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Loan Comparison Chart

  Federal Direct Subsidized/Unsubsidized Loans Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan College Access Loan (CAL) TX Residents Only Private Education Loan Why It is Important?
Who is the Borrower? Student is the borrower Student’s natural or adoptive parent, or stepparent on FAFSA Student (must be a Texas resident) *Cosigner needed in most cases Student *Cosigner needed in most cases Whoever is listed as the borrower is liable for the debt. Cosigner is equally liable.
Co-signer No co-signer requirement Parent borrower can add endorser if credit is not sufficient. Almost always required for undergrad students Almost always required for undergrad students; definite benefit to add cosigner- will likely improve interest rate Important to decide whether the debt should be in student’s or parents’ name.
Who is the Lender? US Dept. of Education US Dept. of Education State of Texas Multiple lender options available-TCU's recommendations You will have a long relationship with whatever lender you select.
Loan Limit Per Year?

Freshman-$5500 Sophomore-$6500 Junior-$7500 Senior-$7500

Student’s estimated COA as determined by TCU less other financial aid the student is receiving Amounts vary based on CAL annual allocation. CAL loan cannot “replace” Direct loan eligibility Student’s estimated COA as determined by TCU less other financial aid the student is receiving Most families borrow from a combination of loan programs to meet their needs.
Can the Co-signer be “Released” from the Loan? Not applicable No No Varies; Student must make a certain number of payments on time and pass a credit check to release the co-signer Co-signers may be more agreeable to cosigning if there’s an opportunity to be removed from debt obligation over time.
Interest Rate Fixed 4.53% for the life of the loan, unless consolidated (first disbursement date between 7/1/2019 and 6/30/2020) Fixed at 7.08% for the life of the loan, unless consolidated Fixed 5.2% for the life of the loan Both variable and fixed rates available depending upon credit; variable rates generally range from 2.5% to 8%, and fixed rates from 5% to 12% Borrowers/Co-signers should consider all options. It’s possible that those with good credit may be able to obtain a lower rate on a private loan than on the Federal and State fixed options. If you intend to repay the loan early, it may be wise to select a lower rate on a private loan.
Interest Capitalization Interest capitalized (calculated and added to principal) upon entering repayment and again after any period of deferment or forbearance Interest capitalized (calculated and added to principal) upon entering repayment and again after any period of deferment or forbearance Interest is never capitalized Varies by lender; most capitalize upon entering repayment and again after any period of forbearance The more often interest is capitalized, the more expensive the loan
Loan Fee 1.062% for all borrowers for borrowers before 10/1/19, 1.059% for borrowers on or after 10/1/19

4.248% for borrowers before 10/1/19,  4.236% for borrowers on or after 10/1/19

No origination fee will be assessed for all approved borrowers Varies, but most private loans have no upfront fees Federal loans have fees, which are deducted from the loan disbursements, while most private loans do not.
Application Process Student will accept loan on the my.TCU.edu portal (financial aid/financial aid home/accept-decline financial aid) Student can complete Master Promissory Note (MPN) online. Parent can apply online; process as little as 5 business days. More information about federal parent loan (PLUS) Apply online; loan process about 3-4 weeks. More information about college access loan (CAL) Apply online with the lender of your choice. TCU's recommended lenders; loan process takes about 3-4 weeks Almost all education loan processes are now done online. It is critical that you keep track of when additional steps must be completed-watch your email!
Credit Requirements No credit requirement No debt to income ratio or credit score is used Experian Vantage Score of 650 required for approval; See CAL loan page for additional details Varies based on lender, most require a min. of 3 years of positive credit history and at least 3 open credit lines With private loans, a borrower (or cosigner's) credit history helps to determine the interest rate.
Consolidation Federal Direct Consolidation through the US Dept of Education Federal Direct Consolidation through the US Dept of Education CAL Loans cannot be consolidated with other types of loans A few lenders offer private consolidation loans to assist borrowers with multiple private loans; these loans usually cannot be consolidated with Federal loans Consolidation is primarily a helpful tool for students with multiple loans of the same type held by different lenders or servicers.
Loan Repayment Plans Multiple repayment plans including some based on income are available. Multiple repayment plans including some based on income are available. Both 10 and 20 year repayment available, depending on loan balance; graduated and income-sensitive also available. Traditionally, private loans have repayment periods of 10-25 years, typically spread out in equal monthly payments. Private loans tend to have fewer repayment choices than Federal and state loans.
Postponement of Payments Several deferments for school enrollment, unemployment, military service and economic hardship. Several deferments for school enrollment, unemployment,military service and economic hardship. Most of the Federal deferments are available for CAL. A list of deferment forms is available on the state's website under "Forms." Some private loans have periods of postponement available for economic hardship;see prom note for details. No one expects to be unemployed or need to postpone payments, but these options can be crucial if you need them.
Cancellation Loan/Forgiveness Loan canceled upon death or total/permanent disability of either student or parent borrower. Some forgiveness options available for certain public service careers. Loan canceled upon death or total/permanent disability of either student or parent borrower. Some forgiveness options available for certain public service careers. Loan is canceled upon death or total and permanent disability of student borrower. Some lenders do forgive loans in the event of borrower's death or total and permanent disability; see prom note for details. If the unexpected occurs, it's very helpful for remaining loan balances to be forgiven.