PLNU's Student Financial Services is committed to helping you discover the right combination of federal and private loans to make your education as debt-free as possible.

Federal and private loans are need-based financial aid that must be repaid, sometimes with interest. Federal loans include the Direct Loan, Parent PLUS Loan, and more. Some federal loans don't accrue any interest while you're still a student. Private loans are another option to help you pay for the remainder of your education. 

Federal Loans

Federal Loans

Federal Direct Loans

Federal Direct Loans are low interest rate loans that all students can apply for, provided they have filed a FAFSA and meet the criteria to receive federal aid. 

As with all loans, Federal Stafford Loans must be repaid with interest. Graduate students can be eligible to receive Federal Unsubsidized Direct Loans. To receive the funds, you must be enrolled at least half time (3 units).


Cannot exceed the Federal Direct Loan annual limits noted below.

Annual Loan Limits

Annual loan limits will be determined by program enrollment. Contact your student financial aid advisor for more details.

Aggregate Loan Limits

The maximum lifetime total that you can borrow for unsubsidized and subsidized Federal Direct Loans combined is $138,500 for graduate students.


The interest rate is a variable fixed rate which is determined at the beginning of each academic year (July 1). For more information, visit studentaid.gov


Fees are determined by the date of the first disbursement of the loan. For more information, visit studentaid.gov.

Apply for Loans and Entrance Counseling

After being awarded an unsubsidized Federal Direct Loan, go to studentaid.gov to complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN) and your entrance counseling. Please note that once awarded a federal loan, students still need to accept their loan in order for it to be credited to their student account.

If you are a continuing student borrower at PLNU, go to your student portal to accept your loans (an MPN and entrance counseling is only required for new borrowers).


Repayment begins six months after you graduate, withdraw, or cease to be enrolled at least half time (3 units). The loan repayment period is typically 10 years, but may change depending on the loan repayment program you choose or if you make more than the minimum payment.

Federal Graduate PLUS Loan

Graduate students at PLNU may also be eligible for the Graduate PLUS Loan. The Graduate PLUS Loan is intended for graduate students whose educational costs exceed their maximum Direct Loan eligibility or for students who have met their aggregate Direct Loan limit ($138,500 combined undergraduate and graduate unsubsidized and subsidized loans). Although the loan is not based on need, the FAFSA must be completed. The Graduate PLUS Loan is a credit-based loan. 

For information concerning the interest rate for the Graduate PLUS Loan, visit studentaid.gov.

For information concerning the origination fees for the Graduate PLUS Loan, visit studentaid.gov.

Repayment begins 60 days after the loan is fully disbursed. There is no grace period for Direct PLUS Loans. However, you can postpone payments on your Direct PLUS Loan while you are in school by contacting your loan servicer. If you are not sure who your loan servicer is, visit The National Student Loan Data System.

For more information on Graduate PLUS Loans, please visit studentaid.gov.

Smart Borrowing

PLNU strongly encourages smart borrowing. Students should know the repayment plans before accepting any loans. Loans that show up as "Financial Aid Awarded" on your award letter are maximum amounts; reduced amounts can be accepted. Borrow only what you need! Please take five minutes to go through Financial Awareness Counseling before accepting loans.

Federal Nursing Student Loan

Federal Nursing Student Loan

The Federal Nursing Loan is a federally subsidized, low-interest rate loan for students accepted and enrolled in the PLNU Nursing program who demonstrate exceptional financial need. Pre-Nursing students are not eligible.

Federal Nursing Student Loan Details

  • Loan Amounts: Varies. Determined by PLNU based on available funding.  
  • Interest: Fixed at five percent and begins accruing nine months after graduation, withdrawal or dropping to less than half-time status.
  • Repayment: Begins nine months after graduation, withdrawal, or dropping less than half-time. 

If you are awarded a nursing loan, you must sign a promissory note at the beginning of each semester before funds can be applied to your account.

Entrance and Exit Counseling

Entrance Counseling is required before Perkins' funds can be disbursed to your student account. Exit Counseling is required when you have graduated, withdrawn, or enrolled for less than half time. The purpose of loan counseling is to advise you of your rights and responsibilities for borrowing a Nursing Loan, deferment and forbearance options, and repayment options. Entrance counseling is completed at the time you sign the Nursing Loan Promissory Note at ecsi.net. For Exit Counseling, you will receive an email from PLNU at the time of graduation, withdrawal, or enrolled for less than time, directing you online.

Note: funds are limited; not all students who meet the qualifications for a Nursing Loan will receive the Loan. PLNU is the lender for this loan, so repayment will be to the university or its servicer ECSI. 

Caution: Federal Nursing Loans are considered Federal funds and therefore are subject to similar repayment guidelines as other federal loans. Non-repayment of a Federal Nursing Loan must be reported by PLNU to the federal government and will affect your credit score.

Private Loans

Private Loans

A private loan is a loan of last resort. A student should apply for a private loan after all federal loan options have been exhausted including the Parent PLUS loan. It is advisable only if you have no further eligibility for other loan programs and you need more funding. This type of loan is based on your credit. Please be cautious and borrow only what you need for the academic year.


View Our Private Loan Lender List
Although we provide a Private Lender List, you can choose any lender that you wish to apply with.

As a faith-based university, we are committed to serving students and parents of Point Loma Nazarene University in a way that brings honor to God and by following business practices that are above reproach. Each lender listed on our current Private Loan Lender List has recently completed an intensive Request for Information (RFI) process. They were selected by a panel of PLNU representatives and scored on the basis of the following:

  • Customer Service
  • Borrower Benefits
  • Technology and Safety of Information
  • Value Added Services

As stated above, borrowers may select any lending institution, including those not listed. The lender list is provided so that our students and parents are aware of which providers have completed the screening process. We do not accept revenue-sharing, compensation agreements, gifts, or trips from any lending institution. Any services provided must have a direct benefit or interest to our students.

Private loans are offered by various lenders who set their own criteria on credit and interest rates.  In most cases the interest rates may be higher than the Federal Direct Loan and PLUS.  To improve your chances of approval and possibly lower your interest rate, you may want to apply with a co-signer. Interest rates are based on PRIME or LIBOR plus a percentage tier that may range from zero percent to 12 percent depending on the borrower’s credit and, if required, co-signer’s credit. Students should research different lenders since the criteria on a Private Loan can vary from lender to lender.


  • If there are any questions regarding the lender's Web site or process, please contact the lender.
  • To ensure fully informed borrowing, you should refer directly to each lender's loan application and promissory note for exact information regarding terms, assumptions, conditions, eligibility, definitions, and Annual Percentage Rate (APR) or contact your lender.
  • Most lenders use the Prime Rate or LIBOR: The current Prime Rate is 3.25 percent and LIBOR ranges from 0.54 percent to 1.10 percent (depending on LIBOR period) effective February 2, 2012. Rates change monthly.
  • If possible, please apply with one lender only. Applying with multiple lenders may affect your credit.

Smart Borrowing

PLNU strongly encourages smart borrowing. Students should know the repayment plans before accepting any loans. Loans that show up as "Financial Aid Awarded" on your award letter are maximum amounts; reduced amounts can be accepted. Borrow only what you need! Please take five minutes to go through Financial Awareness Counseling before accepting loans.

Loan Forgiveness

Loan Forgiveness

Depending on where you work, you may qualify for a loan forgiveness program.

Public Service Loan Forgiveness

If you work full time in a public service job, you may qualify for Public Service Loan Forgiveness.

What is the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program?

The PSLF program is intended to encourage individuals to enter and continue to work full time in public service jobs. Under this program, you may qualify for forgiveness of the remaining balance due on your Federal Direct Loans after you have made 120 qualifying payments on those loans while employed full time by certain public service employers. Since you must make 120 qualifying payments on your eligible federal student loans after October 1, 2007, before you qualify for the loan forgiveness, the first forgiveness of loan balances will not be granted until October 2017 (information provided by studentaid.ed.gov). To learn more about the PSLF program, and to find out if you might qualify, visit studentaid.gov.

Federal Teacher Loan Forgiveness

The Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program is a national program that will forgive $5,000 of student loans for teachers and $17,500 of student loans for math, science, or special education teachers.

The applicant must work for five consecutive years as a full-time teacher in a low-income school before applying. The application is sent directly to the student’s loan holder after completing five consecutive years of service. For more information regarding this program and a list of qualified low-income schools, please visit the Federal Student Aid website at studentaid.gov.

Assumption Program of Loans for Education

The Assumption Program of Loans for Education (APLE) is a competitive teacher incentive program designed to encourage outstanding students, district interns, and currently credentialed teachers to seek and teach in specified K-12 teaching positions in designated California public schools.

The current State Budget Act does not authorize any new APLE applications for this year. This change also impacts the District Interns Program and the Credentialed Teachers Program.

The California Student Aid Commission will continue to process paperwork and payments for existing APLE participants (2011-12 academic year and prior), including participants in the District Interns Program and Credentialed Teachers Program.