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Federal Direct Ford Loan

William D. Ford Federal Direct Loans (Direct Loans) are made directly to you by the United States government through the U.S. Department of Education.  Direct loans are made to students who are admitted as degree seeking students attending school at least half time. The U.S. Department of Education is the lender; it delivers the loan money to you through the school.

You must accept the loan in Self Service before we can process the funds for you.  First time borrowers are also required to sign a master promissory note and complete a Loan Entrance Counseling on the web before loan funds may be disbursed.  The master promissory note and the Loan Entrance Counseling is available on the Federal Student Aid website at . 

A student qualifies for a Direct Subsidized Loan based on financial need, as determined under federal regulations. Although the UWEC Financial Aid Office determines the amount you may borrow based on the results of your financial aid application, there are limits as to the annual amount you may borrow depending on your grade level as shown below:

Maximum Annual Loan Limits

Freshman status Undergraduate Student $3500
Sophomore status Undergraduate Student $4500 per year
Junior status and Above Undergraduate Student $5500 per year
The cumulative undergraduate limit is $23,000.

The interest rate on Direct Loans is fixed. The federal government does not charge you interest while you're enrolled in school at least half time, or during deferments. You begin repaying your loan six months after you graduate, leave school, or drop below half-time enrollment status. The actual length of the repayment period and monthly payment depends on the amount of the loan you owe, the interest rate, and the loan repayment option selected.

Although there is no interest on the Direct Loan while you are in school, there is a loan fee charged on the amount you borrow. Loans disbursed before October 1, 2017 have a loan fee of 1.069%.  Loans disbursed after October 1, 2017 will have a loan fee of 1.066%.  The loan fee is subtracted from the loan money before it is applied to your account.

150% Direct Subsidized Loan Limit
Federal regulations limit  new borrower's eligibility for Direct Subsidized Loans.  A student who is a first time borrower of Direct Loan on or after July 1, 2013, is able to borrow Subsidized Direct Loans for up to 150% of the published length of their program.  A first time borrower is someone who has no outstanding balance of a Direct Loan or on a FFEL Loan on or after July 1, 2013.

Example: a student enrolled in a 4 year program would be eligible for Subsidized Direct Loans for 6 years.  Enrollment in a 7th year in the same program, or program of equal length, would result in a loss of Subsidized Direct Loan eligibility as well as the loss of interest subsidy on Direct Subsidized Loans.

Click here for more information and examples:

Time Limitation on Direct Subsidized Loan Eligibility


Frequently Asked Questions regarding the Direct Loan Program