We view college loans as one part of an investment in a student's future. Listed below are some of the more popular loans available to Saint Anselm students and information on how to select the appropriate lender.

  • Federal Subsidized and Unsubsidized Direct Loans
  • Federal Parent PLUS Loan
  • Alternative Loan

Most Saint Anselm students will borrow from the federal student loan programs. Approximately 79% of the 2018 graduating class borrowed an average of $24,866 of federal student loans (Direct and Perkins Loans) over their four years. The yearly loan limit for the Direct Subsidized Loan is $3,500 in the freshman year, $4,500 in the sophomore year, and $5,500 both in the junior and senior years. In May 2008 HR5715 passed and allowed students the eligibility to borrow an additional $2,000 of Unsubsidized Direct Loan per year. 

The lender for the Federal Direct Loan Program and the Parent PLUS loan program is the U.S. Department of Education whereas students are able to select a lender of their choice for alternative loans.

Federal Direct Loans

The William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program consists of low-interest loans for students and parents to help pay for the cost of a student's education after high school. The lender is the U.S. Department of Education (the Department) rather than a bank or other financial institution. To receive a Direct Student Loan the student must annually complete the FAFSA.

The federal Direct Loans offer a low-cost resource that is federally protected, unlike alternative loans. There is no debt-to-income ratio required. A student may choose repayment options that meet their individual needs, including deferment options. We strongly recommend that a student take advantage of the federal loans before opting for alternative loans to save money in interest payments.

The federal government pays the interest on a subsidized loan while a student is enrolled, but does not do so on an unsubsidized loan. If a student receives an unsubsidized loan, they are responsible for interest during the in-school and deferment periods. The student may choose not to pay the interest while in school; however, capitalizing the interest will increase the overall loan principal in repayment.

Federal PLUS Loan (Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students)

The PLUS Loan is a federally guaranteed, low-interest loan for parents of dependent, undergraduate students.

Parents may borrow up to the cost of their student's attendance minus any other financial aid for which the student is eligible. If a parent desires this resource, the parent borrower must request the loan at studentaid.gov. The Office of Financial Aid will include this loan as part of the student's financial resources when all credit requirements are met. Only one parent needs to apply. For assistance in estimating the PLUS Loan amount use the Budget Worksheet found on the Resources: Links page.

If the PLUS loan request is denied and the parent chooses not to pursue the PLUS loan, the student may be eligible for an additional unsubsidized loan of $4,000 in the Freshman and Sophomore year and $5,000 in the Junior and Senior year.

Alternative (Private) Loans

Students looking for additional financing after exhausting their federal loan eligibility, may want to consider private alternative loans. The terms and conditions of these credit-based private loan programs vary, and as such, students are encouraged to review the details of the programs before selecting a private loan program.

Saint Anselm works with any participating lender.  If a student chooses a private alternative loan, we recommend the student take that loan in the student's name with a parent or other eligible co-signer (generally required in the freshman year) to obtain the best interest rate.  Eligibility for these loans depends on the credit-worthiness of the borrower and the co-signer(s). We offer two tools to assist with this process of pricing and selection:  Credible and Elm Select Loan Comparison Tool.

Credible is a free online tool that allows students to compare personalized loans from multiple lenders.  Students can analyze pre-qualified rates, terms and eligibility rules side-by-side in just a matter of minutes. Credible is not a lender or a bank.   

ELM Select offers student the ability to compare and select the loan that best fits their needs in a different platform.

Families are encouraged to review all options carefully before considering a private alternative loan as the interest rate is often much higher than that of federal student loans.  For assistance in estimating the amount of alternative private student loan to borrow, use the Budget Worksheet found on the Resources: Financial Aid Links page.