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Loan Application Process

A good rule of thumb is to apply as soon as you receive your school's financial aid award letter, showing you'll need a source of funds to pay costs not covered by grants, scholarships, or federal aid.

Generally, your application is processed in 2-3 business days. However, before it can be approved, your school needs to certify your enrollment and loan eligibility (for example, you're attending at least half-time, and you have costs of attendance that aren't met by grants, scholarships, or federal aid). Most schools respond within 3-5 business days. Once ACPE receives the school's "certification," the loan is approved. HOWEVER, there's one more step! ACPE will send you a Loan Approval Disclosure, or LAD, describing the loan terms and conditions. To finalize your loan, you must "accept" your LAD. This can be done online via your ACPE Loan Account, or by calling our office after you receive the LAD in the mail. After you accept your LAD, your disbursements will be scheduled and your loan approved.

Apply for Alaska state education loans by completing a loan application with the Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education (ACPE). To keep borrowing costs as low as possible, always apply for the federal Direct Stafford Loan before you apply for any Alaska State Education Loans. Included in the Alaska Student Loan application is the Private Education Loan Applicant Self-Certification form which informs students to contact their Financial Aid office to determine the estimated cost of attendance and financial assistance available to help students keep borrowing cost low.

In some cases, your school may allow you to apply for an Alaska state loan without completing the FAFSA. ACPE strongly recommends you complete the FAFSA to get the best possible financial aid package. To complete an Alaska state loan application, you have the following options:

  • Complete an online application
  • Print out and complete a loan application
  • Request a paper application from ACPE customer service.
It is best if your first reference is a relative that does not live with you. A reference should be someone you stay in contact with, and would be able to verify your contact information if necessary.
A promissory note is the contract between you and the lender. By signing it you agree to the terms and conditions under which you are borrowing.

When your loan is awarded, you will be presented a Loan Approval Disclosure that must be accepted before ACPE can disburse funds to your school. There is an approximate ten-day waiting period before funds can be sent to your school. Loan funds will be sent directly to the school's financial aid office based on their scheduled financial aid disbursement dates. Be sure to work with the school's financial aid office to ensure all school financial aid steps are completed.

If you are applying for an Alaska Refinance Loan, the same process applies; funds are sent directly to your lenders by check through the United States Postal Service.

There are many factors that contribute to the length of time an application will take to process through the system. The loan application process can take two or more weeks. The application tracker on your online account will help you track the process. If you are unable to view the application tracker on your account home page on ACPE's web site, your application may have already been processed.

If your application has been approved you can view the status of your loan through the "My Account" feature on ACPE's web site. Select "View My Account" to view loan status information.

Helpful Links

 

Loan Eligibility

No. As long as you're an Alaska resident, you can qualify for an Alaska education loan for attendance at a qualifying institution outside the state.

You should know that if you do attend an Alaska school, you'll receive an interest rate discount.

If you are applying for an Alaska Supplemental Education Loan and are attending a participating school physically located in Alaska, you do not need to be an Alaska resident.

If you plan to attend a school outside of Alaska, and use the Alaska Supplemental Education Loan, you must be a resident of Alaska.

If you are applying for an Alaska Refinance Loan or Family Education Loan, you must be a resident of Alaska. Cosigners for an Alaska Refinance Loan are not required to be a resident of Alaska.

A credit score is a number derived from information in your national credit bureau file, it represents the likelihood that you will be able to repay a loan as required. A credit score does not consider employment or income. Your credit score is based on your previous repayment history, the relationship between available credit and your repayment obligations.

ACPE uses the FICO score, provided by the Experian credit bureau. A FICO score is a proprietary credit score, developed by Fair Isaac Company (FICO). FICO scores range from 300-850, the higher the score the better. Read more about credit scores by visiting the Understanding Credit page.

If you don't have a credit history, you can apply with a cosigner who meets the credit history requirement.

A cosigner on a loan assumes responsibility for the loan if the borrower should fail to repay the loan. A cosigner has an independent responsibility to repay the loan and to notify ACPE in the event of changes affecting the cosigner or the student borrower.

ACPE may notify the cosigner of delinquency in repayment, deferments granted, or any repayment agreement that increases the amount due on the loan. You may elect to provide an endorser/cosigner to ensure your application is found to be creditworthy. If you elect to provide an endorser/cosigner in support of your loan request, that person will continue to be a responsible party for the loan even in the event you meet the credit conditions independently.

Amounts vary by enrollment status and degree/certificate program.

For Undergraduate programs:

  • 15+ credits/semester (on-time enrollment) or the equivalent – up to $14,000/year.
  • 12-14 credits/semester (full-time enrollment) or the equivalent – up to $12,500/year.
  • 6-11 credits/semester (half-time enrollment) or the equivalent – up to $7,500/year

For Graduate programs:

  • 9+ credits/semester (full-time enrollment) or the equivalent – up to $15,000/year
  • 6-8 credits/semester (half-time enrollment) – up to $7,500/year.

For Career/Technical Education programs:

  • Non-flight programs – up to $10,000 (Programs must be at least 180 hours over a period of not less than six weeks and result in a certificate.)
  • Flight school programs - up to $10,000 (Not for private pilot programs. Programs must log a minimum of 17 hours/month or 51 hours over a three-month period and result in a certificate.)

For Alaska Refinance Loan

  • There is not a maximum amount you can borrower under the Alaska Refinance Loan.

Note: Students can only borrow the amount needed to cover outstanding costs of attendance, as certified by your school. In addition, there are lifetime borrowing maximums, in the Loan Limits section of our website.

Loan Repayment FAQs

The minimum monthly payment is at least $50.00 and is based on the amount of your debt, interest rate and the allowable repayment period (how long you have to repay the debt). When a loan is awarded, you will be presented with a Loan Approval Disclosure that provides an estimated payment. There are no prepayment penalties if you choose to pay more than the required amount.

The Alaska Refinance Loan has a minimum monthly payment of at least $100.00 but is based on the amount to repay the loan within the repayment period. Payments can be as much as $500.00 or greater depending on the total amount borrowed.

FinAid.org offers a variety of financial tools to help you manage your college expenses and education loans. Specifically, there is a loan payment calculator that calculates estimated monthly payment.

If you are having trouble making payments on your student loans, the Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education (ACPE) may be able to help. Read more about repayment assistance on our Loan Repayment page.

Don't wait until your account becomes delinquent or defaults. If you are unable to make a payment, contact ACPE as soon as possible to discuss options that could adjust your repayment schedule and lower, or even postpone, your monthly payments.

Student deferments are available on Alaska Education Loans based on qualifying enrollment. Less than full-time enrollment may not defer full-time or on-time loans awarded after July 1, 2015. Be sure to notify ACPE any time your enrollment status changes. If you default, you are no longer eligible for deferments.

Student deferments are not available for the Alaska Refinance Loan and the Family Education Loan.


Visit the loan repayment page for more information.
 

Avoiding Default

Default results if you fail to make a series of scheduled minimum monthly payments on your loan account. Negative consequences of default may begin when a loan becomes 180 days past due. Default and delinquency cause long-term damage to your credit record.

If you default on your loan, any or all of the following may happen:

  • The entire loan balance (principal and interest) becomes immediately due and payable
  • You will lose your deferment options
  • Your loan(s) status will be reported to national credit bureaus, including delinquency and default
  • Your Alaska Permanent Fund Dividend (PFD) may be garnished and applied to your loan(s)
  • Your wages may be garnished to repay your loan(s)
  • You may lose eligibility to obtain educational aid in the future
  • Your school may withhold copies of your transcripts
  • Your account may be referred to the loan guarantor for additional collection action, which may include income tax garnishment, being sued for the balance of your loan and other collection type activities.
  • Your account may be referred to a collection agency and you may be charged collection fees

Don't wait until your account becomes delinquent or in default. If you are unable to make a payment, contact ACPE as soon as possible to discuss options that could adjust your repayment schedule and lower, or even postpone your monthly payments.

  • Read the terms of your promissory note carefully to know your obligations and options
  • Track your loans online
  • Read and respond to any correspondence you receive from ACPE
  • Notify ACPE if you change your address or phone number
  • Notify ACPE if you leave or return to school
  • Contact us immediately if you are unable to make your scheduled monthly payment
  • Learn about and use the deferment, forbearance or repayment plans available to you
  • Ask questions.  The more you learn about your student loans, the more successful you will be in repayment.

call toll free 800-441-2962
or in Juneau 907-465-2962
ACPE@alaska.gov