Loan: Borrowed funds that carry a legal obligation for repayment in accordance with the terms agreed when signing the promissory note. Typically, loans will be repaid, with interest, over several years.

Determine future payments based on current Federal Stafford Loan balances, as well as payments based upon projected borrowing with the use of the Financial Aid Calculator.

Lender: The agency that lends money for college attendance. This is typically a bank, credit union, private agency, or the U.S. Department of Education. Colleges are not usually the lender.

Promissory Note: A binding legal document that you signed when accepting a loan. It lists the conditions under which the funds are borrowed and the terms under which you agreed to pay the money back. Promissory Notes for the William D. Ford Direct Stafford Loans can be signed online with the U.S. Department of Education at:

Entrance Counseling: A required counseling session with which the UMA Financial Aid Office informs student borrowers of their rights and responsibilities. All loan types: Federal Stafford & Nursing will require separate counseling sessions.

Loan funds will not be applied to your billing account until this requirement is completed.

Federal Stafford Entrance Counseling may be completed at:

Loan Types: Refer to “Aid Programs” section for specific loan details.

  • Federal Stafford Loans: All first-time borrowers of loan funds at UMA must complete an Entrance Counseling to ensure they understand their Rights and Responsibilities as a student loan borrower. Stafford Loan Entrance Counseling must be completed: follow link above.
  • Federal Nursing Loan: Loan recipients must complete and return a Loan Disclosure each academic year for which a loan is offered. The Loan Disclosure will be sent under separate cover from the UMS Shared Processing Center.

Exit Counseling: Required counseling sessions with which the UMA Student Accounts Office reminds borrowers of their rights and responsibilities as they enter repayment of their loans. Exit Interviews are required each time a student leaves school or drops below half-time status or graduates before repayment of the loans. Separate exit counseling sessions are required for Nursing Loans as well.

Federal Direct Stafford Loan Exit Counseling may be completed at:

Disbursement of Loan Funds: Borrowers of Federal Stafford Loan funds will receive separate notification of estimated disbursement dates of loan funds directly from their lender. The gross* amounts of loans of Federal Stafford Loans are listed both by the lender and on the UMA Financial Aid section of MaineStreet; however, the net amount of your loan will be listed in the billing section of MaineStreet. (*Gross mean prior to the reduction of any required loan fees by the lender.)

Nursing loan recipients are provided with a website link as part of the Loan Disclosure process for access to their borrowing history.


Students have the right to cancel your loan, in writing, anytime prior to disbursement (delivery to student).

Payment of Loan Funds In Excess of Tuition and Fees: refer to: “Refund of an Overpayment of Financial Aid”.

Grace Period: A Grace Period is a period of time after you graduate, leave school or drop below half-time status before the repayment of your Federal Stafford and/or Nursing Loans will begin.

  • Federal Stafford Loans = 6 months
  • Nursing Loan = 9 months after leaving Nursing Major classes
  • Repayment: Period of time in which the holder of your loan collects both principal and interest payments in accordance with the terms of your promissory note(s).

Payment Options: Your Stafford Loan lender may have several repayment plans to help you repay your loans on time. The plans may include:

  • Standard – fixed monthly amount of a period not to exceed 10 years;
  • Graduated – payments start relatively low of the first 2 years, gradually increasing. Maximum 10 years;
  • Extended – Minimum $30,000
  • Direct Loan – debt paid over 30 years
  • Direct Loan Income Contingent – based on amount of loan owed, income & family size. Terms vary; and,
  • FFEL Income Sensitive – based on amount of loan owed income & family size. Terms vary.

Postponing Payments: You may be eligible to postpone loan payments with your lender for a specific period of time.

  • Interest Capitalization: No payment of the principle balance of the unsubsidized loan is required during period of at least ½ time attendance; however, interest payments are due. You can request that the lender add the accumulating interest that is payable on unsubsidized loans during periods of enrollment to the principle balance of the loan so that no payments are due while you attend college at least ½ time. CAUTION: Choosing this option can make your future unsubsidized loan payments very expensive.
  • Deferment: This is a period of time in which no payments are required and interest does not accumulate, unless you have an unsubsidized loan. In that case you must pay you interest. Types of deferments include: In-School, Military Service and Economic Hardship.
  • Forbearance: A temporary agreement between the lender and student to reduce or postpone student loan payments for a specific period of time. Generally, a lender can grant forbearance for 12 months at a time, for a maximum of 3 years, based on supporting documentation.

Consolidation: Student borrowers can combine multiple federal student loans (Federal Direct/FFEL Stafford Loans) with various repayment schedules into one loan; either a Direct Consolidation Loan or a FFEL Consolidation Loan making a single monthly payment. This allows for: one fixed interest rate, monthly payments that might be lower as this may repayment up to a maximum of 30 years. CAUTION: Any borrower benefits such as interest rate discounts, principle rebates, as well as discharge and cancellation benefits can be lost. Talk to the holder of each loan before applying for consolidation.

Default: Students are responsible for beginning loan repayment on time, even if information is not received from the lender. Default is the failure to repay student loans according to the terms agreed when you signed your promissory note(s). The consequences of default are severe. The school, lender or agency that holds loans, the state and federal government can take action to recover the money, including interest and penalties, including notifying credit bureaus of the default. This action could result in future difficulty in obtaining a car or house. Additionally, the IRS can withhold tax refunds to apply it to the amounts owe and your employer may be asked to deduct payments from your paychecks. If you want to return to school you will not be eligible for any additional student aid. Legal action against you may also be taken. Prevent default by maintaining contact with your lender(s).

UMA partnered with ECMC Solutions to provide student loan counseling and support to borrowers as they navigate federal student loan repayment. Contact ECMC Solutions by phone at 1-877-331-3262, or visit their website to make an appointment, connect through email, or web chat with a student loan counselor. The team at ECMC also offers a free webinar series to support borrowers as they navigate repayment.