Direct Loans

What is a Direct Loan?

Direct loans are available for students enrolled at least half-time in a qualifying program and who are in good academic standing.  Students must be actively participating in the class (i.e. the class must already have started) in order to be eligible for their funds. Direct loans may be either subsidized or unsubsidized and must be repaid. The interest rate for Direct loans is variable. The federal government determines interest rates on July 1 of each year. The amount a student can borrow per academic year will depend upon enrollment, dependency status, and other aid received.

What are Subsidized loan funds?

Subsidized loan funds are awarded based on financial need. The federal government pays the student's interest while he/she is enrolled in school at least half-time in a qualifying program. The student begins paying interest when repayment of the loan begins.

What are Unsubsidized loan funds?

Unsubsidized loan funds are not need based. The student will be charged interest from the time funds are disbursed until the loan is paid in full. Students may choose to make monthly interest payments while in school, or they can choose to defer interest payments. If the student chooses to defer interest, it will accrue and will be added to the principal amount of the loan. Please note, if interest is capitalized, it will increase the amount the student has to repay.

Students may receive a subsidized and unsubsidized loans for the same enrollment period. The interest rate for subsidized Stafford loans disbursed on or after July 1, 2012, but before July 1, 2013, is 3.4%. The interest rate for unsubsidized Direct loans made on or after July 1, 2012 is 6.8%. In addition to interest, students will be charged a fee of up to 1.0% of the loan which will be deducted proportionately from each loan disbursement. A portion of this fee goes to the federal government to help reduce the cost of the loans.

See below for additional information on Direct Loans and how to apply.

How do I apply for a Direct Loan?

  1. All students applying for a Direct Loan will complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN) at  There you will login using your FAFSA Pin Number.  If you do not remember your Pin # please go to to retrieve it.  Please note, the promissory note is a binding legal document. You are agreeing to repay the loan when you sign the promissory note.
  2. You will also complete Entrance Loan Counseling online at You must complete the loan counseling selecting Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College to send the confirmation to, even if you have had counseling at another institution. Your loans funds will not be certified until we have received confirmation that you have completed your entrance counseling.
  3. You will also complete a Financial Awareness Course online at  Read the content and answer the questions.  Fill out the student information form, use the comment box for any comments or questions you have for our school.
  4. Complete the Direct Loan Budget Worksheet for the appropriate year. Submit the completed form to the Financial Aid Office. Your loan funds will not be certified until we have received this form.  If you are requesting loan money for the fall semester only, you must be graduating in the fall or transferring to another school in the spring.  Once you turn in your budget sheet you are not allowed to make addendums to request additional loan funds so make sure you request enough loan funding to cover your expenses for both semesters.
  • Once the above steps are completed, the college will certify the loan application with Direct Loans.  Direct Loans will send you a loan disclosure statement showing the amount of loan funds approved and the dates that the money will be sent to the college for disbursement.

How much can I borrow?

The amount a student can borrow per academic year will depend upon enrollment and dependency status. The tables below indicate loan amounts available to students.

The amounts indicated below are the maximum yearly amounts a student may borrow in both subsidized and unsubsidized loans. Students may be eligible for less than these amounts if the student is receiving other financial aid that is used to cover a portion of the cost of attendance.

Please note that if a student transfers to A-B Tech from another school within the same academic year and requests loan funds at A-B Tech, loan funds received at the former school will be included in the yearly maximum total allowed when determining the amount of loan funds available for certification at A-B Tech.


Dependent Student




First Year




Second Year





Independent Student




First Year




Second Year




What are the interest rates on a Direct Loan for Students?

Loan Interest Rates

Loan Type

Disbursed between July 1, 2013 and June 30, 2014

Direct Subsidized Loans

Fixed at 3.86%

Direct Unsubsidized Loans

Fixed at 3.86%

*Interest rates on federal student loans are set by Congress.


How will I receive my Direct Loan money?

Your loan funds will be disbursed to the college in two disbursements according to the disbursement schedule provided by Direct Loans in your loan disclosure statement. Funds will be posted into your college financial aid account so that you may charge your tuition, fees and books provided that you applied for a loan early enough to have the money in your account at the time these expenses are due. Loan funds will be disbursed to you on the date published on the Important Dates for Financial Aid Recipients sheet.  If you are only applying for Fall semester, Spring semester, or Summer semester, you will receive two disbursements during those semesters, not one.


When are the deadlines to apply?

Deadlines to apply for a Direct loan are as follows:

Priority Deadline for Fall 2013 August 1, 2013

Fall (only)- November 16, 2013

Fall 2013 & Spring 2014- March 15, 2014

Spring 2014 (only)- March 15, 2014

Summer 2014- June 14, 2014

Please note, a Direct Loan Budget Worksheet is required for each term that you want to apply for loans funds.


When do I repay the money?

Once a student graduates, leaves school, or drops below half-time status, he/she will have six months before beginning repayment. Loan payments will be made directly to the student's lender.

  • The student is also required to participate in an exit counseling session online. Loan payments will be made directly to the lender.

What is Default?

Default means failure to honor the repayment agreement of a loan. That includes failure to make payments on time, failure to make payments in the correct amount, or failure to file deferment requests properly or on time.

  • When a loan enters default, the lender transfers the loan to the guarantor. The guarantor then owns the loan from the lender.

    It is our goal to help students keep their student loan(s) out of default and to assist in bringing and/or keeping their accounts current.

    Repayment Solutions

    There are several options available to those who find themselves in repayment trouble.

  • Deferment – you may postpone your payments when certain criteria are met such as unemployment, economic hardship, disability, and school enrollment.
  • Forbearance – permits the reduction of payments, provides an extension of time, or temporarily postpones payments. Financial problems that do not meet the requirements for a deferment might qualify you for the forbearance.
  • Consolidation – by consolidating your student loans, you might be able to reduce your monthly payments. Contact your lender or servicer for more information.
  • Alternative Payment Plan – Some borrowers qualify for other special payment plans such as Income Sensitive, Graduated, or Lowered Payment Plans.

You may contact your lender or servicer for more information.


Options After Default

Federal regulations provide three options to help borrowers in default on student loans restore their benefits.
The three options are:

  • Reinstated Eligibility - You may still be able to regain your eligibility to participate in federal student financial aid programs even though your loan is in default. You must make six voluntary, on-time, consecutive monthly payments. Your loan will still be considered in default but you will have reinstated your eligibility to apply for federal student aid. The amount you will have to pay will be determined by the amount of your debt and your individual economic circumstance.
  • Rehabilitation – Loan Rehabilitation allows you to remove your loan from default. Under Loan Rehabilitation you make on-time, voluntary, consecutive monthly payments for a minimum of one year (12 consecutive months).
  • Consolidation – Loan Consolidation is available to all borrowers, including those in default. Loan Consolidation allows you to combine several loans into a single account with new repayment options. If your Consolidation application is approved, your loan will no longer be considered in default.
  • Consequence of Default

    After your student loan has defaulted, the entire balance becomes due and you are no longer eligible for any Title IV financial aid or for any of the options described above.

    Other consequences of default may include:

    • Reporting the default to all national credit bureaus.
    • Withholding of a percentage of your wages until the debt is paid in full.
    • Adding collection and attorneys’ fees to the balance of your loan(s).
    • Seizure of your IRS tax refund by the guarantor or U.S. Department of Education.

Tips for Student Loan Management

  • Do not lose copies of your loan documents, and repayment schedules. (And note amount, overall cost, and interest rates).
  • Note the billing cycles of your loans.
  • Remember to give lenders your correct address, telephone number, and email address before leaving school.
  • Know the correct billing servicers for each lender.
  • Promptly update your lender with any status changes (e.g. school status, unemployment) prior to your payment due date. Look for written acknowledgement.
  • If you return to school, follow up with each lender to insure that they have received your enrollment verification or deferment. Look for written acknowledgement.
  • Ensure each lender/servicer has your current status. (i.e. forbearance, deferment, etc.) Please see a Financial Aid Advis for this information if you do not have it.
  • Keep deferment status current with each lender.

Helpful Websites

Guidance for Borrowers with Defaulted Student Loans (
National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) (
Mapping Your Future (
Adventures in Education (

Defaulting on Student Loans (

Last Updated 5/30/13

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