Frequently Asked Questions


Loans Questions

Are there any Alternatives to Consolidation?

Before you decide o consolidae, consider he available alernaives:

  • If you need a lower monhly paymen, research differen repaymen opions offered by he Deparmen of Educaion. You can find his informaion under "Managing Repaymen" a
  • If you are emporarily sruggling o keep up wih your loan paymens, consider a defermen or forbearance ha allows you o pospone or reduce your monhly paymen. Conac your loan servicer o find ou abou defermen and forbearance opions.

Can I Consolidate My Private Loans?

Please contact your lender about consolidation or refinancing options for private loans.

Do I need to accept loans to convert them to work-study?

No, if you plan on converting loans to work-study, leave that amount as "Offered" and not as "Accepted." You can accept a lesser amount and hold the difference in reserve to convert to work-study. Please contact the Financial Aid and Scholarships office to have your work-study converted to a loan.

Do I Need To Complete A Loan Promissory Note For A Private Loan Every Year?

Most private loans require a new promissory note to be submitted every year. At the time you apply and are approved for a private loan, the lender will provide the promissory note for you to complete or they will refer you to a link where you can complete your promissory note on line. Please check with your private lender for instructions on how to complete their loan process.

Do I Need To Complete Promissory Notes For Federal Loans Every Year?

Federal Loans (Perkins, Subsidized/Unsubsidized Direct Loans and Direct PLUS) require that a Master Promissory Note (MPN) be completed once when you borrow for the first time. Once submitted, the MPN is valid for 10 years. To submit an MPN for Direct Subsidized/Unsubsidized or PLUS Loan go to (there are separate promissory notes for the SUB/UNSUB program and for PLUS). To submit an MPN for a Perkins Loan go to Your Perkins MPN will be available 2-3 days after you accept a Perkins loan on your FAN.

How Do I Apply For A California Dream Loan?

Funding for the California Dream Loan program comes from the State of California and the University of California System. Undergraduate students who are not eligible to apply for federal loans and who qualify for Non-Resident Supplemental Tuition Waiver under AB540 must complete a California Dream Act Application before the March 2 priority filing deadline in order to be considered. If eligible, your California Dream Loan will be included on your financial aid notification (FAN).

How Do I Apply For A Federal Parent Loan?

A financial aid application, FAFSA, must be completed annually. Once UCLA Financial Aid and Scholarships receives your FAFSA information from the federal processor, we will determine your eligibility for Parent PLUS. A Financial Aid Notification (FAN) will be posted on MyUCLA to inform you and your parent of how much they can apply for in a parent PLUS.

The borrower cannot apply for a parent PLUS by accepting it on the FAN. To apply, the borrower must request the loan at  After completing the PLUS request, the borrower must also complete a Direct PLUS Loan Master Promissory Note at The Direct PLUS Master Promissory Note is only required to be completed once, if an endorser is required, a new Master Promissory Note will be required for each time a new PLUS loan is endorsed.  Once the application process is complete, the Department of Education will contact UCLA Financial Aid and scholarships and we will verify your eligibility.

How Do I Apply for A Federal Student Loan?

Federal Loans (Perkins, Direct Subsidized Loan, Direct Unsubsidized Loan and PLUS Loan) require that a FAFSA be completed every academic year for which the borrower is interested in receiving loans. Perkins Loans are available only to borrowers who apply before the March 2 priority filing deadline. Once UCLA Financial Aid and Scholarships receives your FAFSA information from the federal processor, we will determine your eligibility for different types of federal loans available.

A Financial Aid Notification (FAN) will be made available on MyUCLA to let you know what loans have been offered. You will need to accept the loan(s) offered on your FAN so that we may send the certification of your loan eligibility to the Department of Education. Before the loans are funded, you will also need to complete a promissory note for the loan(s) you are planning to borrow. Refer to the loan guides available on our Forms and Publications page for more detailed loan application information.

NOTE: First time student borrowers at UCLA are also required to complete a Debt Management Session with Student Loan Services, before their loans can be disbursed. The DMS can be completed on the web at

How Do I Consolidate My Loan?

You apply for a Direct Consolidation Loan through This process offers both electronic and paper options. You can complete the electronic application, as explained below or you can download and print a paper application from for submission by U.S. mail.

Once you sign in to using your personal identifiers and Federal Student Aid PIN, you will be able to electronically complete the Federal Direct Consolidation Loan Application and Promissory Note. The electronic application on consists of the following five steps:

1. Choose Loans & Servicer
2. Repayment Plan Selection
3. Terms & Conditions
4. Borrower & Reference Information
5. Review & Sign


After you submit your application electronically via or by mailing a paper application, the consolidation servicer selected will complete the actions required to consolidate your eligible loans. The consolidation servicer will be your point of contact for any questions you may have related to your consolidation application.


It is critical that you continue making payments, if required, to the holders or servicers of the loans you want to consolidate until your consolidation servicer informs you that the underlying loans have been paid off.

How Will My Private Loan Be Disbursed?

Depending on which lender you choose, disbursements will be sent to UCLA electronically or via a paper check. Electronic disbursements will be applied to your BruinBill account and, if you have BruinDirect, will be refunded to your bank account. Paper checks will be sent to UCLA’s Student Loan Office and will need to be picked up in person in A227 Murphy Hall. FastChoice lender list on our website ( includes information on whether the lender you selected will deliver disbursements to UCLA electronically or via paper checks. If you are not sure, please contact UCLA’s Financial Aid and Scholarships office.

I accepted a loan but have not received any disbursements?

Several facors may preven your loan from being funded in a imely manner:

  • You are no enrolled a leas half ime. Half Time is considered 6 unis for an undergraduae suden, and 4 unis for a graduae suden.
  • You have holds on your suden accoun. Please check MyUCLA.
  • You did no complee a Maser Promissory Noe (MPN) wih he Deparmen of Educaion (for SUB, UNSUB or PLUS) or UCLA (for Perkins). Conac Financial Aid and Scholarships o find ou wheher your promissory noe is required OR:
    • For SUB/UNSUB or PLUS go o or call 800-557-7394
    • For Perkins Loan – conac UCLA Suden Loan Services a 310-825-9864
    • For privae Loan – conac your lender. Privae lender conac informaion can be found on he Preferred Lender Lis or FasChoice informaion under ‘Forms and Publicaions' link a
  • You are a firs ime suden borrower and have no compleed a Deb Managemen Session. If you are borrowing a Perkins or a Direc Loan for he firs ime a UCLA, you MUST complee he Deb Managemen Session a
  • If you acceped a Paren PLUS loan on your FAN bu he borrower did no reques a PLUS loan a, your PLUS loan will no be disbursed.

Should I Consolidate My Federal Loans? Disadvantages?

  • Consolidaion prolongs he life of he loan –you will make more paymens over he life of he loan and pay more in ineres. Be sure o compare your curren monhly paymens o wan your monhly paymens would be if you consolidaed your loans.
  • Forfeiing of he original repaymen incenives – borrower benefis from your original loan may include ineres rae discouns, principal rebaes or some loan cancellaion benefis. These benefis will be forfeied during consolidaion.
  • Pay more ineres over longer repaymen period.
  • Loss of loan forgiveness eligibiliy – a borrower who consolidaes a Perkins loan loses eligibiliy for he Teacher Loan Forgiveness program on ha loan.


    If you wan o lower your monhly paymen amoun bu are concerned abou he impac of loan consolidaion, alk o he servicer of your loan abou differen repaymen plans ha may make your repaymen more manageable wihou consolidaion.

What are Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans?

The William D. Ford Direct Loan Program consists of low-interest subsidized and unsubsidized loans financed by the Department of Education. These loans are available to undergraduate, graduate, and professional students who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents. Students who wish to be considered for these loans must file a FAFSA annually.

Subsidized loans, on which the student does not accrue interest, while enrolled at least half time, are available to undergraduate students only. Unsubsidized loans begin accruing interest upon disbursement. Loan repayment begins six months after graduation or dropping below half-time enrollment. Deferments and forbearances are available. The interest rate is fixed and adjusted on July 1 every year. For additional information, please refer to the loan guides available under ‘Forms and Publications’ at

Federal student loans are available to most students regardless of income and provide a range of repayment options including income-based repayment plans and loan forgiveness benefits, which other education loans are not required to provide

What Are Private Loans?

Privae Loans (also referred o as Alernaive Loans) are funded by banks and privae lending insiuions. A financial aid applicaion (FAFSA) is no required in order o be considered for a privae loan alhough we recommend ha you submi one so ha UCLA Financial Aid and Scholarships can deermine if you can qualify for federal loans. Federal suden loans ypically have more aracive erms han privae loans. Privae loans are credi based and are no federally regulaed so heir erms will vary depending on he lender. Privae Loans require cerificaion by UCLA Financial Aid and Scholarships and can be cerified up o a suden's Cos of Educaion minus oher aid received for he period. To find ou more informaion abou Privae Loans, please refer o he loan guides and privae lender liss available under Forms and Publicaions a  Privae suden loans are issued based on credi. This means wo hings for hose applying for a privae suden loan:

  • The loan will be based on he borrower’s credi score. Applying wih a co-signer can secure a lower ineres rae on a privae loan.
  • Normally, he beer he credi score, he beer he ineres rae.


    Please read he Corbe Disclosure before you decide wheher o apply for a privae loan.

What Are The Cosigners Obligations On A Private Loan?

Having a cosigner can be a win-win siuaion bu i can also have is’ drawbacks. Here are some hings o consider before cosigning for a privae suden loan:

  • Make sure if he borrower does fail o repay, ha you can make he paymens yourself.
  • Make sure he person you’re cosigning for is rusworhy.
  • If you do cosign, make sure you ge copies of all he loan documens.
  • Ge an agreemen, in wriing and noarized, ha he borrower will repay you all fees incurred including he monhly paymens should hey fail o repay he loan.
  • Ensure ha he borrower canno claim ha you voluneered o repay he loan as a gif.


    Now ha you have his informaion, if you cosign for a loan, make sure you do i righ! Cosigning for a privae suden loan has is pros and cons, jus make sure you know wha hey are before signing on he doed line.

What is a Direct PLUS Loan?

The William D. Ford Direct PLUS Loan is designed to help graduate students and parents of undergraduate students meet their educational costs. Students who wish to be considered for these loans must file a FAFSA annually. Graduate students and parents may borrow up to cost of education for the academic year, less any other financial aid received. Unlike Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized loans, Direct PLUS loans are based on credit and approved for borrowers that do not have an adverse credit history. Borrowers with adverse credit may be able to qualify with an endorser. The interest rate is fixed and adjusted on July 1st of each year. Parent PLUS repayment begins 60 days after the loan is fully disbursed but payments can be deferred until the student graduates. Graduate students do not enter repayment while enrolled at least half time. For additional information, please refer to the loan guides available under ‘Forms and Publications’ on

What Is Consolidation?

Loan Consolidation allows you to refinance any or all of your outstanding federal student loans to create a single new loan with one monthly payment. The new loan will have a fixed interest rate, new terms, and may have an extended repayment period of up to 30 years. Any repayment benefits that existed on the underpaying loans will no longer exist for the consolidation loan. To find more information about Direct Consolidation Loan go to:

What is the difference between federal and private loans?

If you are planning on uilizing suden loans, you will need o be aware of he differences beween federal and privae suden loans:

  • Federal suden loans are required by law o provide a range of flexible repaymen opions including, bu no limied o, income-based and income-coningen repaymen plans, as well as loan forgiveness benefis ha privae lenders are no required o provide.
  • Federal direc loans are available o mos sudens regardless of income; however, oher qualificaion crieria may apply. For more informaion, please visi hp://
  • Privae suden loan lenders can offer variable ineres raes ha can increase or decrease over ime, depending on marke condiions.
  • The ineres rae on a privae loan may depend on he borrower’s and/or co-signer’s credi profile.
  • Privae suden loans have a range of ineres raes and fees.  Sudens should deermine he ineres rae of, and any fees associaed wih, he privae suden loan included in heir financial aid award package before acceping he loan. Sudens should conac he lender of he privae suden loan or heir UC campus’ financial aid office if hey have any quesions abou a privae suden loan.

Sudens offered a UC insiuional privae suden loan should know ha:

  • Ineres raes on UC loans will be fixed, no variable
  • UC loans can have a range of ineres raes
  • UC loans are no awarded based on he credi hisory of he borrower

UC loans do no require a co-signer

Which Loans Can Be Consolidated?

Following loans are eligible for consolidation: Direct Loans (Subsidized, Unsubsidized and PLUS), Federal Family Education Loan Program/ FFELP Loans (Stafford, Unsubsidized Stafford and PLUS), SLS, HEAL and Perkins. We recommend that you leave Perkins loans out of your consolidation, not to lose your forgiveness options for this program.

Private (Alternative) education loans are not eligible for consolidation through Department of Education. Contact your private lender to find out what options exist if you find that your repayment is not manageable.

Who Can I Borrow A Private Loan From?

UC Office of the President evaluates many private lenders and prepares a list of preferred lenders.  This makes it easier for our parents and students to select a lender for their educational loans and to compare the borrower benefits that are available. The preferred lender selection for private loans is based primarily on price and the borrower’s customer service experience.

In addition, UCLA Financial Aid and Scholarships compiles a list of all lenders who worked with UCLA’s borrowers in the last three years on the FastChoice list. The FastChoice list also provides information on the process (electronic vs. manual/paper) that is supported at UCLA by the lenders listed.

UCLA’s private lenders’ lists can be found under ‘Forms and Publications’ at

Please read the Corbett Disclosure before you decide whether to apply for a private loan.

Will I Need A Co-signer For My Private Loan?

Generally there are two reasons why a consigner would be needed.

One reason is that the borrower does not have an established credit history, which leads to a low credit score. Having a cosigner will increase your odds of being approved for a private loan.

Another reason to apply with a consigner would be to obtain a loan with a lower interest rate. The difference in monthly payments on a $10,000 loan can be $50 or more when comparing 8% interest rate and a 12% interest rate. The difference in the accrued interest rate could be as much as $4,900 over the life of the loan. Certainly something to give thought to!

    FATV provides quick video answers to common financial aid questions. Click on the image below to go to the full video library.