Navigating the borrowing process

Loans are a reality for most graduate and professional students, and we will help you navigate the borrowing process from application to repayment. We encourage you to be a responsible consumer and to borrow only what is necessary. We urge you to seek advice from our Student Financial Services team whenever needed.

Please keep in mind that with loans, lenders often deduct loan fees before monies are disbursed, which can impact the amount you need to borrow. You should calculate loan fees prior to finalizing loan requests. Please see Federal Loan Fees for more information.

Repaying Your Loans

Be sure you're in touch with your Loan Servicer at all times throughout your years of borrowing. It is even wise to pay interest while you're in school, if at all possible, on any loans that are accruing interest (i.e. every loan EXCEPT the Direct Subsidized Loan). Once you're ready to leave school, we recommend using the Repayment Estimator to determine which is the best loan repayment option for you. Note: You may switch plans as your income situation changes. Just realize this — the longer you take to repay your loans, the more they will cost you.

Federal Direct Loans

The U.S. Department of Education offers low-interest loans to eligible students to help cover the cost of graduate and professional degrees. These loans are available to cover your Cost of Attendance, which includes your direct costs (those that are billed to you) and may also include your indirect costs, such as living expenses and other education-related materials.

To apply for Federal Direct Loans you must file the FAFSA and sign a Master Promissory Note (MPN) and Complete Entrance Counseling. For all Federal Loans, you will also need to complete Exit Loan Counseling when you are no longer enrolled at least half-time. Both Entrance and Exit Counseling provide information about terms of borrowing, interest accrual and repayment options and can be completed online.

All pertinent information regarding Title IV, HEA federal loans, including Direct Loans, will be submitted to NSLDS and accessible by authorized agencies, lenders, and institutions.

Unsubsidized Direct Loans

The Direct Unsubsidized Loan is available to all graduate and professional students regardless of need. UNE will determine the amount you can borrow based on your Cost of Attendance and annual limits. Visit the Federal Student Aid website for information on loan borrowing limits and the most current interest rates for direct loans.

Graduate PLUS Loans

The Graduate PLUS Loan is a credit-based loan, subject to credit approval by the lender, that may be offered to you as part of your Financial Aid award. PLUS loans help pay for expenses up to the Cost of Attendance (COA) minus all other financial assistance (e.g. Direct Unsubsidized Loan and/or scholarships). After you accept any offered Graduate PLUS Loan funds, the loan will then be subject to lender approval. If credit is denied for the PLUS Loan, you can continue to pursue this loan with an endorser or you can appeal the denial. 

Alternative Loans

Because of the flexible and forgiving nature of Federal Direct Loans, we recommend that you exhaust those sources before applying for private or alternative loans. However, we recognize that students sometimes need to seek other types of loans to cover the costs of college. Go to our Private Loan Comparison Tool to see the UNE’s recommended lenders and more information on private loans. 


Student Financial Services

For information about the financial aid and billing process contact Student Financial Services at or (207) 602-2342. Our office hours are Monday–Friday 9 a.m.–4 p.m.