Many students and families borrow loans to assist in financing a college education. Loans are considered part of the family’s investment in a student’s education and become the student’s and/or family’s responsibility to manage and repay once the student graduates.
Loans can come from federal or private lenders. They must be repaid with interest and, in many cases, include additional fees to obtain the loan.
Compare loan programs, then choose the one that best suits your needs and goals.
Do not take on more debt than you can handle. Borrow only what you need.
Loans at USC
USC participates in the Direct Loan Program, which offers low-interest, federally backed loans to undergraduate and graduate students. Loans may be based on your financial need (need-based) or on your overall cost of attendance (credit-based).
Loans for Undergraduate Students and Their Parents
Direct Subsidized Loan
Direct Unsubsidized Loan
Direct Parent PLUS Loan (credit-based, for parents of dependent students)
Loans for Graduate Students
Direct Unsubsidized Loan
Direct Graduate PLUS Loan
Health Professions Student Loan
Loan for Disadvantaged Students
*Loan Disclosure: Federal student loans are required by law to provide a range of flexible repayment options, including, but not limited to, Income-Based Repayment and Income-Contingent Repayment plans, and loan forgiveness benefits, which other student loans are not required to provide. Federal Direct Loans are available to students regardless of income.
Private student loans may not be included in Federal Direct Consolidation Loans.
Private student loans are not eligible for Federal Income-Based Repayment Plans.
Private student loans are not eligible for Federal Economic Hardship Deferments.
Manage My Loans
Borrowers who have experienced difficulties with the studentaid.gov website or need assistance with:
Parent and Graduate PLUS Credit Application Appeals
Parent and Graduate PLUS Endorser Applications
Master Promissory Notes (MPN)
Entrance or Exit Counseling
Call the Department of Education’s Common Origination and Disbursement (COD) Applicant Services at (800) 557-7394.
An ombudsman is an independent, neutral official authorized to investigate and resolve disputes between individuals and public agencies or authorities. The Federal Student Aid (FSA) Ombudsman acts on the behalf of loan borrowers to conduct informal, impartial investigations into complaints against loan agencies, servicers and companies. They will recommend solutions, but they do not have the authority to reverse decisions. They will also work to institute changes that will prevent future problems for other student loan borrowers. This free service is provided by the US Department of Education.
The Ombudsman will research your complaint and determine if you have been treated fairly. If your student loan complaint is justified, they will work with you and the office, agency, or company involved. They will also contact other offices within the U.S. Department of Education, your private lender, your loan guaranty agency, and the servicing agency or firm collecting your loan.
If your complaint is not justified, they will explain to you how the determination was reached.
For more information, please visit the Student Aid website or call (877) 557-2575.
Federal Student Aid Publications
The US Department of Education publishes several guides to understanding the Federal Direct Loan process and borrower's rights and responsibilities. You can visit their Federal Student Aid Publications website to review important information and download the following: