Federal Direct Loans | Financial Aid Office
Financial Aid

Federal Direct Loans

Federal Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Stafford Loans are long-term, low-interest loans from the U.S. Department of Education.

To apply for a Federal Direct Loan, you must complete a Free Application For Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Please note that there are other required steps in this process other than completing a FAFSA form. (See the Federal Direct Loan Process below.)

The Subsidized Federal Direct Loan is need-based. The federal government pays the interest on the loan during: (1) your enrollment as at least a half-time student; and (2) a deferment, which is a temporary, authorized time when your payments may be postponed.

The Unsubsidized Federal Direct Loan is non-need-based. "Unsubsidized" means the federal government does not pay the interest on your behalf. You are responsible for paying all interest on the loan. Interest is charged beginning the day the loan is paid to you until the day the loan is repaid in full. You can choose to pay the accumulated interest while you are in school, or have the unpaid interest capitalized, i.e. added to the principal balance of the loan. Note: If your loan interest is capitalized, it will increase the amount you have to repay.

Irvine Valley College Does NOT participate in the Federal Direct PLUS Loan Program.

Borrowing can be costly. We recommend that you consider borrowing only if you have exhausted all other options. Only borrow what you need. Make a budget for yourself to keep your debt within manageable limits.


Federal Direct Loan Process

If you are interested in applying for a Federal Direct Loan, please note the following:

  1. You must have a completed financial aid file at IVC before the Financial Aid Office can process your request for a Federal Direct Loan. This means you must have completed a FAFSA and turned in required documents requested by the Financial Aid Office. Your file is completed once you have been sent an email notification from the Financial Aid Office.
  2. You must be enrolled in six (6) units of standard semester coursework (2nd eight week classes are subject to a later disbursement).
  3. You must have an approved "My Academic Plan" (MAP) listed in your MySite account.
  4. If you are a new borrower at IVC, you must complete Loan Entrance Counseling online at https://studentloans.gov. Once this has been completed the Financial Aid Office will be notified in approximately 1 week.
  5. If you are a new borrower at IVC, you must complete a Master Promissory Note online at https://studentloans.gov. After your Master Promissory Note has been electronically signed, the Financial Aid Office will be notified in approximately 1 week.
  6. You must complete a Federal Direct Loan Request Form and return it to the Financial Aid Office. The forms is available online for download at the My Financial Aid Portal under "Documents" after both the Entrance Counseling and Master Promissory Note have been received by the Financial Aid Office.


Deadline to Submit Loan Request Form:
Fall 2021
December 1, 2021
Spring 2022
May 9, 2022
Summer 2021
July 11, 2022


Approved loan amounts will be viewable in the financial aid student portal on the Financial Aid Office website under My Financial Aid Portal once the loan has been processed. Processing your loan takes several weeks.

Your loan funds are disbursed once each semester (Fall and Spring), generally 30 days into the term.

Please make sure that the Financial Aid Office has your correct address and/or select Direct Deposit as your Method of Disbursement/Refund. If this address is not correct, you must complete a Change of Address form in the Financial Aid Office. Please note that you MUST have a photo I.D. to make an inquiry in the Financial Aid Office.

Annual Loan Amounts

The Federal Direct Loan amount that you are eligible to borrow each academic year (Fall, Spring and Summer) is limited by: (1) your grade level; (2) whether you are a dependent or an independent student; (3) your financial need; and (4) your costs. You cannot borrow more than your financial need or the cost of your attendance at IVC (your budget). Since IVC is a two-year institution, you may not borrow more than the second-year amount, even if you are enrolled for a "third year."

​Dependent Students ​Base Amount (Subsidized or Unsubsidized) ​Additional Unsubsidized Loan effective July 1, 2008 Total Annual Combined Maximum Amount of Subsidized & Unsubsidized Loans
​Freshman 1st Year ​$3,500 ​$2,000* $5,500​*
​Sophomore 2nd year ​$4,500 $2,000​* ​$6,500*


Independent Students ​Base Amount (Subsidized or Unsubsidized) ​Additional Unsubsidized Loan effective July 1, 2008 Total Annual Combined Maximum Amount of Subsidized & Unsubsidized Loans
​Freshman 1st Year ​$3,500 ​$6,000* $9,500​*
​Sophomore 2nd year ​$4,500 $6,000​* ​$10,500*

*All Direct Loan borrowers will need to successfully complete 24 units of college level coursework applicable (‘C’ grade or better) towards a degree or certificate program AND have a ‘Satisfactory’ academic progress status in order to borrow Direct Unsubsidized Loans ONLY. For more information please contact the Financial Aid Office.

Lifetime Aggregate Loan Limits

Undergraduate Dependent Students can borrow a maximum total of $31,000 (of which no more than $23,000 can be subsidized loans).

Undergraduate Independent Students can borrow a maximum total of $57,500 (of which no more than $23,000 can be subsidized loans).

For all new borrowers who receive a loan on or after July 1, 2013, a 150% limitation is in effect. This means that a student who is eligible for a subsidized loan will reach their subsidized limit at 150% of a program's length of study. Once a student has reached their 150% limitation, their interest subsidy will end on all outstanding loans that were disbursed after July 1, 2013, and interest will begin to accrue. Students are therefore encouraged to complete their undergraduate study in a timely manner.

Interest Rates:

For the Federal Direct Subsidized Student Loan, the federal government will pay the interest until you enter your grace period. Repayment begins six months after you ceased to be enrolled as a student with at least half-time status.

For the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Student Loan, the government will not pay interest while a student is in school. Interest accrues and must be paid or capitalized during periods of enrollment in school and/or deferment.

Current interest rates can be found on the https://studentloans.gov website.

Loan Fees

For student loans, an origination fee of the total loan will be assessed and deducted automatically. The net disbursement will reflect these fees; therefore, the amount credited to the student's account will be less than the loan amount. This fee is determined by the U.S. Department of Education and the current amounts are available at https://studentloans.gov.

Loan Entrance Counseling

Loan Entrance counseling is REQUIRED for all student borrowers applying for a Federal Direct Loan at IVC. Counseling can be completed online and will help you understand your rights and obligations as a student loan borrower. Entrance counseling must be completed before we will process your Federal Direct Loan. Other required steps are needed before we can process a Federal Direct Loan (please see Federal Direct Loan Process above). You can complete both your Entrance Counseling and Master Promissory Note at https://studentloans.gov.

You will need an FSA ID and password to complete the loan process online. This FSA ID and password are the same information used to complete the FAFSA application. You can retrieve this information at https://fsaid.ed.gov.

The Financial Aid Office will receive confirmation when the Entrance Counseling and Master Promissory Note are completed. You should print copies for your personal records.

Loan Exit Counseling

All students who receive a Federal Direct Loan at IVC are required to complete Loan Exit Counseling at https://studentloans.gov if they graduate, transfer, withdraw or drop below half-time.

Student Loan Repayment

After you graduate, leave school, or drop below half-time enrollment, you have a six-month “grace period” before you have to begin repayment. For more information on loan repayment, please see https://studentloans.gov/h/manage-loans.

Federal regulations require that all student loan borrowers must have an exit interview/exit counseling during their final semester at IVC. During the exit counseling, you are reminded of your rights and responsibilities as a student loan borrower. Topics include: when repayment starts, various repayment plans, deferments, loan consolidation, and consequences of default.

You'll receive information about repayment, and your loan provider will notify you of the date loan repayment begins. We can't emphasize enough the importance of making your full loan payment on time either monthly (which is usually when you'll pay) or according to your repayment schedule. If you don't, you could end up in default, which has serious consequences. Student loans are real loans — just as real as car loans or mortgages. You have to pay back your student loans. Exit Counseling can be completed online at https://studentloans.gov

Review Your Loan Information

The U.S. Department of Education's National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) allows you to access information on loan and/or federal grant amounts, your loan status (including outstanding balances), and disbursements made. Visit http://studentaid.gov.

Paying Back Your Loan(s)

You have a choice of repayment plans. How much you pay and how long you take to repay your loans will vary depending on the repayment plan you choose. There are several repayment plans available: Standard: Extended, Graduated, Income Based Repayment (IBR), and Income Contingent Repayment (ICR). For more information, see https://studentloans.gov.


If you defaulted, it means you failed to make payments on your student loan according to the terms of your promissory note, the binding legal document you signed at the time you took out your loan. In other words, you failed to make your loan payments as scheduled. Your school, the financial institution that made or owns your loan, your loan guarantor, and the federal government all can take action to recover the money you owe.

Here are some consequences of default:

  • National credit bureaus can be notified of your default, which will harm your credit rating, making it hard to buy a car or a house.
  • You would be ineligible for additional federal student aid if you decided to return to school.
  • Loan payments can be deducted from your paycheck.
  • State and federal income tax refunds can be withheld and applied toward the you owe.
  • You will have to pay late fees and collection costs on top of what you already owe.
  • You can be sued.