Iowa College Loan Information and Resources

Get the Guidance You Need to Make Smart Decisions

Iowa offers a wonderfully detailed resource for you — the Iowa College Student Aid Commission. On the website, there are many different valuable sources of advice and information, such as the financial literacy success lessons, which will help you discern which types of student aid are most appropriate for you.

Programs such as Buttonwood also provide software for managing student loans, as well as web-based learning modules for understanding key concepts of personal-finance management.

The types of student loans you should consider are listed below:

  • Federal student loans, the Federal Family Education Loan program (FFELP)
  • State-specific student loans and forgiveness programs
  • Private college loans
iowa student loans

Your First Step: Federal Student Loans

Any federal loans should always be your first choice. You are automatically considered for these loans when you complete and file the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid).

Here are some guidelines for completing this step of the process:

  • Check deadlines for the colleges and universities you’re applying to, as well as the official FAFSA deadline. Sometimes these two deadlines are different, so you must be careful to finish your FAFSA before the earliest of the two deadlines.
  • You will also need income and tax information for your immediate household, and possibly your parents’ information, before you begin the process.
  • After you’ve collected your information, visit the FAFSA (fafsa.ed.gov), and follow the detailed instructions.

Don’t make the same mistake over 2 million others make every year, which is that they fail to submit the FAFSA because they assume they won’t qualify. The federal government’s student loans are quite comprehensive, and almost everyone qualifies for some kind of financial aid.

  1. The Stafford Loans are the most disbursed type of loan. Subsidized Stafford loans are awarded to students based on need, while the unsubsidized are not. Many students qualify for both. Stafford loans are an extremely good choice for most students, based on their low fixed interest rates, low fees and flexible repayment terms.
  2. Perkins Loans are campus-based aid, which means they are administered directly by the school’s financial aid department (although they’re still using government funds), and consequently, they’re not available everywhere and are usually awarded on a first-come-first-served basis. The Perkins funds are reserved for students with exceptional financial need.
  3. Parent PLUS Loans give parents of undergrads the financial muscle to finish off paying for their child’s college expenses. These are credit-based, but borrowers with poor credit can certainly opt to borrow with a co-signer.
  4. Graduate and Professional PLUS Loans are provided so that grad students who have reached the limit on their Stafford Loans still have access to financial aid, which can be instrumental in finishing their degrees.

Profession-Based Loan  Repayment Programs

The State of Iowa packages a couple of attractive loan repayment programs for certain groups of students:

For nursing students, the Iowa Registered Nurse and Nurse Educator Loan Forgiveness programs are attractive incentives. If you’ll be working or teaching in Iowa, consider these programs, which are implemented to bring working professionals into the state’s health industry.

For teaching students, the Iowa Teacher Shortage Loan Forgiveness program can help you pay back your Stafford Loans. You may qualify for up to 20% loan forgiveness for each year of teaching service at an under-served school in the state.

Private Loans and Institutional Loans in Iowa

Oregon students who are looking beyond the conventional federal sources of funding will be looking for either institutional loans or private loans. These two types of loans are closely related, and both will require credit checks and come with higher interest rates.

They will, however, be a suitable source of funding for many students. The key is to check out all the details with every organization you consider borrowing from, and make sure to find some figures on how much the total cost will be.

Some features to pay attention to are repayment deadlines and interest accrual periods, which are the main difference between student loans and other types of loans.

Institutional Loans

Institutional loans are loans that are offered by educational institutions to assist their students. Not surprisingly, you’ll need to contact your college or university for more detailed information on the loans that might be available.

Many institutional loans are given first to those students who can demonstrate a financial need for them, and just like private loans, you’ll often need to have good credit.

Private Loans

Standard banks like Wells Fargo, SallieMae, SunTrust, and Citi Bank will all offer student loan packages.

As discussed before, you’ll want to shop around, and pay attention to details like when repayment must begin after you leave school, and when interest will begin to accrue on your loan. Read the fine print, and don’t let the details slip by before you sign anything.

student loans in Iowa

Iowa-Specific Private Loans Programs

The Partnership Advance Education Loan is a supplemental private loan program that is only available to Iowa students. You will require a creditworthy cosigner for a Partnership Advance Education Loan, but other aspects of this loan can be much more affordable than standard private loans.

This loan program is offered in five options: three fixed-rate options and two variable-rate option.

Fixed-rate Option 1:

  • Origination Fee: 0%
  • Interest Rate: 7.75%
  • Payments Required While Enrolled and During Separation Period : Yes, but payments are interest only.
  • Separation Period: 10 months
  • Principal and Interest Repayment Term: 10 years

Fixed-rate Option 2:

  • Origination Fee: 0%
  • Interest Rate: 7.85%
  • Payments Required While Enrolled and During Separation Period : Yes, but payments are interest only.
  • Separation Period: 8 months
  • Principal and Interest Repayment Term: 15 years

Fixed-rate Option 3:

  • Origination Fee: 4%
  • Interest Rate: 7.90%
  • Payments Required While Enrolled and During Separation Period : No.
  • Separation Period: 6 months
  • Principal and Interest Repayment Term: 18 years

Variable-rate Option 4:

  • Origination Fee: 0%
  • Interest Rate: 4.25% + 3-month Libor index
  • Payments Required While Enrolled and During Separation Period : Yes, but payments are interest only.
  • Separation Period: 10 months
  • Principal and Interest Repayment Term: 10 years

Variable-rate Option 1:

  • Origination Fee: 4%
  • Interest Rate: 4.35% + 3-month Libor index
  • Payments Required While Enrolled and During Separation Period : No
  • Separation Period: 6 months
  • Principal and Interest Repayment Term: 15 years

The Iowa Student Loan website offers clear summaries of the Partnership Advance Education loan, along with clear examples of how these rates would apply to a loan.

This type of forthcoming information is exactly what you should look for when applying for loan programs. If you are considering a company that is even slightly less than candid about the financial details, stop working with them.

The Iowa Alliance Private Student Loan Program is an exception among private loan programs, as it does not require a cosigner or stringent credit check. It is designed specifically for students who have been denied a traditional supplemental private student loan.

To qualify for an Iowa Alliance Private Student Loan, you must have been denied a private loan that requires a cosigner, and you must also meet the following underwriting criteria:

  • Have no more than two accounts reporting 30-day delinquencies during the previous two years.
  • Have no delinquencies of 60 days or more during the previous two years.
  • Have no charge-offs, repossessions, collection accounts, judgments, foreclosures or garnishments by credit providers.
  • Have no previous bankruptcies.
  • Have not defaulted on any student loan.

This criteria may not cover all cases, and more detailed information can be found here,

For more information on planning for student loans visit the Iowa College Student Aid Commission website.