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Pepperdine | Graduate School of Education and Psychology

Student Loans

A loan is aid that must be repaid. Total aid awarded in loans, grants, and scholarships may not exceed a student's total Cost of Attendance. If eligible, the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan will be included in the financial aid award package. Students who require additional funds may apply for a Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan or a Private Educational Loan. For a quick comparison between these two types of loans, please view this Federal Student Loan vs Private Student Loan comparison chart.

Loan Types

 Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan

Graduate students may borrow up to a maximum of $20,500 per academic year in a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan. The Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan accrues interest while the student is enrolled, and the student may choose to pay the interest monthly or have it capitalized until repayment. The Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan maximum for PsyD (Doctorate in Psychology) students is $33,000 per academic year. Students who apply for financial aid will automatically be considered for this loan.

NOTE: The maximum loan limit per academic year is $20,500 ($33,000 for PsyD students).

Federal Direct Loan funds, minus the origination fee, are disbursed through the school at the beginning of each term. For detailed information regarding the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan, including current interest rates and fees, visit the Federal Student Aid website.

If you accepted a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford loan and this is your first loan at Pepperdine GSEP, you are required to complete both the Loan Entrance Counseling and a Direct Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN). This is a federal requirement and must be completed before the Financial Aid Office can process your loan. 

 Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan

The Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan is an option for students who need additional funding beyond what is available through the Federal Stafford Loan program. The Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan is a federally-guaranteed loan that requires credit approval from the U.S. Department of Education. It is generally available to students who do not have adverse credit. The Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan may be borrowed for up to a student's Cost of Attendance minus other financial aid that has been awarded.

  • If you have placed a security freeze on your credit file , you must lift or remove the freeze at each credit bureau before you continue. Your application will not be processed if you have a security freeze on your credit file.
  • To qualify for a Direct PLUS Loan, you must not have an adverse credit history. If the credit check shows that you have an adverse credit history, we will explain how you may still be able to qualify for a Direct PLUS loan.

For detailed information regarding this loan, including the current interest rate, please visit the Federal Student Aid website. In order to begin the application process, please visit Student Loans and use your FSA ID to access the website. Once logged in, select "I am a Graduate or Professional Student" from the menu options so that you can complete both the credit check and PLUS Master Promissory Note (MPN).

 Private Educational Loans

Private Education Loans, also known as Alternative Education Loans, are available to students who require additional financial assistance. These loans are offered by financial institutions, such as banks or credit unions, and are available to students with good credit or with a creditworthy cosigner. Many private lenders offer loans with both variable and fixed interest rates. With a variable-rate loan, rates can rise or fall depending on the economy. They often have a lower beginning rate than the fixed-rate loan, and monthly payment amounts change when the interest rate changes. With a fixed-rate loan, the interest rate stays the same for the life of the loan. Fixed-rate loans often have higher rates than the variable-rate loans and have set monthly payment amounts.

When choosing a private loan, students should compare the loan terms offered by several programs in order to choose the best fit. Interest rates, fees, loan repayment schedules, and the financial stability of the lender are primary factors to consider.

For additional information regarding private loans and comparisons, please visit FASTChoice. FASTChoice helps you determine which loan is right for you by providing detailed information for various loans, as well as the terms and benefits offered by different lenders.


 Federal Loan History and Loan Servicer

Loan History

To check your loan history and details of all loans borrowed for your undergraduate or graduate education, please visit the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS). You will need your FSA ID to access your information.

Loan Servicer Information

Your loan servicer, or lender, is the company that handles your federal student loan. Your loan servicer will assist you with loan repayment, loan consolidation, deferment, and forbearance. To view who your loan servicer is, visit the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS). You will need your FSA ID to access your information.

Here is a list of phone numbers for the Federal Loan Servicers:

 Loan Repayment

Federal Direct Loan Basics

As a graduate or professional student, it is likely you'll need to rely on student loans to help pay for at least part of your education. Federal student loans (loans issued by the federal government) are available to help you cover your education expenses. 

While it is not a requirement, you can complete the Annual Student Loan Acknowledgment provided by Federal Student Aid. It is a brief course that gives you the tools and information to help you understand your financial aid and assists you in managing your finances.

Loan Repayment and COVID-19 Emergency Relief

For graduate loans, you will have six months after you graduate, leave school, or drop below half-time enrollment before you must begin making payments. You can use this time to get financially settled, to determine your expected income and expenses, and to select a repayment plan. Once you enter repayment, you must make your payments on time to avoid delinquency and default. This loan repayment guide will walk you through the basics of repaying your loans.

What is the COVID-19 Emergency Relief for Federal Student Aid?
In response to the COVID-19 emergency, ED paused loan payments and set interest rates to 0% for eligible federal student loans. The payment pause includes a suspension of loan payments, a 0% interest rate, and stopped collections on defaulted loans. Congress recently passed a law preventing further extensions of the payment pause. Student loan interest will resume starting on Sept. 1, 2023, and payments will be due starting in October. Borrowers will be contacted by their loan servicers well before payments restart.

Which loans are eligible?

  • Direct Loans (defaulted and non-defaulted)
  • Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program loans held by ED (defaulted and non-defaulted)
  • Federal Perkins Loans held by ED (defaulted and non-defaulted)
  • Defaulted FFEL Program loans not held by ED
  • Defaulted HEAL loans

If your loans are eligible, ED automatically paused your loan payments and set your interest rate to 0% starting March 13, 2020. This payment pause, also known as the administrative forbearance, will end Dec. 31, 2022.

Can I receive a refund for payments made during the pause?
You can get a refund for any payment (including auto-debit payments) you make during the payment pause (beginning March 13, 2020). Contact your loan servicer to request that your payment be refunded.

How do I prepare for repayment to resume?

  1. Update your contact information in your profile on your loan servicer’s website and in your StudentAid.gov profile.
  2. Review your auto-debit enrollment or sign up for the first time. To do so, log in to your loan servicer’s website or contact your loan servicer directly.
  3. Check out Loan Simulator to find a repayment plan that meets your needs and goals or to decide whether to consolidate.
  4. Consider applying for an income-driven repayment (IDR) plan. An IDR plan can make your payments more affordable, depending on your income and family size.

When will my payment amount be due?
Wondering what your payment amount and due date will be? Once the payment pause ends, you’ll receive your billing statement or other notice at least 21 days before your payment is due. This notice will include your payment amount and due date. In the meantime, you can get an estimate of your payment amount and due date through your loan servicer. Contact your loan servicer online or by phone.


 Loan Forgiveness and Student Loan Debt Relief

Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF)

PSLF is a program for people who work in public service in federal, state, tribal, or local government, or for a non-profit organization. It forgives the remaining balance on your Direct Loans after you have made 120 qualifying payments while working full-time for a qualifying employer. Only payments made under specific repayment plans (primarily income-driven repayment plans) qualify for PSLF. For more information about PSLF, please reference this information page regarding qualifications, process, and tax implications.

Teacher Loan Forgiveness (TEPSLF)

Under the Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program, if you teach full time for five complete and consecutive academic years in a low-income school or educational service agency, and meet other qualifications, you may be eligible for forgiveness of up to $17,500 on your Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans and your Subsidized and Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loans.

If you have a Direct Consolidation Loan or a Federal Consolidation Loan, you may be eligible for forgiveness of the outstanding portion of the consolidation loan that repaid an eligible Direct Subsidized Loan, Direct Unsubsidized Loan, Subsidized Federal Stafford Loan, or Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loan.

Biden-Harris One-Time Debt Relief

The one-time debt relief provided by the U.S. Department of Education (ED) as part of the Biden-Harris Administration student debt relief plan. It is a program that offers eligible borrowers with full or partial discharge of loans.

Courts have issued orders blocking this student debt relief program. As a result, at this time, the Department of Education is not accepting applications. If you’ve already applied, they will hold your application. Subscribe here for updates.