Educate yourSELF with a Minnesota SELF Loan

SELF Loan

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is eligible to borrow?

What is the current SELF VI 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 cosigner.

Colorado and Maine Residents: We are unable to provide SELF Loans to Colorado and Maine residents due to statute requirements in those states.


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What are the requirements for a cosigner?

A creditworthy Cosigner 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.

Colorado and Maine Residents: We are unable to provide SELF Loans to Colorado and Maine residents due to statute requirements in those states.


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Is there a Cosigner release option?

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


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What is the current SELF VI interest rate?

The fixed rate is 6.35% and will not change over the life of the loan.

SELF VI variable rate is currently 6.0% and can change quarterly—every three months. The interest rate is the sum of the margin (currently 2.5%) added to the index, which is based on the 3-month term Secured Overnight Financing Rate (SOFR). The variable interest rate will not increase 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 the loan is outstanding.

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 * $10,000 $30,000
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 have limits of $3,500 per program up to a cumulative maximum of $7,500 for multiple short programs.

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What are the repayment terms for SELF VI?

Repayment terms for SELF VI Loans:

There are four different payment periods designed to make repayment manageable:

  • School Period
  • Transition Period
  • Extension Period
  • Repayment Period

School Period

The School Period is when:

  • you are enrolled at least half-time in a qualifying SELF School

During the School Period, you are required to make monthly payments of up to $25 (currently set at $15) per SELF VI Loan.

Your first payment will be due approximately one month after your first disbursement.

Any unpaid interest from your School and Transition Periods will be capitalized - added to the principal balance - at the end of the Transition Period.

Transition Period

The Transition Period begins:

  • upon graduation,
  • if your enrollment drops to below half-time, or
  • if you transfer to a school which doesn’t qualify.

During the Transition Period (up to 12 months) you are required to make monthly payments of up to $25 (currently, set at $15) per SELF VI loan.

Any unpaid interest from your School and Transition Periods will be capitalized - added to the principal balance - at the end of the Transition Period.

Extension Period

During the Extension Period (up to 24 months) you are required to make monthly payments of interest. The Extension Period is optional after the end of your Transition Period.

Repayment Period

The Repayment Period begins:

  • at the end of the Transition or Extension Period
    or
  • nine years after you took out the loan if you are still in School, Transition or Extension.

Repayment Information:

  • During the Repayment Period you are required to make monthly payments of principal and interest.
  • There is a minimum payment of $50 a month on all your SELF Loans once you enter the Repayment Period.
  • There are no grace periods or deferment options.
  • SELF Loans cannot be included in a federal loan consolidation.
  • Your maximum Repayment Period depends on how much you borrow from the SELF program.

Maximum SELF VI Repayment Periods

Total SELF Loan Balances    Maximum Repayment Period
Less than $20,000    120 months from when you enter the Repayment Period
$20,000 to $40,000    180 months from when you enter the Repayment Period
$40,000 or greater    240 months from when you enter the Repayment Period

 

Repayment terms for SELF V Loans:

  • You need to pay interest every three months during the School Period.
  • You must start repaying your loans no later than nine years after receiving the money.
  • There are no grace periods or deferment options.
  • SELF Loans cannot be included in a federal loan consolidation.
  • Your Repayment Period depends on how much you borrow from the SELF program.
  • There is a minimum payment of $50 a month on all your SELF Loans once you enter the Repayment Period.

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 monthly interest payments for up to 24 months before starting to repay the amount you borrowed.

Maximum SELF V Repayment Periods

Total SELF Loan Balances    Maximum Repayment Period
Less than $20,000    120 months from when you stop being an eligible student
$20,000 to $40,000    180 months from when you stop being an eligible student
$40,000 or greater    240 months from when you stop being an eligible student

  

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SELF Loan Repayment Calculator

Calculations for new loans are based on SELF VI terms. SELF VI Loans are required to enter repayment no later than nine years from the first disbursement date so you cannot enter a graduation date greater than nine years from today's date. If you enter your Social Security Number and you have loans from older SELF phases, calculations are based on the terms of your specific loan(s).

This calculator provides an estimate of repayment amounts for your SELF Loans based on the current SELF interest rates and repayment terms. If you are still in a School or 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 interest you may have already paid on existing loans.

:
(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?

Any pending disbursements will be cancelled if you change schools. You can apply for another loan if your new school is eligible. View a list of schools participating in the SELF program.

If you transfer to another school or enroll in graduate school, you can return to the School Period if:

  • your loan has not entered a required repayment period; and
  • you are enrolled at least half-time in an eligible school.

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How does returning to the School Period impact Transition and Extension Periods?

If you return to the School Period after being in a Transition or Extension Period you will have reduced Transition (up to six months) and Extension Periods (up to 12 months) when you subsequently leave school. Whether you have Transition or Extension Periods available and the length of time will be based on whether you reached your forced repayment date of nine years from disbursement.


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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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How do I add to my loan if I need more money?

We do not have a master promissory note. Any time you need more funds a new application is required.


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Do I need to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or MN Dream Act - State Financial Aid application?

A completed FAFSA is required for all students (other than graduate, international, and undocumented students) to ensure eligible students benefit from available federal, state, and other grants and scholarships.

Undocumented Minnesota residents attending Minnesota postsecondary institutions are required to apply for state financial aid, including the Minnesota State Grant, by accessing the online MN Dream Act - State Financial Aid application before applying for the SELF Loan. Minnesota undocumented residents attending an out-of-state postsecondary institution are not required to complete the MN Dream Act application.


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Do I need to apply for federal education loans?

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)
  • Make sure you are aware of any special COVID-19 benefits currently offered for federal education loans

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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
1450 Energy Park Drive, Suite 350
St Paul, MN 55108
selfloan.ohe@state.mn.us

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View a Glossary of Loan Terms