Types of Loans

Federal Loans

  • Subsidized Direct loans are available to students enrolled at least part-time and do not accrue interest while you are enrolled in school.
  • Unsubsidized Direct loans are available to students enrolled at least part-time and accrue interest as soon as the loan is disbursed.
  • Parent PLUS loans are available for eligible parents who have no adverse credit history and whose child is enrolled at least part-time.
  • GPLUS loans are available to students who are enrolled at least half-time in a graduate degree program and have no adverse credit history.

Student Loan Program Break Down

Entrance and Exit Counseling is required to receive federal loans.

For more information, visit our Federal Loan Page.

Short-Term Loans

If you have a temporary cash flow issue or need to borrow a small amount of money for a short period of time, short-term loans may be a good option for you. Undergraduates may borrow up to $2500 and graduate students may borrow up to $3500. There is a $30 processing fee, the loan accrues no interest, and repayment to the University of Washington is due the third Friday of the following quarter or when your financial aid is disbursed, whichever comes first. To apply for a short-term loan, go to MyUW and select “Short Term Loan Application” or for more information, visit the Short Term Loan page.

Private Loans

Private loans are an alternate option for those whose financial aid does not meet their needs, or prefer different loan terms than those of federal loans. It is recommended that you only consider private loans after accepting the maximum amount allowed through government student loan programs (those offered in your financial aid package), as these are typically less expensive in the long run and offer more consumer protections. For more information on private loans, visit the Private Loan Page.

Loan Repayment

Repayment Plans

  • Standard Repayment requires that you pay a fixed amount (at least $50) each month for up to 10 years (10-30 years for Consolidation Loans).
  • Graduated Repayment requires a lower payment when you leave school, assuming a low income, and then payments increase in amount every two years for up to 10 years (10-30 years for Consolidation Loans).
  • Extended Repayment allows the borrower to make lower monthly payments over a longer time period than the Standard Repayment or Graduated Repayment plan. Payments may be made for up to 25 years.
  • Income-Driven Repayment bases your monthly payments on your yearly income, family size, and loan amount; monthly payments may be as low as $0. There are three types of income-driven repayment plans: Income Based Repayment (IBR), Pay as You Earn (PAYE), and Income Contingent Repayment (ICR) .

Loan Simulator

This tool is a calculator provided by StudentLoans.gov which allows you to enter your loan information and determine your eligibility for the different loan repayment options, as well as your estimated monthly payment.

Loan Simulator

Loan Delinquency and Default

If you miss your monthly payment, you are considered delinquent on your loans. If you do not make a payment after 270 days for federal Direct Loans, you are considered to be in default.

Tips to Avoid Default

  • If you are struggling to make monthly payments, contact the UW Financial Aid Office and a financial aid counselor may be able to assist you.
  • Be aware of how much you are borrowing, who your lender is, the type of loan you borrow, and the interest rates.
  • Apply for a different repayment plan if you qualify; this may lower your monthly payments.
  • Act fast: Contact your loan servicer if you are unable to make your loan payments; loans in default cannot be put into deferment or forbearance.
  • Consider consolidating your loans which will combine all of your educational loans into one loan. This may extend the term of the loan so your monthly payments are reduced

Consequences of Default

Being in default on your federal loans can have long-lasting negative consequences.

  • The Department of Education can immediately demand repayment of the total amount due on the loan.
  • The Department of Education or the UW will attempt to collect the debt and may charge you for the costs of collecting.
  • The default will be reported to national credit bureaus. Your credit rating will be damaged, which will make it more difficult for you to make purchases such as a car or house.
  • You are ineligible for further Title IV student aid.
  • You are ineligible for deferment or forbearance.
  • The Internal Revenue Service can withhold your federal income tax refund.
  • Your wages may be garnished.

Loan Deferment and Forbearance

If you qualify for deferment or forbearance, you may temporarily be able to pause your monthly payments. This may be a good short-term solution if you have a temporary circumstance that limits your ability to make your monthly payments. Forbearance is not a good long-term solution as interest continues to accrue, so be sure to look at income-based repayment plans.

Deferment vs. Forbearance

The main difference between deferment and forbearance is that in deferment, you may not need to pay the interest that accrues during the deferment period on certain types of loans, including:

  • Direct Subsidized Loans
  • Subsidized Federal Stafford Loans
  • Federal Perkins Loans
  • The subsidized portion of Direct Consolidation Loans
  • The subsidized portion of FFEL Consolidation Loans

Deferment Eligibility

Some of the ways you may qualify for deferment include:

  • You are enrolled at least half-time at an eligible college or career school.
  • You are a parent with a Direct PLUS Loan or FFEL PLUS Loan and your student is enrolled at least half-time.
  • You are enrolled in a graduate fellowship program.
  • You are enrolled in a rehabilitation training program for the disabled.
  • You are unemployed or unable to find full-time employment.
  • You are experiencing economic hardship or serving in the Peace Corps.
  • You are on active duty military service.

Forbearance Eligibility

General forbearance may be granted by your loan servicer if you are unable to make your monthly payments due to:

  • Financial difficulties
  • Medical expenses
  • Change in employment
  • Other reasons deemed acceptable by your loan servicer

Mandatory forbearance may be granted for the following reasons:

  • You are serving in a medical or dental internship or residency program.
  • The total amount you owe for monthly payments is greater than 20% of your total monthly gross income.
  • You are serving in an AmeriCorps position.
  • You are performing teaching service that would qualify you for teacher loan forgiveness.

Getting Help

The UW Office of Student Financial Aid at osfa@uw.edu is a good starting point for information and resources regarding obtaining financial aid, and for issues or assistance after you successfully obtain a loan. After you obtain a loan, the WA Student Achievement Council (WSAC) can also provide information and resources about student loan repayment, or can assist with a complaint relating to your student loans or student loan servicer. Please visit www.wsac.wa.gov/loan-advocacy or contact the WSAC Student Loan Advocate at loanadvocate@wsac.wa.gov for additional information. 

Additional help is available with the Federal Student Aid Ombudsman Group. For more information, please visit Getting Prepared Before Seeking Help.