Humboldt State University participates in two types of federal student loan programs:

William D. Ford Federal Direct Student Loan

View our Direct Loans section for further program details. The National Student Loan Data System can provide you with detailed information regarding your loans, including account balances and servicer information.

Federal Perkins Loan

A low-interest loans for students with exceptional financial need; funding is limited. For more on the Federal Perkins Loan program, click here.

These loans are made available by the U.S. Department of Education by filing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Loan awards accepted by the student are processed through HSU for Perkins Loan (HSU is the lender) and the Department of Education for the federal Direct Loan (Dept. of Education is the lender).

For a quick summary of the Federal Loans offered at HSU, please see the following chart:

Loans at a
Loan Type→ Perkins Loan * Subsidized Direct Student Loan Unsubsidized Direct Student Loan PLUS Loan
Who Can Get It? Undergraduate, Credential, Graduate Students* Undergraduate, Credential Students Undergraduate, Credential, Graduate Students Parents, Graduate Students
Interest Rate 5% 3.76%
all others
Loan Fee (Percentage of Gross Loan Amount) 0% 1.068% 1.068% 4.272%
Grace Period 9 months 6 months 6 months 60 days**
Interest Accrues While in School? No No Yes Yes
Annual Limits Freshmen    (0-29 units) Dependent $2,500 $5,500 - no more than $3,500 subsidized For Dependent and Graduate students up to the cost of attendance minus all other aid received.
Independent $2,500 $9,500 - no more than $3,500 subsidized
Sophomores  (30-59 units) Dependent $2,500 $6,500 - no more than $4,500 subsidized
Independent $2,500 $10,500 - no more than $4,500 subsidized
Juniors and Seniors    (60+ units) Dependent $2,500 $7,500 - no more than $5,500 subsidized
Independent $2,500 $12,500 - no more than $5,500 subsidized
2nd BA Dependent Not Eligible $5,500 maximum
Independent Not Eligible $12,500 - no more than $5500 subsidized
Credential Dependent $2,500 $5,500 maximum
Independent $2,500 $12,500 - no more than $5500 subsidized
Masters or Doctorate Independent by Definition $2,500 $20,500 - unsubsidized
Lifetime Limits Under- graduate, 2nd BA, and Credential Dependent $20,000 $31,000 - no more than $23,000 subsidized None
Independent $20,000 $57,500 - no more than $23,000 subsidized
Masters or Doctorate Independent by Definition $40,000 $138,500 - no more than $65,500 subsidized

*Limited funding available.

** From final disbursement. May defer payments while student is enrolled at least 1/2 time.


A loan servicer is the organization you will communicate with to manage all information regarding your federal loans, including repayment and contact information. The federal government will assign one servicer to manage your loans, and they are committed to making sure that you will only have one servicer which allows one contact for all your loans.

It is important that you stay in touch with your loan servicer(s). If you change your name, move, leave school, transfer to another educational institution, or change your graduation date, inform your servicer right away. If your records indicate that you are no longer enrolled, or if your servicer cannot reach you, your loan could go into delinquency and/or default.

Once repayment starts, if any problems arise that affect your ability to repay, you must remember to contact your loan servicer(s) immediately to discuss your situation to avoid jeopardizing your credit record. You may be able to delay repayment or to arrange other payment options.

You can view yor loan history and find the name and contact information of your servicer at:



Alternative (or Private) Educational Loans

CODE OF CONDUCT: Humboldt State University participates in the Federal Direct Loan program, and occasionally certifies alternative loans using various lenders when federal loans are not an option. HSU does not maintain a preferred lender list for these alternative loans, nor do we receive any incentives of any kind from these lenders.

Alternative or Private loans may be an option, if additional funding is needed due to educational expenses which cannot be met by our standard aid programs and family resources, or to loss of eligibility for aid programs.

These loans are available through various lending institutions and eligibility depends on many factors. We do not recommend alternative loans in most cases, unless absolutely necessary, as they do not have the beneficial aspects of the Direct Loan programs. If you have not filed a FAFSA for aid eligibility determination, it is strongly recommended you do so before considering an alternative loan.

For dependent undergraduate students we encourage parents to consider the federal Direct PLUS (Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students Loan) to assist in meeting the cost of attendance, rather than having you take on additional loan burden. Learn more about Parent loans.

If you plan to pursue an alternative loan and don’t have a lender in mind, see below for tips on selecting a lender. While the Financial Aid Office places no restrictions on a borrower’s choice of lender, we do want you to make a wise choice. Always, proceed with caution and be a savvy borrower by researching the best loan products, and knowing exactly what the short and long-term impact of borrowing will be.

Since there are many private loan companies each with different terms and conditions, and our goal is to educate each student as to the choice they are making and to demonstrate their awareness of these loan terms, our Financial Aid Office policy requires that the student borrower verify this knowledge before we will certify an alternative loan. This may be done by completing an Alternative/Private Loan Process & Questionnaire (login required).


  • Alternative loans, along with other aid and educational resources, can never be more than your total cost of attendance.
  • If you plan to borrow alternative loans for successive academic years, it is wise to stay with the same lender for simpler repayment after graduation.
  • Financial Aid counselors are available to discuss general information about alternative loans and options.

Things to consider when selecting a lender :

  • Comparison shop:  internet search  (i.e. sites with .org as part of address)
  • Select an established lender with a good track record
  • Ask about their loan servicing after disbursement and whether or not your loan may be sold
  • Ask about interest rates – most private loan interest rates are variable and generally based on LIBOR or PRIME index plus a percentage
  • Ask about loan fees – these can vary and may affect the total cost of the loan
  • Ask about how often the interest rate can change and if there is a “cap” on the rate.
  • Ask about prepayment penalties or fees.
  • Customer Service – you want the representative you speak with to be knowledgeable and be able to access your information online.
  • Co-signer - Most private loans will require a co-signer. the stronger the credit rating of the co-signer, generally the lower the interest rate and fees are.
  • Repayment - Ask when repayment will begin, what kind of plans are available and any incentives.