Many familes use loans in addition to other funding sources to help finance their educational expenses. Since a student load must be repaid after graduation or withdrawal from the University, it represents a serious commitment. Our office is committed to helping you decide the most responsible plan to support your education.  

Loan Repayment and Disbursement

Loan Repayment

Direct Subsidized Loans

Repayment begins after the grace period expires. The grace period for most borrowers is six months and begins when the student leaves school or falls below half-time hours.

Direct Unsubsidized Loans

Repayment of interest begins immediately, unless the student has chosen to have interest capitalized, which means interest will accrue on the loan until the student leaves school or falls below half-time hours. Repayment of principal and interest begins six months after the student leaves school or falls below half-time hours.

PLUS Loans

Repayment typically begins 60 days after the loan is fully disbursed or parents (or graduates, for Grad PLUS) may choose to begin payment 6 months after the student is no longer attending at least half-time. Parents must check with their lender to obtain information on repayment procedures.

Loan Disbursement
  • Federal regulations require that UT Martin make two disbursements of Stafford and PLUS Loans. First-time Freshmen must wait 30 days after classes begin to receive their first disbursement. All other students will receive their first disbursements on or about the first day of the loan period. The second disbursement will be made on or after the beginning of the second semester for fall/spring loans or when one-half of the loan period has expired for all other loans.
  • All other students' first disbursements are scheduled for the 15th day of the fall semester. The second disbursement will be made 15th day of spring semester for fall/spring loans.
  • Spring Only Loans: If you were not here in the fall or withdrew (officially or unofficially) in the fall, your loan will be a spring-only loan. If you receive a loan for spring only; those loan funds will also be disbursed in 2 separate disbursements during that one semester. Those disbursements will be made the 15th day of the semester and the mid-point of the semester.
  • First-time borrowers must sign a Master Promissory Note and complete Entrance Loan Counseling.
  • Summer loans are disbursed in two disbursements. The disbursement dates are the start of Maymester and around the third week of June. You must be attending or have been attending 6 credit hours at the time of disbursement for the loan to disburse as scheduled. If your 6th credit hour is in a session that begins after the disbursement dates, your loan will fully disburse at the beginning of the session in which your 6th credit hour occurs. For clarification on when your summer loan will disburse, please contact the financial aid office.

Types of Loans

Stafford Loans

In the Federal Direct Loan program, the US Department of Education will supply the loan funds and service the loans after disbursement. A Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) must be completed before applying for a student loan. Federal Stafford Loans are available to eligible undergraduate, graduate, or professional students and may be subsidized or unsubsidized. Repayment of principal is postponed while the student is in school and during a six-month grace period after the student leaves school or drops below half-time hours.

NOTE: You must be attending at least six hours to be eligible for Stafford Loans

  • Subsidized Stafford Loans— the federal government pays the interest while the student is in school for at least half time. These loans are based on need.
  • Unsubsidized Stafford Loans— the interest is not paid for by the government while the student is in school. The interest begins when the loan is issued and will accrue while the student is in school. To minimize the interest debt, it is advisable to pay the interest while going to school.

Loan Limits

The combination of loan(s) and any other aid may not exceed the cost of attendance for the term of the loan. Students are limited to the loan amounts they can borrow in an aid year (fall/spring/summer) and through all their undergraduate and graduate years.

Borrowing limits for full time enrollment is as follows:

Dependent Undergraduates

  • Freshmen: $3,500 subsidized/$2,000 unsubsidized ($5,500 total)
  • Sophomores: $4,500 subsidized/$2,000 unsubsidized ($6,500 total)
  • Juniors & Seniors: $5,500 subsidized/$2,000 unsubsidized ($7,500 total)
  • Lifetime or Aggregate limit: $31,000 (maximum subsidized is $23,000)

Independent Undergraduates

  • Freshmen: $3,500 subsidized/$6,000 unsubsidized ($9,500 total)
  • Sophomores: $4,500 subsidized/$6,000 unsubsidized ($10,500 total)
  • Juniors & Seniors: $5,500 subsidized/$7,000 unsubsidized ($12,500 total)
  • Lifetime or Aggregate limit: $57,500 (maximum subsidized is $23,000)

Graduate Students

  • $20,500 unsubsidized
  • Lifetime or Aggregate limit: $138,000 (maximum subsidized is $65,000) and includes the debt incurred as undergraduate.
Parent Plus Loan

Parent PLUS loans enable parents to borrow the student's cost of attendance minus other aid for each dependent student who is enrolled at least half-time. This loan is in the parent's name and must be applied for by the parent. UT Martin requires the student to complete the FAFSA before certifying a PLUS loan. The PLUS loan cannot exceed the difference in the student's estimated cost of attendance and what they are already receiving. We will adjust the amount accordingly.

If Parent PLUS is Denied: If a parent is denied by the Department of Education for a Parent PLUS loan, the school will be notified, and the student will become eligible for an additional unsubsidized loan at the independent student level. We will send notification of that eligibility to the student, and they will need to complete an additional form to request those additional loan amounts.

Apply for a Parent PLUS Loan

Grad Plus Loans

Grad PLUS loans are loans that are additional loans that are available for graduate students only. They are usually only used after a student has used their maximum eligibility for Stafford loans. Credit decisions will be sent to UT Martin and we will evaluate your eligibility to receive the loan before putting it on your account. Be sure you have completed a FAFSA and have accepted all the Stafford loan that you are eligible for first.

Apply for a Grad PLUS Loan

Private or Alternative Loans

Private or Alternative loans are student loans that are held by a lender other than the Department of Education.  These loans can be used for students who are not eligible for Federal Direct Student Loans or for students who may be attending less than half-time.  University of Tennessee at Martin does not have a preferred lenders list. We partner with FastChoice to provide students with information on a variety of lenders in an easy-to-understand format, to help you determine which private student loan best meets your needs.

Apply for a Private Loan