The Massachusetts Educational Financing Authority (MEFA) can help you find an affordable college loan that fits your situation. MEFA's low-cost fixed interest rate loans offer consistent monthly payments and three affordable repayment options.
The Massachusetts No Interest Loan (NIL) program was created to provide eligible, needy Massachusetts residents attending post-secondary educational institutions in Massachusetts with a state-funded loan. The NIL program offers zero interest loans to assist students in meeting educational costs. Students have a period of ten (10) years to repay their NIL loans.
This program, provided by the Treasurer's Office, provides accessible tuition loan repayments to undergraduate students who attend public universities or colleges in Massachusetts and stay to pursue careers in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) fields.
Direct Stafford Loans, from the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan) Program, are low-interest loans for eligible students to help cover the cost of higher education at a four-year college or university, community college, or trade, career, or technical school. Eligible students borrow directly from the U.S. Department of Education (the Department) at participating schools. Note: Before July 1, 2010, Stafford Loans were also made by private lenders under the Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program. As a result of the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, all new Stafford Loans come directly from the Department under the Direct Loan Program.
Parents of dependent students may apply for a Direct PLUS Loan to help pay their child's education expenses as long as certain eligibility requirements are met. Graduate and professional students may apply for PLUS Loans for their own expenses. Note: Before July 1, 2010, PLUS loans were also made by private lenders under the Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program. As a result of the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, all new PLUS loans come directly from the Department under the Direct Loan Program.
The Federal Perkins Loan Program provides low-interest loans to help needy students finance the costs of post-secondary education. Students can receive Perkins loans at any one of approximately 1,800 participating post-secondary institutions. Institutional financial aid administrators at participating institutions have substantial flexibility in determining the amount of Perkins loans to award to students who are enrolled or accepted for enrollment. Borrowers who undertake certain public, military, or teaching service employment are eligible to have all or part of their loans canceled.
Information from the U.S. Department of Education about how to manage your student loans.
Private and alternative loans
Before signing a private loan, please ensure that you have exhausted all federal and state grant and loan options. If you decide to borrow a private student loan, compare interest rates and terms carefully. Many private education loans have variable interest rates, which may change unexpectedly, and tiered interest (so-called "tiered pricing") rates, the prices of which are based on your credit score. In addition, in recent years fraudulent loan scams have become increasingly widespread and sophisticated. Especially when dealing with private lenders, NEVER send or wire money in advance of a thorough review of the lender and the loan terms. If you continue to have doubts about the legitimacy of a provider, please contact the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).To begin the private loan borrowing process, you may contact your college or university financial aid office or your own financial provider (bank, credit card company, etc.) to get a sense of your options.