Federal Direct Loans
The Federal Direct Loans Program is a federal aid program
that provides lending assistance to parents and students
to pay for the costs associated with attending institutions
of higher education.
Under the program, the Office
of Education will make
a loan through Howard University. Federal Direct Loans
simplify the loan process by eliminating the commercial
lender. Financial Aid determines
eligibility and loan amount that a borrower may receive.
The Federal Direct Loans
- Federal Direct Subsidized Loan
- Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan (interest accrues)
- Federal Direct PLUS (Parent Loan for Undergraduate
- Federal Direct Grad PLUS (For Graduate Students)
The interest rate is variable, adjusted annually with
a cap of:
8.25% - Federal Direct Subsidized/Unsubsidized Loans
9.00% - Federal Direct PLUS
7.94% - Federal Direct Grad PLUS
Our Direct Loan professionals are prepared to assist
students by providing the following services:
- Entrance Interview Counseling
- Exit Interview Counseling
What's on this page?
The Entrance Interview is a required counseling session of all
students new to Howard University and first-time
borrowers a Federal Direct Subsidized/Unsubsidized
Loan. This counseling session provides basic facts
about the Federal Direct Subsidized/Unsubsidized
Loans and further explains the rights and responsibilities
of a borrower. If an Entrance Interview is not completed
and submitted to the Direct Student Loan Office,
a Master Promissory Note may not be signed nor will
any loan proceeds disburse.
Borrowers are strongly encouraged to complete the interactive electronic
entrance counseling on the Direct Loan Servicing Online
web site at www.studentloan.gov. Upon successful
completion of the entrance counseling, the results will
be transmitted electronically to Howard University to update your school
An Exit Interview is required debt management counseling session
for all borrowers who have received a Federal Direct
Subsidized/Unsubsidized Loan disbursement. A borrower
will need an exit interview
if any of the following conditions apply:
- Enrolled in school with less than half-time student status:
• 5 credits or below for undergraduate students
• 3 credits or below for graduate/professional students
- Withdrawing from Howard University.
- Transfer to another school.
- Graduating from Howard University.
Interest does not begin on the Subsidized Direct Loan until payments
begin after a six
month grace period. However, interest accrues on
a continual basis on the Federal Direct Unsubsidized
Loan from the time of disbursement. A borrower may
either pay the interest or allow it to capitalize.
Capitalized interest is unpaid interest that accumulates
from the time of disbursement until payment begins
and has been added to the principal balance of the
total amount borrowed.
Three Exit Interview counseling online sessions are available
An assigned Office of Education PIN (personal
identification number) is
required to access this secure site. You may receive
a pin number by accessing the website at www.pin.ed.gov.
Upon successful completion of the Exit Interview
the results will be transmitted electronically to
Howard University to update your school records.
Master Promissory Note
The Master Promissory Note (MPN) is a legally binding
agreement between the Howard University's student or
parent borrower and the Office of Education and
contains the terms and conditions of the loans. It
may be signed
one of two ways; electronically or on paper.
The electronic Master Promissory Note (e-MPN)
may be accessed at the Office of Education website
You will be required to use your Department of Education
assigned PIN (personal identification number) to complete
an e-MPN. If you have misplaced your PIN, you can
visit the official PIN website at www.pin.ed.gov.
After the approval of the PLUS loan or the loan
award, the Entrance Interview Counseling, promissory
the Federal Direct Loan - Loan
proceeds may be paid in the following ways:
- Disbursed directly to the student's account in
two equal installments.
- The disbursement pays tuition and fees, then
may be applied to other costs associated with attendance.
- Credit balance refund checks are processed for
excess funds within 14 days of the credit appearing
on the student account in accordance with federal
If a borrower disputes the terms of the Federal
Direct Loan in writing and the holder of the loan
is unable to
resolve the dispute, a borrower may seek the assistance
of the Office of Education's Student Loan Ombudsman.
The Student Loan Ombudsman will review and attempt to
informally resolve your dispute and may be reached at
1-877-557-2575 or www.ombudsman.ed.gov
Loan Deferment and Forbearance
may receive an in school deferment if he/she meets
the following requirements:
- If a borrower is enrolled at least half-time at an
- 6 credit hours for an undergraduate degree borrower
- 4 credit hours for a graduate/professional degree
- If a borrower is enrolled in a full-time course
of study in a graduate fellowship program.
To request a forbearance or deferment, contact the Direct
Loan Service Center at 1-800-848-0979 or visit the website
Direct Loan Service Center can provide you with a
requested form that explains the eligibility and documentation
on requirements for the type of forbearance or deferment
you are requesting.
All cancellation requests must be submitted in writing
to the Howard University financial aid office no later
than 14 calendar days after the school disburses the
A Direct Consolidation Loan Program is available that
allows a borrower to consolidate (combine) one or more
of the eligible federal education loans into one loan.
For more details and information, go to www.loanconsolidation.ed.gov.