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Loan Options for Undergraduate Students

The Office of Financial Aid at Wisconsin Lutheran College guides students and parents through the loan application process.

  • We encourage students and parents to discuss and create a plan for college tuition payments. Examine your estimated out-of-pocket costs and consider taking advantage of our payment plans. Although loans should not be a family’s first option to pay for school, many students may need to borrow to pay a portion of their education costs.


    • If loans are needed, consider federal loans first. They often provide better benefits.
    • Students can borrow Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans on their own.
    • More information on Direct Loans is available at
    • If other loans are needed, a dependent student will usually need the help of a parent or a cosigner.

    Explore Loan Programs and Options

    Select a heading below to explore loan programs options.


    Federal Direct Loan Program

    Federal Direct Loan Fixed Interest Rates 

    For loans disbursed in 2017-2018 (2018-2019 rates will be announced in June 2018)

    • Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans (Undergraduate): 4.45%
    • Direct Parent PLUS Loans: 7% 

    These fixed rate federal loans for students enable you to borrow for college now and repay after college. No income or credit history is required.

    Features include:

    • Fixed interest rate for Direct Loans borrowed by undergraduate students in 2017-2018 is 4.45%.
    • A 1.066% federal fee (Subject to change by the U.S. Department of Education)
    • One half of the loan (minus a federal fee) will disburse to the student's bill for fall. The other half (minus a federal fee) will disburse to the student's bill for spring.
    • Repayment begins 6 months after student drops below half time status or after graduation
    • Standard 10 year repayment plan with other repayment options available
    • A 0.25% interest rate reduction when you pay via auto-debit during repayment

    Your FAFSA determines the type of loan you can receive. Your loan eligibility for the year is reflected on your financial aid award. You will be eligible for a subsidized loan, an unsubsidized loan, or a combination of both.

    Subsidized Loan:

    Federal government pays your interest while you are enrolled at least half time.

    Unsubsidized Loan:

    Interest accrues and can either be paid periodically while you are in school or capitalized (added to the principal of your loan to repay later).

    Maximum annual loan eligibility is:

     Subsidized Direct Loan Total Direct Loan Total 
    FRESHMAN  $3,500$5,500 $9,500 
    SOPHOMORE $4,500$6,500 $10,500 
     JUNIOR/SENIOR (per year) $5,500$7,500 $12,500 

    Maximum total undergraduate loan eligibility is:

    DEPENDENT STUDENTS $23,000 $31,000
    INDEPENDENT STUDENTS $23,000 $57,500



    Your Direct Loan eligibility is listed on your financial aid award. You can borrow the entire amount listed, a portion of it, or none at all. You will choose the amount that you plan to borrow when you accept your award in your myFinancialAid link at You will need your Warrior ID and password to log into your myWLC account.

    Your FAFSA determines the type and amount of Direct Loan that you can borrow: subsidized, unsubsidized or a combination of both.

    Applying for Direct Subsidized/Unsubsidized Loans

    • Go to
    • Complete Loan Counseling: Entrance
    • Complete Loan Agreement (Master Promissory Note): MPN for Subsidized/Unsubsidized Loans


    The Direct PLUS Loan program enables parents to borrow funds to pay the education expense of each child who is a dependent undergraduate student enrolled at least half time.

    Features include:

    • 7% fixed interest rate for all PLUS Loans borrowed in 2017-2018
    • A 4.264% federal fee (subject to change by the U.S. Department of Education)
    • One half of the loan amount (minus a federal fee) will disburse to the student's bill for fall. The other half (minus a federal fee) will disburse to the student's bill for spring.
    • Quick credit pre-approval
    • Payments begin approximately 60 days after the second disbursement
    • Can request postponement of payments until after your student graduates
    • A 0.25% interest rate reduction when you pay via auto-debit during repayment
    • Interest only payments available
    • Tax deductible interest for many
    • You have the right to cancel or lower your loan at any time by contacting the Office of Financial Aid.

    WLC PLUS Partner Program

    The WLC PLUS Partner Program is Wisconsin Lutheran College's commitment to you to help pay a portion of the interest on your PLUS loan. That's right; WLC will pay a designated amount of the interest for a maximum of four years while your son or daughter is enrolled at Wisconsin Lutheran College. You might call it a "value-added" Federal Direct PLUS Loan. Learn more about this unique opportunity!


    Determine Loan Amount

    Determine the amount you need to borrow through a Direct PLUS Loan for the entire school year. A 4.264% fee will be subtracted from the amount borrowed.

    One half of the amount that you borrow (minus 4.264% fee) will be disbursed to Wisconsin Lutheran College for your student's first semester bill. The other one half of the amount (minus 4.264% fee) will be disbursed for your student's second semester bill. Loan funds are applied directly to your student's bill.

    Be aware: The system will allow you to request a "maximum" amount. That amount will be more than what you need to pay your student's WLC bill for the year. If you only want to cover your student's bill, do not request "maximum."

    Apply for Loan

    Go to to:

    • Log in with the Parent's FSA ID
    • Apply for a PLUS Loan using your determined amount.
    • First time borrowers ONLY: Complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN) for a Parent PLUS Loan. You must request the loan AND complete the MPN before your loan can be disbursed.
    • Previous borrowers: You do NOT need to complete another promissory note.

    You will receive a Disclosure Statement from the Department of Education via email or mail at the time of the first disbursement in fall. The Disclosure Statement is your confirmation that your loan has been processed. You can also view your Disclosure Statement online at when the loan is first disbursed.

    You have the right to cancel or lower your loan at anytime by contacting the WLC Financial Aid Office.

    If your PLUS request has been denied, contact the Office of Financial Aid at Wisconsin Lutheran College at 414.443.8856 or via email.


    Private education loans are specific consumer loans in the student's name offered by private lenders to help pay education expenses for the year. These need to be researched very carefully as they are not federal loans. Our office recommends utilizing WLC payment plans and Federal Direct Subsidized, Unsubsidized and PLUS loans first before borrowing a private education loan.

    Features include:

    • Cosigner is usually required
    • Must undergo credit check
    • Variable interest rates may change monthly or quarterly
    • Fixed interest rates offered by some lenders
    • Line of credit loans offered by some lenders

    Tips for Selecting a Private Education Loan

    1. Where can you find a Private Education Loan?

    Some banks and credit unions offer private education loans. You can borrow from a lender of your choice or from a lender listed on the WLC Private Loan Options site.

    • CU Student Loans
    • Discover Student Loans
    • Minnesota SELF Loans (must be a Minnesota resident)
    • Sallie Mae Smart Option Loan
    • Thrivent Federal Credit Union Private Student Loan
    • Wells Fargo Collegiate Loan
    • Wells Fargo Graduate Loan
    2. What are the interest rates and fees charged private education loans?

    Each lender determines the interest rate and fee structure for its own loan programs. They will typically base the interest rate on a benchmark such as prime or LIBOR plus a specific percent margin. As prime or LIBOR go up or down, so does your interest rate.

    3. When does repayment begin and how long does it last?

    Many private education loan programs start the payments 6 months after college graduation (or after leaving school). Interest accrues while you are still in school. Typical repayment plans last anywhere from 7-25 years. You may save money by starting immediate repayment on the principal and interest of the loan or by making interest only payments while you are in school. To save even more money, consider paying the loan off as fast as possible!

    Remember to borrow only what is needed when using a private education loan. Compare loan programs to determine the program that is best for you.

    Private Lender Selection Disclosure

    Wisconsin Lutheran College officials select private lenders based on the best interest of the students. The criteria includes but is not limited to benefits offered to the borrower, customer service provided to the borrower, ease of applying for loans and timely processing. The list includes three or more lenders and is reviewed annually to ensure that the lenders continue to meet our criteria. Borrowers can select a lender from the list or any other lender of their choice.

    Wisconsin Lutheran College prohibits officials from accepting benefits (financial or other) from lenders. These prohibitions include: participating in revenue-sharing arrangements where Wisconsin Lutheran College would receive revenue for recommending lenders to students; accepting gifts of more than minimal value including trips and entertainment; allowing contracting arrangements related to education loans; assigning students to a specific lender or refusing to certify a loan from a specific lender; accepting offers of funds for private loans; accepting assistance with office staffing from a lender; and receiving anything of value from a lender, guarantor or group for serving on an advisory board except for reimbursement of reasonable expenses incurred for serving on the board.

    Wisconsin Lutheran College is allowed to accept training materials, training sessions, assistance with entrance and exit loan counseling sessions as long as the presenter does not promote the services of a specific lender and philanthropic contributions as long as they are not related to education loans.  


    Applying for a Private Education Loan

    1. Determine the amount of loan needed for the entire school year. Be sure to borrow your maximum Direct Subsidized/Unsubsidized Loans first.
    2. Determine the lender and private education loan that you plan to use.
    3. Apply through the lender's website. Complete the requirements of the lender for that loan program.

    You can borrow from a lender of your choice or from a lender listed on the WLC Private Loan Options site.


    Entrance Counseling

    Entrance counseling is required of all first time student borrowers. If you are borrowing federal loans for the first time at WLC, you must complete this session before your loan funds can be disbursed.

    1. Go to
    2. Log in with your FSA ID
    3. Go to "Complete Counseling" > "Entrance Counseling"

    Exit Counseling

    Exit counseling is a federal requirement before you withdraw, graduate, or drop below half-time attendance (even if you are planning to transfer to another school). The session includes information on repayment options for your federal loans and will take about 30 minutes to complete. 

    1. Go to
    2. Log in with your FSA ID
    3. Go to "Complete Counseling" > "Exit Counseling"

    Questions? Contact the Office of Financial Aid by phone at 414.443.8856, by fax at 414.443.8540, or via email.