A student loan is a form of financial aid that must be repaid with interest. OCC participates in the Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFEL). Under the FFEL Program, funds for your loans are lent to you from a private lender (a bank, credit union, or other lender) that participates in the FFEL Program.
The federal loan for students is called the Stafford Loan. All Stafford Loans are either subsidized (the government pays the interest while you're in school) or unsubsidized (you pay all the interest, although you can have the payments deferred until after graduation). To receive a subsidized Stafford Loan, you must be able to demonstrate financial need. Many students combine subsidized loans with unsubsidized loans to borrow the maximum amount permitted each year. Stafford Loans have variable interest rates. All lenders offer the same rate for the Stafford Loan, although some give discounts for on-time and electronic payment.
Parents of dependent students can take out loans to supplement their children’s aid packages. The federal Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS) lets parents borrow money to cover any costs not already covered by the student’s financial aid package, up to the full cost of attendance. Like the Stafford Loan, PLUS loans are either FFELP (provided by private lenders, such as banks) or Direct (funds provided by the government).
Private Loans, also known as Alternative Loans, help bridge the gap between the actual cost of your education and the limited amount the government allows you to borrow in its programs. Private loans are offered by private lenders and there are no federal forms to complete.
Allows you to combine loans so that you make only one monthly payment. You can consolidate any or all of your loans — you choose. There is no cost to you to consolidate. You can lower the interest rate on your Loans if you consolidate during your grace period. The Loan Servicer will assist you with the loan consolidation process.