There are many types of loans available to you, from federal to private student loans.

Loans are funds that are borrowed to help pay for your education expenses. Loans must be repaid, usually with interest. You must be a degree-seeking student and enrolled in at least half time to receive a student loan. Learn more about federal and private loans that may be available to you.

  • Federal Direct Loans


    Governors State University participates in the Federal Direct Loan Program through the U.S. Department of Education. If this is your first Federal Direct Subsidized or Unsubsidized Loan at Governors State University, or you have an expired promissory note, you are required to sign an electronic Master Promissory Note and complete Entrance Counseling online at This MPN and Entrance Counseling will be in effect throughout your time at GSU.

    Student loans are not prorated based on enrollment.  However, you must be enrolled at least half-time (6 hours) to be eligible for loans.  Failure to stay enrolled at least half time will cause ineligibility for student loans.


    Federal Direct Subsidized Loan

    • This loan is only available to undergraduate students. Loan repayment begins six months after you graduate or drop below six credit hours. The interest rate is currently 4.45 percent. A 1.0  More information about Federal Direct Subsidized Loans can be found on the Federal Student Aid website

    Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan

    •  The interest on this non-need based loan accrues from the time the loan is disbursed until paid in full. You may pay the interest while you are in school or it will be added to the principal balance of the loan when you begin repayment. Loan repayment begins six months after you graduate or drop below six credit hours. The interest rate is currently 4.45 percent for all undergraduates and 6 percent for graduate or professional students. More information about Federal Direct unsubsidized Loans can be found on the Federal Student Aid website  



  • Federal Direct PLUS Loan


    Graduate/Doctoral students or parent/s of a dependent student can apply for this federal loan. A credit check is required and the loan amount can't exceed student's budget or cost of attendance minus all financial aid and other resources received by the student. Repayment begins 60 days after loan disbursement, however, repayment can be deferred. The interest rate is fixed at 7 percent.  You must complete a Master Promissory Note online at and turn in a Federal Direct PLUS Loan Request to the Financial Aid Office. More information about Federal Direct PLUS Loans can be found on the Federal Student Aid website.

  • Stafford Loan Limits


    The federal Stafford Loan programs carry both annual and cumulative (lifetime) limits. The SAR (Student Aid Report) from your FAFSA contains your cumulative borrowing history, and you may also view your entire student loan history online via NSLDS.

    Subsidized + Unsubsidized
    Dependent Freshman$5,500$3,500
    Dependent Sophomore$6,500$4,500
    Dependent Junior/Senior$7,500$5,500
    Independent Freshman$9,500$3,500
    Independent Sophomore     $10,500$4,500
    Independent Junior/Senior$12,500$5,500

    Lifetime Limits  

      Subsidized + Unsubsidized
    Dependent Undergraduate$31,000$23,000
    Independent Undergraduate$57,500$23,000
    *The graduate debt limit includes loans received for undergraduate study.


    What happens if I reach a lifetime limit?

    If you reach a lifetime loan limit, you will no longer be able to receive any more of that type of loan. If you exceed the limit, aid already disbursed will be billed back. You will have to find alternate ways to finance your education. Therefore it is to your advantage to borrow only what you need for educational expenses, and to keep track of your cumulative debt. Our counselors are happy to work with you to find ways to minimize your borrowing. 

    150% Subsidized Loan Limit

    Below are the maximum lengths of time a student can receive Direct Subsidized Loans depending on their academic program.  If a student reaches the 150% Subsidized Loan Limit, they are no longer eligible to borrow any additional Direct Subsidized loans. Also, if they continue attending, they will lose the interest subsidy on their previously borrowed loans beginning on the first day of continued enrollment. 

    Length of Degree ProgramMaximum Eligibility Period
    2 Years3 Years
    4 Years6 Years
    5 Years7.5 Years


    Consolidated Loans

    Consolidated Loans representing any underlying Stafford or SLS loans that were  paid off by the Consolidation Loan is counted towards the aggregate Stafford Loan limits. 


  • Private Student Loans


    Governors State University students may also want to take out additional student loans through private lenders. We encourage you to speak with a financial aid counselor and use all federal student aid available before seeking out any alternative/private loans. Because alternative loans are funded and administered by private lenders, each has its own unique terms and conditions. Be sure you carefully review the terms and conditions before reaching your decision.

    The Governors State University Office of Financial Aid is unable to provide guidance as to which alternative loan may best meet your needs. This list is provided by Elm Select and they are responsible for the accuracy and updating of all content.

  • Consolidation Loans


    Consolidation Loans combine several student or parent loans into one bigger loan from a single lender, which is then used to pay off the balances on the other loans. They also provide an opportunity for alternative repayment plans, making monthly payments more manageable. 

    Consolidation loans are available for most federal loans, including Stafford, PLUS, Perkins, Health Professional Student Loans, Guaranteed Student Loans and Direct Loans. Some lenders offer private consolidation loans for private education loans as well. 

    No matter what type of loan you take out, it comes with its own interest rate. It can seem like a riddle when trying to keep track of your loans and payments. 

    When it comes to loans, consolidation can be a great option. In consolidating your loans, it can become easier to handle because, essentially, your multiple loans will become one and payment will become simplified into one monthly payment. 

    Before you decide to consolidate your loans, however, financial experts remind that there are some factors you should be sure to think about. 


    What Type of Loans You Have

    Believe it or not, you have more than just your balance to consider what types of loans you've taken out. For example, whether or not you've taken out the same type or varied types can make a difference in consolidation. 
    If you're like most borrowers, you taken out a mix of both subsidized and unsubsidized Direct Loans. You'll need to check with your loan provider to find the rates of each of your loans and whether or not the loans have fixed rates. If you're unsure of your loan servicer, it's whoever sends your monthly statements. 

    Assuming you decide to consolidate your loans, remember that a consolidated payment is an average of all your loans being consolidated. 

    What you need to consider next is, whether or not that average will consolidation will cause you to pay more interest over time. Combining lower and higher interest rates could cause you to do so. 


    Your Loan Benefits
    Again, consider your type of loans and the benefits that each offer. For example, some types of loans offer more loan forgiveness or flexible payment options than others. Combining those with other types of loans can limit or even eliminate such benefits and options. Inversely, consolidation may help you gain access to such forgiveness options.  

    Savings Aren't Guaranteed
    While consolidation can help confusion by switching multiple loans into one, it shouldn't be the only reason you decide to consolidate. If you're able to keep your payments on track, consolidation is likely unnecessary. 
    If you're merely having difficulty keeping track of your separate loan payments, not consider automatic debit payments as an alternative to consolidation. 
    However, if you're struggling to make payments, you will likely see relief in consolidation. You will likely end up paying more in the long run, but it's worth it if you've been defaulting on your payments. 

    Typically, you can consolidate directly through your current loan servicer or Department of Education, but there are other 3rd party lenders who can also provide this service. You can find some of these other options at ELM select. 


    Under no circumstances pay a fee in advance to get a federal education loan or consolidate your federal education loans.  There are no fees to consolidate your loans. While other federal education loans, such as the Stafford and PLUS loans, may charge some fees, the fees are always deducted from the disbursement check. There is never an upfront fee. If someone wants you to pay an upfront fee, chances are that is it an example of an advance fee loan scam.