State of Texas – Big Student Loans

Find Out How to Finance Your College Education

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board ( is the state-sanctioned student loan resource designed exclusively for the benefit of Texas students. THECB has a stated mission to reverse the worrisome decline in enrollment compared to population seen in the state's higher education facilities, and to that end it offers students a great deal of assistance in planning and paying for college.

THECB is very serious about progressing toward that goal, as you can see in the increased numbers of Texas degrees awarded since its "Closing The Gaps" program was launched. Here are some resources you can find by consulting the THECB website:

  • Student loan information, including a page of application links that takes you to pages for the testing, college admissions, and financial aid applications you will need to start your journey through college in Texas.
  • Financial aid tips and tools, with everything you need to know about paying for college from exemptions to work study programs.
  • College planning tools, beginning at middle school and ending with credit counseling.
  • Loan forgiveness and loan repayment programs.
  • A handy guide to college planning and financial aid.
student loans in Texas

The Federal Student Loan Program for Texas Students

When you apply for the federal student loan program, you take a giant step in the direction of your college education. We'll talk about private loans in a moment, but you must understand why the U.S. Department of Education's Direct Loan Program is a crucial first step.

The Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) program was the low-cost predecessor to Direct Loans, but as of July 1, 2010, no new loans are being made by FFEL. However, Direct Loans also carry low interest, because they're made directly by the government, although serviced by various private lenders.

It is highly recommended you apply for these loans, and in most cases you'll be approved for some level of funding. The Direct Loan Program includes:

Find out more about the various federal loans and why you should always try to finance as much of your education as possible using them rather than other types of loans.

The HH Private Loans Program

The Hinson-Hazlewood College Student Loan Program is unique to Texas. This program is a wrapper for two distinct loan programs, the College Access Loan Program (CAL), which is an alternative loan for undergraduates and graduates, and the Texas B-On-Time (BOT) no-interest loan.

The CAL Program is the state-sanctioned alternative loan designed for Texas students at every level of education. Borrowers must attend school at least half-time. Either the borrower or a co-signer must have good credit, and it is not necessary to demonstrate financial need. As always, applicants must apply for federal aid before applying to CAL.

The BOT program is extremely attractive, because not only do recipients pay no interest, but if they meet certain criteria the loan can be forgiven at graduation. That's a very alluring prospect available to not only Texas residents but also dependent children of members of the armed forces.
Before you enter into any private student loans, make sure you've borrowed the maximum allowed with your federal loans. For more information on the HH Loans program, visit the THECB website.