Unlike grants or scholarships, which do not require repayment, loans must be paid back with interest over time. With their lower-than-market interest rates and the ability to defer repayment until after graduation, educational loans are often the best option for covering the gap in your bill. 

Loans are available to most students regardless of financial circumstances, with terms varying depending on the lender and type of loan. When used wisely, they can be a smart investment in your education and your future success.

Federal Student Loans

A Federal Direct Loan is a fixed interest loan made to students by the U.S. Department of Education. If you plan on borrowing for college, federal direct student loans are the most common – and usually the best – loan option.

Other Loans

Though we recommend pursuing federal loans first, they aren’t the only loan options that exist for you. Learn more about supplemental loan options like private student loans and the Federal Parent PLUS loan.

Repayment Information

You begin repaying most federal student loans six months after you leave college or drop below half-time enrollment. Learn more about repaying your loans, exit loan counseling requirements and consolidation options.

Student Loan Advocate

The Student Loan Advocate with the Minnesota Department of Commerce is available to help students who are having issues with their student loan lender or servicer. Please visit their website for general questions or to file a complaint.