Educate yourSELF with a Minnesota SELF Loan

SELF Loan

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the requirements to borrow a SELF Loan?

What is the current interest rate?

How much can I borrow?

How does repayment work?

SELF Loan Repayment Calculator

When should I apply?

Do I need to complete a FAFSA?


Who is eligible to borrow?

An eligible borrower must be:

  • Enrolled in an eligible school in Minnesota or be a Minnesota resident enrolled in an eligible out-of-state school (View a list of schools participating in the SELF program.)
  • Enrolled at least half-time in a certificate, associate, bachelor's or graduate degree program
  • Making satisfactory academic progress
  • Up-to-date on student loan payments

All SELF Loans are required to have a creditworthy co-signer.


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What are the requirements for a co-signer?

A creditworthy co-signer must:

  • be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident 24 years or older or 18 years if a brother or sister.
  • have an address in the United States.
  • have no accounts discharged through bankruptcy; no liens or judgments; no more than $300 in negative credit accounts; and no more than 5% of accounts past due.

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Is there a co-signer release option?

No, to keep interest rates low, the co-signer is responsible until the loan is paid in full.

 
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What is the current interest rate?

The fixed rate is 5.75% and will not change over the life of the loan.

The variable rate is currently 4.5% and can change quarterly—every three months. The interest rate is the sum of the margin (currently 2.0%) added to the index, which is based on the 3-Month London Interbank Offered Rates (LIBOR) rate. The variable interest rate will not change more than 3% during any 12-month period.

Interest rates are not tied to credit scores or income.

 
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What are the historic interest rates?

View a chart of historic SELF Loan interest rates.

 
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How much can I borrow?

What to consider before borrowing?

Don't borrow more than you need. Remember, this isn't free money; you need to pay interest while you are in school and then repay what you borrowed.

Before you apply, make sure you look into any federal education loans you may be eligible for. You should understand these benefits of federal loans:

  • No interest payments required during school for subsidized federal loans
  • Low fixed interest rates
  • Deferments
  • Forbearances
  • Loan forgiveness
  • Various repayment plans (including income-based)
Loan Limits
Program Type Annual Limit Cumulative Limit
4 Year $20,000 $100,000
Graduate $20,000 $140,000
1-3 Year Programs * $7,500 $22,500
Programs Shorter Than 1 Year ** $3,500 $7,500
* Programs of at least 8-9 months or 900 hours
** Programs of less than 8-9 months or 900 hours

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What are the repayment terms?

  • You need to pay interest every three months while you are in school starting within 90 days from when you receive the money.
  • You must start repaying your loans no later than nine years from receiving the money.
  • There are no grace periods or deferment options.
  • SELF Loans cannot be included in a federal loan consolidation.
  • There is no penalty for early payment.
  • Your repayment period depends on how much you borrow from the SELF program.
  • The minimum payment is $50 a month.

Unless you are already in a required repayment period, you have two repayment options:

  • The Standard Plan requires monthly payment of principal and interest starting 13 months after you leave school or attend less than half-time.
  •  The Extended Interest Plan allows you to continue with two more years of monthly interest payments before starting to repay the amount you borrowed.
Maximum SELF V Repayment Periods
Total SELF Loan Balances    Maximum Repayment Period
Less than $20,000    10 years from when you stop being an eligible student
$20,000 to $40,000    15 years from when you stop being an eligible student
$40,000 or greater    20 years from when you stop being an eligible student


 
 
 
 
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SELF Loan Repayment Calculator

The calculator estimates repayment amounts for your loans based on your current SELF interest rate(s) and repayment terms. If you are still in school or in a transition period, the repayment amount is based on your original loan amount rather than your current principal balance. The amount of interest paid is estimated and does not take into account actual interest you may have already paid.
:
(whole dollars; no commas)

Interest Rate Option:


Expected Date of Graduation:



If you want existing loans figured into the calculation, or if you only want to calculate repayment of existing loans, enter your Social Security number and birth date:

:
(999999999)

Birth Date:


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What happens if I change schools or enroll in a graduate program?

If you transfer to another school or go on to graduate school, you can make interest only payments if:


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Can I capitalize my SELF interest instead of making quarterly payments?

The SELF Loan does not allow you to add your in-school interest onto your loan balance. Capitalizing increases your payment and the amount of money you will eventually repay.

There are benefits of paying interest while in school:

  • the overall amount of interest you pay will be less and
  • quarterly bills keep you aware of your loan balance and the interest cost of your loan.

See example of the benefits of paying interest while in school.


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When should I apply?

You should apply at least four weeks ahead of when you need money.


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Do I need to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)?

A completed FAFSA is required for students (other than graduate or international) to determine qualifications for federal or state grants.

Before you apply, make sure you look into any federal education loans you may be eligible for. You should understand these benefits of federal loans:

  • No interest payments required during school for subsidized federal loans
  • Low fixed interest rates
  • Deferments
  • Forbearances
  • Loan forgiveness
  • Various repayment plans (including income-based)

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Who do I contact if I have questions or problems with my loan?

Firstmark Services is the loan servicer for the SELF program:

Borrower Customer Service:
Toll-free 1-888-295-0713 (Automated 24 Hours)

Representatives are available:
Monday - Friday 7:00am to 8:00pm Central Time

Loan information is also available via
www.firstmarkservices.com.

If, after calling Firstmark Services, you still have concerns, you are encouraged to contact the Office of Higher Education explaining your concerns:
MN Office of Higher Education
PO Box 64449
St Paul, MN 55164
selfloan.ohe@state.mn.us

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View a Glossary of Loan Terms.