Loans

Please be assured that student loans are available and secure. Although some news sources have reported that student loans may be more difficult to get, that is not really accurate. The Direct Lending Stafford Loan program for students is available to students who file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). There are other loan programs for students, as well.

In addition, parents may apply for the Direct Parent PLUS Loan to cover any cost still owed for school. If you are interested in this type of loan, information is available under links (on the left) under the Direct Plus Loan Preapplication.

Westmont College Interest-Free Loan:

This fund was established by a generous gift from a California foundation and by other gifts from alumni, parents and foundations and is awarded to dependent students on the basis of demonstrated financial need. This loan is available to dependent students who are U.S. Citizens, have demonstrated financial need through the FAFSA form, and have graduated from a California high school. Promissory notes will be sent from the Financial Aid office to first-time recipients in early summer for the fall semester. These promissory notes should be returned to the Financial Aid office. The loan proceeds are applied directly to the student’s Westmont College account each semester. This loan requires a parent co-signer.

NEW PROCEDURE FOR WESTMONT LOAN

THE WESTMONT LOAN PROMISSORY NOTE REQUIRES PARENT SIGNATURE

YOU WILL ONLY BE REQUIRED TO SIGN THE MASTER PROMISSORY NOTE ONCE WHILE YOU ARE A WESTMONT STUDENT

***Print, sign, date and return to the Westmont Financial Aid Office, Disclosure #1 found on Printable Forms

***Print, sign, date and return to the Westmont Financial Aid Office, Self-Certification Form found on Printable Forms

***When these forms are returned, you will be sent a promissory note along with Disclosure #2. These forms must be signed, dated and returned to the Westmont Financial Aid Office.

***The third and final Disclosure Form will be available for signing at the beginning of each semester. After it is returned, there is a short waiting period before the funds can be applied to your student account.

Federal Perkins Loan:

The Perkins Loan is based on demonstrated financial need. First-time recipients will receive a Promissory Note packet in early summer for the fall semester. Students are asked to carefully review all the materials, sign and date the promissory note and return it to the Financial Aid office. A loan counseling session is required for all first-time Perkins Loan recipients. Students will be contacted when they arrive on campus regarding time, date and location of the counseling session. Funds are credited to the student’s Westmont College account each semester.

Federal Direct Loan / Subsidized:

The Federal Direct Subsidized Loan is based on demonstrated financial need.  The interest is paid by the federal government while the student is in school at least half-time or more.  Loan request instructions are available on the financial aid award letter, which is sent electronically or by mail to the student.  The award letter will indicate eligibility for the subsidized Federal Direct Loan and the amount that can be borrowed.  Loan proceeds for each semester are sent directly to the school.  Loan fees up to 4 percent are deducted from each disbursement.  These fees are explained in the loan information.  First-time borrowers must participate in entrance loan counseling before the funds can be disbursed.  Information about the loan counseling process is on the Internet.  Westmont recommends that you participate in the electronic funds transfer (EFT) for loan disbursements.

Federal Direct Loan / Unsubsidized:

The Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan is for students who do not have financial need as determined by the FAFSA form. The government does not, therefore, pay the interest on the loan while the student is in school. The student may choose to go ahead and pay the interest due while in school. Or the student may decide to defer interest, in which case it is capitalized. That means the interest is added to the principal (amount borrowed), making the principal larger. All other terms (i.e., interest rate, deferment options, etc.) are the same for both the Subsidized and Unsubsidized Federal Direct Loan. We recommend that you participate in the electronic funds transfer (EFT) for loan disbursements.

Federal Direct PLUS Loan:

The Federal Direct PLUS (parent) Loan provides a low-cost loan for credit-worthy parents to assist in meeting the educational costs at Westmont College.  Parents may borrow the difference between the cost of school, minus all other financial aid the student receives.  Parents should allow up to four weeks for processing the application.  Funds are disbursed half for fall and half for spring and sent directly to Westmont College.  Loan fees up to 4 percent are deducted from each disbursement.  Westmont recommends you participate in the electronic funds transfer (EFT) for this process.

If a parent is denied a PLUS loan, the student is then eligible for an unsubsidized stafford loan. If the PLUS goes through a review process and is then accepted, the PLUS loan is then certified and the unsubsidized direct loan is returned.

Important Information

New Transfer Students: Academic transcripts, through the final semester/quarter, must be submitted and grade level determined by the Records office before a loan amount can be certified by the Financial Aid office.

Other Documents: The Financial Aid office will send a notice requesting other documents (i.e., U.S. 1040 tax forms and Verification Form), if the student is selected for verification. All loan applications and other required paperwork, need to be in the Financial Aid office by July 1 to ensure that funds will be available when the fall semester begins.

Please contact the Financial Aid office at 805-565-6063 or 888-963-4624 (toll free) if you need assistance e-mail address: finaid@westmont.edu.

Alternative Loans

Alternative Loans are unsecured consumer loans for your additional education needs.  The student is the primary borrower and a co-signer is required in most cases.  The co-signer must be a U.S. citizen, age 21 or older, have good credit and be willing to sign on the loan.  Payment on the loan is deferred until the student leaves or graduates from Westmont, but interest will accrue.  These private student loans can provide critical assistance if federal student loans, grants and scholarships are not enough to cover the cost of education.

CODE OF CONDUCT

Westmont will not recommend a lender in exchange for the lender providing material benefits to the institution or Westmont employees.

Westmont will not accept gifts from lenders or servicers including any gratuity, favor, discount, entertainment, hospitality, loan, or other item valued at more than a nominal amount. (Examples are gifts of services, transportation, lodging, or meals) The term “gift” would not apply to informational material related to loans or financial literacy. Similarly, food, refreshments, training, or informational material that is an integral part of a training session designed to contribute to the professional development of Westmont’s employees would be allowed.

Entrance and exit counseling provided by lenders or servicers would be allowed, provided that a Westmont staff member controls the counseling and that the counseling does not favor a single lender.

Westmont employees could not accept a gift for a family member or friend if the gift was given because of his or her position.

Westmont will not accept any private loan funds from a lender in exchange for our providing any concessions or promises to the lender.

Westmont staff will not participate in any lender advisory councils. We may offer advice to lenders in order to improve their products and services for borrowers, as long as no compensation is provided.