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Most students take out loans to help pay a portion of their school bill. Weigh your options to make sure you can manage the loans you borrow.

Refer to your financial aid award to see what loans you're eligible to borrow. On your award, the category "PLUS/Private Loan eligibility" is the maximum amount your parent can borrow from Direct PLUS or that you may pursue through a private loan.

Which loan is best for you?

Compare the educational loan programs to find the best loan based on your eligibility.

Loan type Borrower Fees Make payments while in school? Interest rate 2024-2025 Repayment
Direct Subsidized Loans Student 1.057% No

6.53% fixed

Up to 10 years
Direct Unsubsidized Loans Student 1.057% Interest accrues. Optional in-school payment.

6.53% fixed

Up to 10 years
Direct PLUS loan Parent 4.228% Yes

9.08% fixed

Up to 10 years
Private Loans Student (often requires cosigner) Varies Interest accrues. Some require interest payments while in school. Varies Varies (10+ years)

Current federal regulations will result in the end of the Perkins Loan program as of October 1, 2017. Because of the provisions with regard to the disposition of schools' Perkins Loan revolving funds, Bethel will not provide Perkins Loans beginning with the 2016-2017 school year.

Bethel's advice

While each student will need to compare the loans to see what his or her best options are, we would first recommend the Direct Subsidized Loans, and then Direct Unsubsidized Loans before considering Private and or Parent Loan options.

What's the average student loan debt?

The average student loan debt of Bethel borrowers who started as first-time students in the College of Arts & Sciences (CAS) and who graduated between July 1, 2022, and June 30, 2023, was $38,323. (About 68% of graduates from the class of 2023 borrowed a student loan.) Assuming a 6.8% interest rate and 10 years to repay their loans, average CAS student borrowers will make monthly loan payments of about $439. Default rates were significantly impacted by the federal payment pause. During the pause, borrowers were not required to make payments and no ED-held loans entered default. Thus, the most recent Bethel and National Cohort default rates both were 0%.

How much should you borrow?

It’s important to avoid borrowing more than you’ll be able to repay after graduation. A reasonable monthly student loan payment would be 8-10% of your monthly income.

Check out the Budgeting and Loan Repayment Calculator information offered by the U.S. Department of Education. Theses are good tools to help you plan your expenses and loan debt.

Take a look at this chart based on a 10-year repayment period to see what your monthly payments could look like. Payments reflect a 6.8% interest rate.

Sample loan repayment:

Amount Borrowed Estimated Monthly Payment
$3,500 $50
$5,500 $63
$7,500 $86
$10,500 $121
$15,000 $173
$18,500 $213
$23,000 $265
$31,000 $357
$40,000 $460
$50,000 $575
$60,000 $690
$65,500 $754
$80,000 $920
$100,000 $1,151
$138,500 $1,594