Borrow smart

Work out a budget first, including your educational and living expenses. Then, borrow only as much as you need.

Choosing a lender and a loan program can be tough. Check out the Bottom Line . This worksheet offers practical information for borrowers.

Federal Direct unsubsidized loan (FDU)

This is a federally financed student loan made to undergraduate and graduate students who meet specific eligibility requirements. You may borrow up to the cost of attendance minus any other financial aid received and may not borrow more than the maximum annual or aggregate (lifetime) amount. Interest is charged throughout the life of the loan. You may choose to pay the interest charged on the loan or allow the interest to be added to the loan principal.


  • Federally funded
  • NOT need-based
  • The fixed interest rate for loans in the deferment or six-month grace period is as follows:
    • 4.29 percent for undergraduate and 5.84 percentfor graduate loans disbursed July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2016.
    • 4.66 percent for undergraduate and 6.21 percent for graduate loans disbursed July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2015.
    • 3.86 percent for undergraduate and 5.41 percent for graduate loans disbursed July 1, 2013 to June 30, 2014.
      • Effective July 1, 2013 - Interest rates are adjusted yearly based on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note index rate. The interest rate cap for undergraduate subsidized and unsubsidized loans is 8.25 percent. The cap for graduate unsubsidized loans is 9.5 percent.
    • 6.8 percent for undergraduate and graduate loans first disbursed July 1, 2006 to June 30, 2012.
  • Interest starts accruing upon disbursement.
  • 1.073 percent loan origination; no interest rate rebate.
  • Subject to annual and aggregate loan limits.
  • This is a loan you must repay to the U.S. Department of Education.
  • Complete the student financial aid adjustment form if you wish to cancel or reduce a loan that has not been disbursed to your WMU account. If the loan has already disbursed, you must complete the student financial aid adjustment form within 30 days of the date of disbursement. Please note: canceling or reducing a disbursed loan may result in a balance due on your WMU account.
  • After you have been awarded an unsubsidized loan, you will receive a "Federal Loan Disclosure Statement" from the direct loan servicing center or WMU. The disclosure statement identifies anticipated disbursement dates, gross and net disbursement amounts, and loan fee amounts for all your federal loans for the academic year.


  • Undergraduate and graduate students
  • Must be enrolled at least half-time
  • Completed federal master promissory note link off site required for first-time borrowers
  • Loan entrance counseling link off site required for first-time borrowers at WMU
  • Award eligibility based upon EFC, cost of attendance, enrollment and other resources
  • Award will be canceled if enrolled less than half-time
  • Award may be adjusted or canceled if there is a change to cost of attendance, enrollment, graduating in August or December or if you receive additional resources
  • US Citizen or eligible non-citizen
  • Not in default on prior educational loans
  • Making SAP


  • Accrued interest is billed quarterly and may be deferred (will be added to principal balance)
  • You will begin to repay your loan six months after you cease to be enrolled at least half-time. During this six-month "grace period", interest will accrue on your loan. Once the grace period expires, you will begin to repay your loan. For sample repayment amounts, see the federal loan repayment fact sheet
  • Complete an exit counseling session so you are aware of all the information you will need to know about repaying your loan.
  • If you drop to less than half-time, withdraw, drop out, graduate or simply do not return to school, this information will be reported to the servicer and they will begin to count your grace period. You are responsible for notifying WMU immediately if your enrollment changes as described above.
  • Payments will be made to the U.S. Department of Education (holder of the loan)
  • For detailed information about repayment, deferments, forbearance and other frequently asked questions, go to link off site
  • To obtain information about consolidating your Federal loans, visit link off site. The interest rate for a consolidation loan is the weighted average of the interest rates on the loans being consolidated and is fixed for the life of the loan.
  • It is important that you maintain a "very important papers file" and keep copies of your award notices, MPN, borrower's rights and responsibilities and the loan disclosure statement in one place as they provide the details of your loans, and your rights and responsibilities as a student loan recipient.

Contact information


Updated: 09/27/2013 11:31 AM

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Student Financial Aid
1903 W Michigan Ave
Western Michigan University
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5337 USA
269 387-6000