Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Who is eligible to apply for a loan?
A: You must be a graduate of a Stark County high school, have and maintain term and cumulative GPAs of 2.00 or above, and be a full time student (take 12 or more credit hours per term) to be eligible to borrow. Loans are available for undergraduate coursework and expenses. You must be a current borrower to be eligible to apply for a graduate school loan.
Q: How do I apply for a loan?
A: Applying is easy! To access the online application click here. You will also need to send a copy of your FAFSA Student Aid Report form or your parents' 1040 tax form for the most recent tax year, two letters of reference, an official copy of your final high school transcript including ACT/SAT scores, and an official copy of a transcript for any college work you have completed.
Q: How much can I borrow?
A: Students may borrow a total maximum loan of $12,000 for undergraduate studies. An additional $8,000 can be borrowed for graduate school programs.
Q: What is the interest rate?
A: The interest is simple and fixed at 6 percent APR (effective rate of 1.48 percent -2.03 percent due to extended deferment period when no interest is charged. See Interest Rate Comparison. Interest is charged to your account when your first payment becomes due (three months after degree completion or immediately following withdrawal). An interest charge of .5 percent is made against the outstanding principal balance on the first day of each month starting when payments begin.
Q: How can I borrow for each additional year after my first year of borrowing?
A: Financial Aid is granted for a one-year period only. You must reapply each academic year for an additional loan. This is done by completing the Student Update Form/Repeat Loan Application, which is sent in March of each year. It is not necessary to submit reference letters or the SAR or 1040 form with repeat applications. Students who are re-applying MUST submit the Student Update Form/Repeat Loan Application to the Foundation by April 15th. Transcripts or copies of grade reports for the entire academic year MUST be turned in by June 1. If there are extenuating circumstances that prevent you from meeting these deadlines, the office MUST be notified prior to June 1. Re-applications will not be processed until all requested information has been submitted. Any applicant who does not meet these deadlines will NOT be eligible for a loan for fall term. Such applications MAY be reviewed for second semester loans if monies are still available.
Q: What happens if my grades are low?
A: Loan applicants whose term or cumulative grade point average is below a 2.00 will not be eligible for a loan until their term and cumulative grade point averages are at least a 2.00. An official transcript or a letter from the Registrar that shows that the student's term and cumulative GPAs are at 2.00 or above will be required prior to loan approval. Loans will not be granted to students who are on academic probation. Repeat applicants whose grade point average is 2.00 to 2.40 may be required to submit a written response regarding the reasons for their GPA and how they plan to improve their GPA to a 2.50 or above. These applicants may be scheduled for an interview at the discretion of The Canton Student Loan Foundation's Selection Committee and/or the decision regarding the repeat loan may be deferred until after first term grades are available and have been reviewed by the Selection Committee. A letter will be sent to any student whose loan is not approved as soon as a decision has been made. We will make every effort to reach a decision and notify the student as early as possible.
Q: What is the process for a loan to be granted?
A: Upon receipt of the application and all required supporting documentation, the student borrower and co-makers will be scheduled for an interview. All new applicants will be interviewed by a member of The Canton Student Loan Foundation's Selection Committee in July. Financial aid will only be granted based on satisfactory evidence of scholarship ability, character and real financial need. The decision of the Selection Committee shall be final.
Q: Do I need co-makers for this loan?
A: Yes, the Foundation requires two co-makers for each loan. Co-makers are usually the students' two parents. If a student is married, at least one other co-maker in addition to the spouse of the borrower is required to sign as a co-maker on the loan. An individual cannot be a co-maker if 1). He/she has already signed for three active loans at CSLF; or 2). He/she is in default as a borrower or co-maker on any current loan at CSLF; or 3). He/she has had a loan with the CSLF that was written off. Co-makers must be U. S. citizens.
Q: What happens after the loan interview?
When the loan has been granted, the student and the co-makers must sign the promissory note, the truth-in-lending form, and the co-maker's statement. If any of the signers are unable to come into the office, the papers may be taken out, but the signatures MUST be notarized. If these forms are signed at the time of the initial interview, they are signed with the understanding that the loan has been approved and granted conditionally; i.e. pending the availability of sufficient funds to grant the amount indicated. After the documents are properly signed, a Request for Payment form must be submitted to the office for a check to be processed. Loan checks are processed on the day of the interview if all three signers are present. If everyone does not sign at the time of the interview, then your loan check will be prepared on the 15th or 30th of the month after we receive all signed documents. Loan checks will be mailed to the address you provided in your application. If you wish to borrow the total amount of the loan you have been granted for the academic year, the entire amount must be requested and paid before June 30 of the academic year. NO MONIES ARE CARRIED OVER TO ANOTHER ACADEMIC YEAR. The full amount granted does not have to be taken if it is not needed. Failure to take the entire loan amount one year will have no effect on one's ability to apply for an additional loan for the maximum eligible amount in succeeding academic years.
Q: What happens if the Foundation does not have sufficient funds to grant all loan requests?
A: All approved loans are totally dependent on the availability of loan funds as they become available to the Canton Student Loan Foundation. Any approval of your application by the Selection Committee is completely subject to the availability of funds. Should the pool of available funds be insufficient to meet the demand for loans, loans will be granted on the following basis: 1). Repeat applicants who have already received loans; 2). New loan applicants with annual family incomes below $80,000; 3). New loan applicants with annual family incomes over $80,000.
Q: When do my payments begin?
A: Repayment starts immediately upon withdrawal from school or dropping below full-time student status, or three months following graduation or the completion of any further full-time post-graduate degree.
Q: How is interest charged to my account?
A: Interest is charged to your account on the first day of every month beginning with the month that your first payment is due. The annual interest rate is six percent and the monthly charge is .5 percent of your principal balance. Interest is calculated on the outstanding principal balance as of the first day of each month.
Q: How do I make my payments?
A: A monthly billing statement will be mailed to you beginning the month your first payment becomes due (unless you have requested paperless statements). A payment slip and a return envelope will be included with each billing statement. Mail your check made payable to The Canton Student Loan Foundation along with the payment slip in the return envelope which is enclosed with the billing statement. Statements will be mailed by the 10th of each month, and payments must be received in our office before the last business day of each month by 4:00pm. Please include your account number on your check.
Payment may also be made via enrollment in "Automatic Payment" with the Foundation. Simply download the enrollment form and mail it to the Foundation.
You may also pay online using your credit card or debit card. A 3% fee is charged for using this method of payment. Click here to make an online payment.
Q: When are my payments due?
A: To be considered “on time” payments made by check or made online are due in our office before 4:00 pm on the last business day of the month; payments made in cash are due by noon on the last business day of the month.
Q: How many days after the due date am I considered late?
A: One day is considered late. To avoid a late payment, mail your payment at least one week before the due date listed on your billing statement.
Q: What amount will my payments be?
A: Your undergraduate loan agreement requires payments of at least $100 per month for the first year following graduation, withdrawal or dropping below full-time status. Beginning the second year following graduation or the commencement of repayment, you will be required to make payments of at least $150 per month for the next twelve payments. Beginning the third year following graduation or the commencement of repayment, your loan payments will be at least $195 per month but may be more to ensure that the remaining unpaid principal balance is paid off by the seventh anniversary of your graduation or commencement of repayment (84 months after beginning repayment). For graduate loans, the amounts are $150 per month for the first year, $200 per month for the second year, and $230 per month for the third year until the loan has been repaid.
Q: Can I pay my loan back early?
A: You may make larger payments than required at any time and / or you may make a lump sum payment at any time to pay your loan in full. There are no fees or penalties for early repayment of your debt. Early repayment will result in your paying less interest charges over the life of the loan.
Q: How are my payments credited to my account?
A: Payments are credited to your account upon receipt. Payments are first credited toward legal/NSF fees, then to accrued interest charges, and finally toward the outstanding principal balance.
Q: What other fees may be charged to my account?
A: Charges will be imposed for all returned checks, any legal fees incurred in the collection of your account, and any fees related to credit bureau reporting. These fees will be added to your loan balance.
Q: What do I need to do to defer my payments and interest while I'm a full-time student?
A: In the month of March, a Student Update Form/Repeat Loan Application will be sent to each student. READ IT CAREFULLY, FILL IT OUT, ATTACH THE REQUIRED DOCUMENTATION, AND RETURN IT BY THE DEADLINE. Submission of proof of attendance on a full-time basis for the entire academic year is required in order for loan payments and interest accrual to continue to be deferred. PLEASE NOTE! PROOF OF ATTENDANCE IS REQUIRED EACH YEAR even if you are not reapplying for an additional loan. This means that the Student Update Form/Repeat Loan Application must be completed and a transcript for the entire academic year must be sent to the Foundation's office as soon as it is available at the end of each academic year. Failure to return the Student Update Form/Repeat Loan Application AND provide a transcript is a breach of your loan agreement and may result in your total loan being declared immediately due and payable in full.
Q: What happens if I drop out or drop below full-time status?
A: If the loan recipient drops out or takes less than a full load (12 credit hours for undergraduate students; 9 credit hours for graduate students) at any time, you must let the Foundation office know immediately so that monthly payments can be scheduled and payments begun so that you are not in breach of the terms of your promissory agreement. Any delay in notification will cause a lump sum payment to be due and immediately payable in full.
Q: Can I defer my payments if I return to school?
A: Yes, as long as all payments are current. If an account is in arrears, it must be paid current and then further payments and interest would be deferred as long as enrollment is based on full-time status. Re-enrollment on a full-time basis does not terminate your obligation to make all payments owing up to the date of your return to school.
Q: Can I defer my payments if I go to graduate school and choose not to borrow for graduate school from CSLF?
A: If a student wishes to defer payments and interest for Graduate School, the student must be enrolled in school full-time and all payments must be current. Students must download and complete the Graduate School deferment form.
Q: Can loan payments be deferred if I am having financial difficulty?
A: Payments are only deferred for students who are enrolled full-time. Co-makers on the debt will be required to make any payments that the student borrower cannot make. If you ever experience financial difficulty that affects your ability to repay your loan per the terms of your loan agreement, please contact the Foundation immediately to work out a temporary alternative repayment schedule.
Q: What happens if I don't make my payments as agreed?
A: If your account ever falls three or more payments behind, both you and your co-makers will be reported to the Credit Bureau and your account may be turned over to our attorneys for collection. Please remember that we expect your co-makers to assist with payments if you are unable to make the payments as required. Also, if you ever fail to make any payments or meet the conditions set forth in the loan agreement, the Foundation may declare the entire loan (principal and interest) to be immediately due and payable in full. The Foundation depends on repayment to provide funds for student loans.