Make wise borrowing choices
Understand your options and make sure you are making the best choices for yourself and your future. Your education is an investment that can pay off handsomely, but you need to be careful in determining just how to make that investment. Consult the comparison charts; find out your current level of indebtedness; consider your intended major and career pathway, and make sure you are not setting yourself up to hit loan program maximums before you finish your program.
Track your student loan debt
Depending on the loans you've received, it may be a challenge to find your total indebtedness. That's why it's always best to keep track of your own loan debt.
- Direct Loan totals can be obtained easily via nslds.ed.gov
- University-based loan totals can be obtained by contacting One Stop Student Services
- Research loan totals from previous eras or institutions
Think about the debt you are accruing and your repayment obligations.
Most programs, including Direct Loans, have limits to the amount you can borrow in a year or within a grade level.
- Direct Loan annual maximums
- Find maximums for University-administered loans within the program pages
Compare loan options
Loans offered on your Financial Aid award letter (eFAAN).
The University will always offer you the most attractive loan programs available based on your financial need and the program funds available. Loans offered on the eFAAN appear in order of preference.
Loans that may not be initially offered
- For Private and State loan programs, use FastChoice, a website that helps you chose between lenders that meet University of Minnesota criteria.
- This chart helps Graduate students compare Graduate PLUS loans vs. private loan options