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Loans are considered to be a form of financial aid. It is money you borrow and must pay back with interest.

Harford Community College offers Direct and Parent PLUS loans for students' educational expenses. Students may also seek alternative loans from banks or financial institutions.


Types of College Loans

Direct Loans

Direct Loans are called so because they come directly from the US Department of Education. Students must be enrolled half-time (minimum of 6 credits) to be eligible for Direct Loans.

Loans must be used for educational purposes.


How to obtain a student loan at Harford:

First, you must complete a FAFSA® at to determine your financial need.

You must accept the loan on your OwlNet account using the instructions below once we have received your FAFSA®.

  1. Log into OwlNet> All About Me tab
  2. Select Financial Aid Awards 
  3. Select Award Offer tab
  4. In Loan Section select Accept, Decline or Modify and Submit. Once submitted, you are unable to adjust online.  If you need to make a change to your loan once submitted OR you want to borrow a one semester loan you will need to complete the Direct Loan Adjustment Form.
           * Accept:  You will borrow full amount offered.
           * Decline: You decline the loan offered.
           * Modify: You can reduce amount offered.
           *If you are offered and accept subsidized loans you must accept the full subsidized amount before you can accept unsubsidized loans. Please note- you may only be eligible for unsubsidized loans.

  5. Once you accept the loan, complete all requirements listed on HOME tab. Requirements could include E-consent, Entrance Counseling and/or Master Promissory Note. Click DIRECT LOAN INSTRUCTIONS for step-by-step on how to complete these tasks.
  6. Borrowers will receive a Disbursement Memo once the request is reviewed.
  7. Check your OwlMail regularly for correspondence from the Financial Aid Office.
Parent Plus Loan

The Parent PLUS Loan is a non-need based educational loan for parents of undergraduate dependent students. Parents may borrow up to the student's yearly cost of attendance minus all other aid the student has received.


  • Complete the FAFSA®.
  • Parent and student must complete a Federal Student Aid Parent PLUS loan application.
  • Download and complete the Parent PLUS Loan Request Form.
  • A loan counselor will review your loan request form once it has been submitted to the Harford Community College Financial Aid Office.
  • Borrowers will receive a Disbursement Memo once the request is reviewed.
  • Check your OwlMail regularly for correspondence from the Financial Aid Office.
Alternative/Private Loan

Harford Community College does not have a preferred lender arrangement. If interested in this type of loan, contact the financial institution of your choice for more information.

NOTE: The total requested amount of the loan may not exceed your total cost of attendance minus any other aid awarded. Students are strongly encouraged to apply for all Federal Aid including Direct Loans before applying for Alternative loans.

It is strongly recommended that students complete a FAFSA® to see their Federal Direct Loan options before making a decision about additional borrowing.

Private student loans are not part of the federal student loan program and may require a credit check. You may borrow private loans from any lender you choose. Some private loans are open only to students taking credit classes, but others consider continuing education (noncredit) students as well.

Learn more about the differences between federal and private student loans.  

Important Loan Information

Loan Limits

Annual Loan Limits / Federal Direct Loan Borrowing Limits

Credits Earned             Dependent Students                 Independent Students
Students with 0-30 earned credit hours:   Subsidized: $3,500
Unsubsidized: $2,000
TOTAL: $5,500
  Subsidized: $3,500
Unsubsidized: $6,000
TOTAL: 9,500
Students with 31 earned credit hours or more:   Subsidized: $4,500
Unsubsidized: $2,000
TOTAL: $6,500
  Subsidized: $4,500
Unsubsidized: $6,000
TOTAL: $10,500


Lifetime Loan Limits / Federal Lifetime Loan Limits

Independent/Dependent                 Subsidized Maximum                 Total Aggregate Maximum
(Sub and Unsub)
Dependent Undergraduates   $23,000   $31,000
Independent Undergraduates   $23,000   $57,500


Loan Repayment

Before repayment begins, develop a plan that puts you on track to pay back your loan, on time and in full. 
The website provides information on Direct Loan repayment:

  • Loan repayment options 
  • When to begin making payments 
  • How to make a payment 
  • How to pay off your loan faster 
  • If you have trouble making payments 

Loan Simulator: helps you calculate student loan payments and choose a loan repayment option that best meets your needs and goals. You can also use it to decide whether to consolidate your student loans.  

NEW!  The new SAVE Repayment Plan for Federal Direct Loans offers lower monthly loan payments! Saving on a Valuable Education (SAVE) Plan replaces the existing Revised Pay As You Earn Plan. The SAVE Repayment plan calculates your monthly payment based on your income and family size.

ECMC Solutions

Harford Community College partners with ECMC Solutions to provide student loan counseling and support to borrowers as they navigate federal student loan repayment. Contact ECMC Solutions by phone at 1.877.331.3262, or visit their website to make an appointment, connect through email, or web chat with a student loan counselor. The team at ECMC also offers a free webinar series to support borrowers as they navigate repayment.

Disclosure of Funds: All loans will be submitted to the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) and will be accessible by guaranty agencies, lenders and schools determined to be authorized users of the data system.