in Lending Act, a lender must obtain a self-certification signed by the applicant before disbursing a private education loan. If you have not provided a signed copy of the applicant self-certification form to your lender download the form.

Comparison Tools

Two tools are provided below for your use. Each allows you to compare lenders. These are not comprehensive listings of lenders, and you can use any lender of your choosing. These are provided to assist you in the process. 

All Federal Perkins Loans, Federal Direct Stafford Loans, Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loans, and Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loans will be submitted to the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS). This information will be accessible by guaranty agencies, lenders, and institutions determined to be authorized users of the data system.

Student and parent borrowers can combine multiple federal student loans into one consolidation loan.

ELMSelect LENDER CHOICES

ELMSelect is a tool that allows you to compare rates of lenders. The following lenders were selected by a team of Ball State administrators from those lenders who responded to our request for information.

Click on ELMSelect  to begin the process.

INVESTED MARKETPLACE LENDER CHOICES

Many lenders have provided accurate rates and terms for students to compare in the INvestEd Student Loan Marketplace.

Click on INvestEd Marketplace to begin the process.