You deserve access to a quality education that will open doors of opportunity. We want to partner with you to pay for your college expenses. There are many options for investing in your education from lenders such as the federal government (Department of Education), private lenders, parent plus loans and plus loans for graduate students to reduce your costs. HSU encourages responsible borrowing and will be happy to offer you guidance in making wise decisions regarding loans.

Hardin Simmons University values a high-quality degree at a reasonable price. Your education is the investment of a lifetime. Let us help you expand your possibilities and launch your future.

What is Direct Lending?

The U.S. Government makes low-interest loans available to you and, in some cases, your parents, through the William D. Ford Direct Loan Program to help pay for the cost of your education. Under the Direct Loan Program, you receive funds directly from the U.S. Department of Education, which serves as the lender. The Direct Loan Program includes Direct Subsidized, Direct Unsubsidized and Direct PLUS loans for parents and graduate/professional students.

Interest rates are set by the federal government every July 1st for the following year. The interest rate for Federal Direct Subsidized and Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans for undergraduate students disbursed on or after July 1, 2022, and before July 1, 2023, is 4.99%. The interest rate for Federal Direct Subsidized and Direct Unsubsidized Loans for undergraduate students disbursed on or after July 1, 2023, and before July 1, 2024, is 5.50%. All loans disbursed on or after October 1, 2020, will have an origination fee of 1.057% deducted from the amount borrowed.

The interest rate for Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans for graduate students disbursed on or after July 1, 2022, and before July 1, 2023, is 6.54%. The interest rate for Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans for graduate students disbursed on or after July 1, 2023, and before July 1, 2024, is 7.05%. All loans disbursed on or after October 1, 2020, will have an origination fee of 1.057% deducted from the amount borrowed.

The Standard Repayment Plan allows for a repayment period of 10 years. Alternative repayment plans allowing for a longer repayment period are available.  Additional repayment information is available at

Upon receipt of the appropriate application materials, the Financial Aid Office will determine your eligibility and originate your loan. If you have previously borrowed a Federal Direct Loan and signed a Master Promissory Note, then you will not need to sign another MPN. New borrowers must sign a Master Promissory Note. First time borrowers must also complete Loan Entrance Counseling. Both may be completed at

For academic year loans, two equal disbursements are made—one at the beginning of each semester—through a direct credit to your student account with Hardin Simmons University. For summer session and single term loans, one disbursement is made at the beginning of the term.

There are limits on the amount in subsidized and unsubsidized loans that you can receive each academic year (annual loan limits) and the total amounts that you may borrow for undergraduate and graduate study (aggregate loan limits).

Annual Loan Limits
Academic Level Limit
(Dependent Students)
(Independent Students)

(0-29 hours)

No more than $3,500 in Subsidized Loans.
No more than $3,500 in Subsidized Loans.

(30-59 hours)

No more than $4,500 in Subsidized Loans.
No more than $4,500 in Subsidized Loans.

(60 + hours)

No more than $5,500 in Subsidized Loans.
No more than $5,500 in Subsidized Loans.
Graduate Students $20,500
Graduate students are not eligible for Subsidized


Aggregate Loan Limits
Level of Study Limit
(Dependent Students)
(Independent Students)
Undergraduate $31,000
No more than $23,000 in Subsidized Loans.
No more than $23,000 in Subsidized Loans.
Graduate  $138,500
Includes loans borrowed during Undergraduate Study.

Federal Direct PLUS Loans

  • Parents: A credit-based, fixed-rate loan that parents of dependent, undergraduate students can borrow on the student’s behalf to meet educational expenses. Parents may apply with an endorser. If a dependent student’s parent is not eligible to borrow a PLUS loan, the student may be eligible to borrow Federal Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans up to the maximum annual limit for independent students.
  • Graduate Students: A credit-based, fixed-rate loan that enables graduate or professional students to borrow funds to meet their educational expenses. Students may apply with an endorser.

Federal Direct Loan Origination Fee Calculators *May not work on all mobile devices.

Reduce your debt by canceling or reducing your loan amount.

The Financial Aid Office will award your Federal Direct Loans for the maximum amount for which you are eligible. Once you see your account charges or receive a credit balance refund, you might decide you do not need to borrow that much money. You can minimize your loan debt by reducing a loan amount or canceling it completely.

If you choose to reduce or cancel your federal loans, you should do so before they disburse to your student account. However, it is possible to adjust your loans after they have been disbursed.

How to cancel or reduce your loans after they are disbursed:

After your loans are disbursed to your student account, you will get an email message about your right to cancel or reduce your loans. You have 14 days from the date on the message to complete the loan cancelation/reduction request form. If you do not want to cancel or reduce a loan, just ignore the email.

You may request to cancel or reduce your loan by completing the cancelation/reduction request form received in your email. Only the borrower may submit a request. For example, a parent may not submit a cancelation/reduction request for a Federal Direct Loan on which their student is listed as the borrower. If you are not the borrower, your request will be denied.

REMEMBER: You must submit the form no later than 14 days from the date on the notification email informing you that loans have been disbursed to your student account. Once we receive your request form, we will process your request in a timely manner. Unsubsidized loans will be reduced or canceled before subsidized loans.

You may return your request form to:

Hardin-Simmons University
Financial Aid Office
2200 Hickory
P.O. Box 16050
Abilene, TX 79698

Or email to:

Late requests to cancel or reduce loans after 14 days will be denied. 

You will need to contact your Direct loan servicer for guidance on how and where to return your loan money should you want to return direct loan funds after the 14 day time frame.

Important information about canceling or reducing loans:

Any refunds you have already received may need to be returned.

If you received a refund before we receive your loan cancelation/reduction request, the Business Office will notify you of the outstanding balance due on your student account, how to pay, and the deadline by which you need to pay. If a cancelation or reduction creates an outstanding balance on your student account, you must use personal funds to pay the balance. Failing to do so will result in late payment fees and other institutional penalties.

Parents of dependent students can take out loans to supplement their student’s aid packages. The Federal Parent Plus Loan for undergraduate students lets parents borrow money to cover any costs not already covered by the student’s financial aid package, up to the full cost of attendance. Parent Plus loans are credit based and are the financial responsibility of the parents, not the student.

Parent Plus loans have a fixed interest rate of 7.54% and a loan origination fee of 4.228% for the 2022-2023 Academic Year. Repayment begins after the funds are fully disbursed unless a deferment is requested during the loan application process. Generally, the parent will have 10 to 25 years to repay the loan, depending on the selected repayment plan.

If a parent is denied a parent plus loan, the lender will contact HSU within 48 hours and the student’s award will be recalculated to include a federal unsubsidized loan up to a maximum of $4,000 for first and second-year students. Students who are in their third year or greater are eligible for up to a maximum of $5,000.


  • The Department of Education will conduct a credit check on all Direct Parent Plus Loan applicants.
    • If you have placed a security freeze on your credit file , you must lift or remove the freeze at each credit bureau before you continue. Your application will not be processed if you have a security freeze on your credit file.
    • To qualify for a Direct Parent PLUS Loan, you must not have an adverse credit history. If the credit check shows that you have an adverse credit history, we will explain how you may still be able to qualify for a Direct Parent Plus loan.
  • You must also complete a Direct PLUS Loan Master Promissory Note(Direct PLUS Loan MPN) before you can receive Direct PLUS Loan funds.
    • The Direct PLUS Loan MPN explains all of the terms and conditions of Direct PLUS Loans and is your legally binding agreement to repay all Direct PLUS Loans you receive under the Direct Plus Loan MPN.
    • If you have not previously completed a Direct Plus Loan MPN, you will have an opportunity to do so after you complete this Direct PLUS Loan application.
  • Parents must login with their FSA ID and password (not the students) to begin the plus loan application.

The U.S. Department of Education makes Direct PLUS Loans to eligible graduate or professional students through schools participating in the Direct Loan Program.

A Direct PLUS Loan is commonly referred to as a grad PLUS loan when made to a graduate or professional student.

Note: Before you apply for a PLUS loan, make sure you have already filled out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) form.

To receive a grad PLUS loan, you must

  • be a graduate or professional student enrolled at least half-time at an eligible school in a program leading to a graduate or professional degree or certificate;
  • not have an adverse credit history (unless you meet certain additional eligibility requirements); and
  • meet the general eligibility requirements for federal student aid.
  • A credit check will be performed during the application process. If you have an adverse credit history, you may still receive a grad PLUS loan through one of these two options:
    • Obtaining an endorser who does not have an adverse credit history. An endorser is someone who agrees to repay the grad PLUS loan if you do not repay it.
    • Documenting to the satisfaction of the U.S. Department of Education that there are extenuating circumstances relating to your adverse credit history.
    • *With either option 1 or option 2, you also must complete credit counseling for PLUS loan borrowers.

For Direct PLUS Loans first disbursed on or after July 1, 2022, and before July 1, 2023, the interest rate is 7.54%. This is a fixed interest rate for the life of the loan.  The maximum PLUS loan amount you can borrow is the cost of attendance (determined by the school) minus any other financial assistance you receive.

Students who have borrowed through the Federal Direct Loan Program (Subsidized, Unsubsidized or Graduate PLUS) while at Hardin-Simmons University are required by law to participate in exit counseling if they are graduating, withdrawing, or dropping below half-time enrollment. This web-based exit counseling session has been created to make sure you understand your rights and responsibilities as a Federal Direct Loan borrower.

  • Exit Counseling – Sign in to using your U.S. Department of Education Federal Student Aid (FSA) ID to complete the Exit Counseling Session. Completing a Direct Loan Exit Counseling session is required before you graduate, withdraw, or cease attending below half-time enrollment.

In order for the HSU Financial Aid Office (FAO) to be notified you have completed on-line exit counseling; be sure the Hardin-Simmons University is listed as your current school of attendance. You will be asked this question after you have completed and passed the exit counseling quiz. Otherwise, you will have to provide HSU FAO with a copy of the Borrowers Information and the Rights and Responsibilities Summary Checklist you are prompted to print during the on-line exit counseling session.

Should you have any questions regarding your loan after completing the web-based exit counseling, go to – The “My Aid” summary, accessed by logging into, provides detail on what kind of loans you have borrowed, the amounts of those loans, and provides you with your loan servicer’s name and contact information. You can also find a variety of resources, including a repayment estimator and answers to many frequently asked questions about repayment on the Manage Loans section of

Federal loans are generally the best option for financing your education and should be your first consideration. In addition to the Federal Loan Programs, there are alternative/private loan options for students seeking additional funds to fill the gap between the financial aid awarded and the actual cost of education.

HSU strongly recommends that you thoroughly research your alternative loan options to determine which lender offers a loan that fits with your individual needs and circumstances. We recommend using the lender research tools presented below, however as a student/parent borrower, you are not restricted to the lenders presented with either of these resources; you may use any lender of your choice.

Please remember: Alternative loans are credit based and will require a credit check. Final approval amounts are determined by the Office of Financial Aid once a request for certification is received from your lender. Be aware that due to federal policies governing educational lending, the amount certified by HSU may be less than the amount you were approved for on your initial application.

Elm Select presents a randomized list of lenders based on historical borrowing of HSU students over the last three years.  All lenders who have provided profile information to ELM SELECT and have accepted the invitation to be represented appear in this list.  In confirmation of the federal disclosure requirements of HES Sec. 487(a) (27) and (h)), none of the lenders listed is an affiliate of any other lender on the list.

Students should keep in mind that the Federal Consolidation Loan program consolidates only federal loans.  This excludes all loans received through private lenders.  Some alternative loan lenders may offer loan consolidation programs that will consolidate both federal and alternative/private loans.  However, these consolidation loans are usually offered at much higher interest rates than that of the federal program.  Students should ask lenders about consolidation options and their costs before committing to an alternative loan.

About ELMSelect

Simply put, it makes comparing private student loans easy. With a few clicks, students can view, filter and compare private student loan options available for a specific school.

Lenders provide. You decide.

ELMSelect is a transparent, lender neutral, free service. Lenders provide the loan information available for comparison. You decide what private student loan makes the most sense for you.

Made For Students

Powered by ELM Resources, one of the most trusted names in the industry, ELMSelect provides students and borrowers with information needed to make intelligent, well-informed decisions regarding private student loans.

Simple Loan Comparison

Comparing private student loans at ELMSelect is easy. Choose your school and program then view, filter, favorite or select loans to compare. It is that easy. Use our loan estimator to calculate estimated monthly and total cost of a loan.

Latest up-to-date rates

Lenders manage and provide real-time loan details on ELMSelect. Loan rate information you see at ELMSelect is the latest, most up-to-date information provided directly by lenders.

ELMSelect is a FREE service

There is no catch. Comparing private student loans on ELMSelect is Free. No first name, last name or email is required to get additional information.

Apply for a private loan from ELMSelect  

Lenders in ELMSelect give you the option to apply for private student loans from their lender products.

Private loans take longer to process than federal loans due to the multiple disclosure statements and right-to-cancel period required by federal lending laws. Please read carefully to understand the process:

  1. Select your preferred lender and apply through the lender’s website. NOTE: The correct school code for HSU is 003571
  • When applying for your loan, you will be asked for your Loan Term. The loan term can be for one or both semesters in the academic year.
  1. Complete the Application Disclosure Statement and any additional required documents from your lender. Ask your lender questions if you are unsure of any information.
  2. If approved, you will be asked to complete an Approval Disclosure Statement from the lender.
  3. The HSU Financial Aid Office will then receive your loan request from the lender
  4. Once the Financial Aid Office certifies the loan, you will receive a Final Loan Disclosure Statement from the lender.

*This process will take 10-15 business days from start to finish, please plan accordingly*

Ask your lender questions, you are responsible for knowing what type of loan you are applying for and what the terms of the loan agreement as well as the repayment process. We recommend that you apply for financial aid using the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) before you apply for an alternative loan. More information about Direct Loans can be found on our loan page.

Questions To Ask Your Lender

  • Is the interest rate variable or fixed? A variable interest rate can change, but a fixed interest rate will stay the same as long as you have the loan.
  • Is the interest capitalized? If it is, the amount of money you ultimately owe increases as the interest accrues over time.
  • Is there an origination fee? Origination fees are charged by some lenders to cover their cost to process your loan.
  • Are there fees for paying off the loan early?
  • Are there any borrower benefits? For example, some lenders may offer a discount on your interest rate if you sign up for automatic monthly payments.
  • When do you need to start repaying the loan? Some lenders require you to pay while you are in school. Others will defer payments until after graduation.
  • Is a co-signer required? Many students have no credit history and the lender may require a co-signer on the loan, the lender will inform the students during the application process.
  • Are there other eligibility requirements? For example, some loans require that you meet Satisfactory Academic Progress or are enrolled full-time.

When federal loans and other aid do not cover your cost of education, private or alternative educational loans are available. Private educational loan programs vary by lender. Please contact specific lenders to find out about terms and conditions that may apply.

Click this link for more info. When prompted to select your program, choose “parent loans.”

In March of 2020, federal student loan payments of principal and interest were suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Over the past 3.5 years, there have been numerous extensions of the repayment pause, but with the national emergency now ended, loan repayment resumed in October 2023.

In cooperation with the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA), Hardin-Simmons University Financial Aid Office is providing these resources to help you navigate the restart of student loan payment.

Step-by-Step: How to Prepare for Successful Student Loan Repayment

  1. Use your FSA ID to log in to
  2. Confi­rm your student loan servicer
  3. Log in to your loan servicer account and update your contact information
  4. Reauthorize or select auto debit for monthly payments
  5. Review payment due date and amount

Step-by-Step: How to Pick the Right Repayment Plan

  1. Review your student loan servicer account
  2. Consider your repayment strategy and decide whether you need to change plans
  3. Research repayment options and con­firm the best plan for you
  4. Once you’ve selected your plan, make the change in your servicer portal or

Tips & Tricks for Preparing to Resume Loan Repayment

  • Start Early & Be Ready
  • Review Your Personal Budget
  • Be Patient & Remain Diligent
  • Keep Documentation
  • Stay Alert to Avoid Scams

Other Programs to Help with Student Loans

Other Resources – We hope that you can use these resources to help repay student loans!

Here are some videos which will help you to better understand this process.

Identifying & Contacting Your Loan Servicer

The following are loan servicers for loans that the U.S Department of Education (ED) owns. To find out who your loan servicer is:

  • visit your account dashboard and scroll down to the “My Loan Servicers” section, or
  • call the Federal Student Aid Information Center (FSAIC) at 1-800-433-3243.

Borrowers are experiencing long wait times to reach servicer representatives by phone.  NASFAA recommends that borrowers ensure the information they’re looking for is not on, or their own loan servicer’s website, before reaching out to servicers. They also recommend communicating by email or using live chat features, rather than contacting their servicer’s call center.

SAVE Loan Repayment Plan

The U.S. Department of Education recently released a new income-driven repayment plan, the Saving on a Valuable Education (SAVE), which calculates your monthly payment amount based on your income and family size. The SAVE Plan provides the lowest monthly payments of any IDR plan available to nearly all student borrowers.

Use this link to see if your loans are eligible, and how to apply:

Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF)

If you are employed by a U.S. federal, state, local, or tribal government or not-for-profit organization, you might be eligible for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program. Click the link below to be re-directed to Federal Student Aid to see whether you might qualify.

Teacher Loan Forgiveness

Wondering whether you can get your federal student loans forgiven for your service as a teacher? Learn about the Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program to see whether you qualify.  Click the link below to be re-directed to Federal Student Aid to see whether you might qualify.