Lending you a helping hand

A variety of federal and private loan options exist to students who meet diverse qualifications including degree of study, past accomplishments, financial status, and other such criteria.

Know Your Loans

The William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan) Program is the largest federal student loan program. Under this program, the U.S. Department of Education is your lender. Please visit Your Federal Student Loan Guide for detailed information on Federal Student Loans.

Responsible Borrowing

Loan Programs

What are the Interest Rates for Federal Student Loans?

The interest rate varies depending on the loan type and (for most types of federal student loans) the first disbursement date of the loan. The table below provides interest rates for Direct Subsidized Loans, Direct Unsubsidized Loans, and Direct PLUS Loans first disbursed on or after July 1, 2020, and before July 1, 2021.

Undergraduate Borrowers Graduate or Professional Borrowers  Parents and Graduate or Professional Students
2.75%  4.30%  5.30% 
Direct Subsidized Loans and Direct Unsubsidized Loans  Direct Unsubsidized Loans  Direct PLUS Loans 

All interest rates shown in the chart above are fixed rates that will not change for the life of the loan.

View the interest rates on federal student loans first disbursed before July 1, 2020.

How to Apply for Federal Direct Loans

To apply for a Federal Direct Loan, you must first complete and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) form. The information from your FAFSA form is used to determine how much student aid you are eligible to receive. If you are offered a new Federal Direct Loan(s) at any time you must accept this loan before the last day of the term and/or the last day of the last term you attended in the academic year. The Following must be completed before any funds are disbursed to your student account:

Please Note: Any time your Financial Aid changes, a revised notification is sent to your ERAU email. At such time, you should review your revised Financial Aid Offer by logging into ERNIE and view your Campus Solutions Student Homepage > Financial Aid. Please review the Financial Aid Terms and Conditions on financial aid eligibility as all aid is subject to change.

Master Promissory Note (MPN) Tutorial

Loan Entrance Counseling

150% Direct Subsidized Loan Limit

There is a limit on the maximum period of time (measured in academic years) that a First Time Borrower can receive Direct Subsidized Loans. In general, you may not receive Direct Subsidized Loans for more than 150% of the published length of your program of study. This is called your “maximum eligibility period.” Please review in more detail: Direct Subsidized Loan Limit.

Aggregate Federal Loan Limits

The following chart shows the annual and aggregate limits for subsidized and unsubsidized loans.

Year Dependent Students (except students whose parents are unable to obtain PLUS Loans) Independent Students (and dependent undergraduate students whose parents are unable to obtain PLUS Loans)
First-Year Undergraduate Annual Loan Limit $5,500 - No more than $3,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans $9,500 - No more than $3,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans
Second-Year Undergraduate Annual Loan Limit $6,500 - No more than $4,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans $10,500 - No more than $4,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans
Third-Year and Beyond Undergraduate Annual Loan Limit $7,500 - No more than $5,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans $12,500 - No more than $5,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans
Graduate or Professional Students Annual Loan Limit Not Applicable (All graduate and professional students are considered independent) $20,500 (unsubsidized only)
Subsidized and Unsubsidized Aggregate Loan Limit $31,000 - No more than $23,000 of this amount may be in subsidized loans

$57,500 for undergraduates - No more than $23,000 of this amount may be in subsidized loans

$138,500 for graduate or professional students - No more than $65,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans. The graduate aggregate limit includes all federal loans received for undergraduate study.

If the total loan amount you receive over the course of your education reaches the aggregate loan limit, you are not eligible to receive additional loans. However, if you repay some of your loans to bring your outstanding loan debt below the aggregate loan limit, you could then borrow again, up to the amount of your remaining eligibility under the aggregate loan limit. For more information, please visit the federal student aid site.

The chart below shows the loan fees for Direct Subsidized Loans, Direct Unsubsidized Loans, and Direct PLUS Loans fees.

Loan Type First Disbursement Date Loan Fee
Direct Subsidized Loans and Direct Unsubsidized Loans On or after 10/1/19 and before 10/1/20 1.059% 
  On or after 10/1/20 and before 10/1/21 1.057%
Direct PLUS Loans On or after 10/1/19 and before 10/1/20 4.236%
  On or after 10/1/20 and before 10/1/21 4.228%
Loans first disbursed prior to Oct. 1, 2019 have different loan fees. Go to Federal Loan Fees for more information.

Transfer Student? Know your Loan Limits

As a transfer student, it is your responsibility to know your annual loan limits for Federal Direct Loans and have all pending disbursements cancelled at your previous school before transferring to Embry-Riddle. This ensures a more accurate award package.

Before accepting a Federal Direct Loan(s) at Embry-Riddle, you must inform the Office of Financial Aid of any disbursements you received at another school during the academic year. Due to the timing of loans, we may not be aware of the total loan amounts you may have received at your other school. Failure to notify our office of any loans you received at another school during the year can result in your existing loans being reduced and billed in order to keep within the annual loan limits. This would result in a balance owed (by you) to Embry-Riddle.

To avoid being over-awarded at Embry-Riddle, please follow these simple steps:

  • Cancel any pending financial aid disbursements at your previous school before transferring
  • Inform us of any financial aid received at another institution in the same academic year

Note: Your previous school may also contact us directly by looking up our contact info on the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS).

Don’t Over-borrow

Over-borrowing or going into EXCESS of your aggregate loan limits will prevent you from receiving any Federal Student Aid! In order to regain financial aid eligibility, you must make satisfactory arrangements with your loan holder and turn in the appropriate documentation to our office. Acceptable documentation may include but is not limited to:

  • Payment confirmation from your loan servicer that you have paid the excess amount
  • Loan Summary Sheet from Direct Loans confirming you have consolidated all loans that were in excess. To review your loan amounts and determine your loan holder (loan servicer), you must log into the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS).

Resolving a Loan Overage

If you have received loans in excess of the lifetime aggregates, you must choose from the two options listed below in order to resolve the overage:

  1. Repayment of the excess loan amount by contacting the servicer of the loan indicated in NSLDS and following the servicer's instructions. Once the loan has been repaid, you must attach a copy of the repayment confirmation from the servicer to Embry-Riddle.
  2. Request a reaffirmation of loan funds with the servicer of the loan indicated in NSLDS. Please contact the servicer and ask for a reaffirmation letter in the amount of your overage. Once you receive your reaffirmation letter, please email it to us at Be sure to include your Student ID# when submitting.

Federal student loans can be very useful in helping cover education and living expenses, but it is important to keep in mind that loans must be repaid. Borrowers need to understand the responsibility that comes with student loan debt because their borrowing decisions will impact their ability to meet future financial obligations. 

The articles below can help borrowers learn more about responsible borrowing and successful repayment.

Repayment: What to Expect

Repayment Guides and Information

Student Loan Disputes

Embry-Riddle Worldwide students are provided an opportunity to express any complaints, grievances, or disputes through the Embry-Riddle Worldwide support system. See a more detailed explanation of the Embry-Riddle Worldwide Student Complaint Process in the catalog.

Please note students seeking loan repayment or complaints relating to student loans or student loan servicers may also contact your appropriate state advocacy:

For Washington State residents - Washington State residents seeking information and resources about student loan repayment or seeking to submit a complaint relating to your student loans or student loan servicer, please visit or contact the Student Loan Advocate at

If you’re in a dispute about your federal student aid, contact the Federal Student Aid Ombudsman Group as a last resort. The Ombudsman Group is dedicated to helping resolve disputes related to the federal student aid programs, including Direct Loans, Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program loans, Perkins Loans, and grant programs.

Loan Exit Counseling

Exit Loan Counseling

Review the Exit Loan Counseling Guide.

All students receiving Federal Direct Loans must attend an Exit Loan Counseling session prior to graduation, withdrawal from the university, who break continuous enrollment (do not attend all terms in assigned track) or if enrollment drops below half-time status (three (3) credit hours) for undergraduate or full-time (three (3) credit hours) for graduate and Ph.D. degree students anytime during the current academic year.

Private Education Loans are offered by private lending organizations. They can supplement the amount the government allows you to borrow in its programs.

Things to Look for in a Private Loan

  • Eligibility requirements: Most private loans require a credit-worthy applicant and/or co-signer. Having a co-signer may reduce the cost of the loan.
  • Interest rates: Most private loans have variable interest rates. Determine how often the interest rate is adjusted and how it's calculated.
  • Fees: Many private loans have fees deducted from, or added to, the amount you borrow. Find out when they're charged and how much.
  • Annual Percentage Rate (APR): The APR is the annual cost of your loan, including the effect of any fees and charges in addition to interest. Remember, a loan with fees and a lower base interest rate may be as good of a choice as a loan with no fees and a higher base interest rate. APR helps show how all charges affect the cost of the loan.
  • Repayment: Determine the repayment terms, including monthly payments and repayment period. Some lenders offer rewards, such as interest rate reduction, to borrowers who make payments on time or via electronic funds transfer (EFT).
  • Loan limits: Check to see if there is an annual or aggregate limit. Try to pick a lender who has an aggregate limit that works best with your program of study. Some private loans have maximum limits, while others allow you to borrow up to your total cost of attending school.
  • Compare lenders and apply for private loans.
  • Credit Checks: Both the borrower and co-signer must pass a credit check. Applying with a qualified co-signer may give you the best rate. Private loan credit checks are valid for a limited time. Please check with your lender for details.
  • Do not hesitate to contact us at 1-866-567-7202 with any questions.

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