What You Need to Know Before You Get a Loan

  • Pursue all other alternatives first.
  • Get the facts about each loan program.
  • Know the players in the student loan process and their language.
  • Estimate the anticipated level of debt for your entire program of study.
  • Budget before you borrow.
  • Know manageable levels of debt. Never borrow more than absolutely necessary.
  • Know the effects of having multiple loans.
  • Take the time now to make the right decision. You can save time, money, and frustration.


  • Once your loan request has been processed, you will receive a notice by email.  You may also check your financial aid awards in Panther Central.
  • Single term loan request are made in two disbursements
  • New borrowers are required to wait 30 days from first day of classes for their first disbursement.
  • Disbursement means the amount is applied to your account. It is not a refund.
  • Students will be notified via student email of their loan disbursement amounts, dates, and approximate date of when to check at the Cashier’s Office for a refund check, if applicable.
  • Refunds are processed by SFSC’s Business Office

 William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program

Students and parents who previously received loans through the Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program will now borrow through the Direct Loan Program. The Direct Loan Program (DLP) offers the same types of loans as the FFEL Program and generally this program will have the same terms and conditions as FFEL Program. The difference is instead of a bank lending the money; the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) lends the money directly to students and parents through the student’s school. The FFEL Loans were either Stafford Subsidized or Stafford Unsubsidized loans. However, in the Direct Loan Program these loans are called Direct Subsidized Loans, Direct Unsubsidized Loans and Direct PLUS Loans.

Benefits of the Direct Loan Program

Direct Loans and FFEL Program loans have the same annual and aggregate loan limits, the same deferment and cancellation provisions, and most of the same repayment plans (Standard, Graduated, and Extended, Income-Based). The interest rates for FFEL Program Stafford Loans and Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans are also the same. Direct Loans also have some benefits that are available only in the Direct Loan Program:

  • Lower interest rate on Direct PLUS Loans
  • Up-Front Interest Rebate
  • Income Contingent Repayment Plan (in addition to the Income-Based Repayment Plan)
  • Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program
  • No interest charged (for up to 60 months) during qualifying periods of active duty military service (for loans first disbursed on or after October 1, 2008)

Types of Student Loans

Helpful Links

Are you enrolled at least half-time and have received Notice of Loan Repayment?

Students who have Federal Direct or FFEL Loans and are enrolled at least half-time here at SFSC are eligible for an In-School Deferment. During a deferment, students do not need to make payments. Please contact the financial aid office at 863-784-7134 immediately to resolve your repayment status.

It is the student’s responsibility to notify the financial aid office or their loan servicer if they believe they are eligible for an In-School Deferment.