Brazos Student Loan Frequently Asked Questions
Have questions about the Brazos Student Loan? We've answered some of the most common questions below!
If you still have a question, give us a call at 1-800-453-0841 or send us an email at email@example.com.
Brazos Student Loan Overview
Brazos Student Loans allow students who are Texas residents to finance an undergraduate or graduate education at one of over 2,000 eligible schools nationwide.
At this time, Brazos only lends in the state of Texas to Texas residents who are attending eligible schools nationwide.
If you’re not a Texas resident, we can still help.
You may borrow up to the cost of attendance, less other financial aid received, as certified by the school you are attending. The minimum loan amount is $1,000.
Yes, it can be used to cover any school-certified costs, including tuition, housing, books, a computer, and more. All loan proceeds, however, will be disbursed to the school. Schools will typically deposit the amount not owed for tuition and fees to your designated account. See the "Certifying the Cost of Attendance" section for more details
Yes! The Brazos Student Loan is available to help pay for a graduate degree. The Brazos Student Loan is a great option to help pay for law school, medical school, dental school, an MBA or other advanced degree programs.
Brazos Higher Education is a nonprofit company that has been helping Texas families finance the cost of their college education for over 40 years. Brazos is not affiliated with any school, and as a nonprofit, our goal is to save you money by offering the most competitive rates possible. For additional information about Brazos, check out our About Us page.
Brazos Student Loan Eligibility Requirements
- To be eligible for a Brazos Student Loan, you must:
- Be a U.S. Citizen or National or a non-citizen with government-issued, non-expired documentation of permanent resident status. If applying with an Eligible Cosigner, a non-citizen with a work or student visa or a DACA Recipient.
- Be a Texas resident and be at least 18 years old. (Not a Texas resident?)
Be applying to finance an undergraduate bachelor's degree or graduate degree and be enrolled at least half-time in a degree-granting program at a public or private non-profit school in the U.S.
- Apply for an amount that is certified by the school your student is attending. (See the "Certifying the Cost of Attendance" section of the FAQs).
- Have a verified income and a strong credit history, or apply with a cosigner with verified income and strong credit history.
- Demonstrate the ability to support the repayment of the new loan.
Please review our Eligibility Criteria for further details.
A significant majority of our borrowers have a cosigner. You can get a student loan without a cosigner. However, if your credit history does not meet our minimum credit criteria, you may still qualify by applying with a qualified cosigner. Additionally, even if you meet the minimum requirements, applying with a cosigner who has a stronger credit history may reduce the interest rate on your student loan even further, thereby saving you more money over the life of the loan.
Brazos Student Loan Options
We offer variable and fixed rate loans with multiple repayment terms available.
At the time of application, Borrowers can select from three repayment options. Below are very general descriptions, subject to more specific terms and conditions. Read your Promissory Note carefully when you apply to ensure you understand how the each option works
Immediate Repayment Option
Borrowers will enter full repayment of principal and interest upon full disbursement of the loan, while you are still in school.
Interest Only Repayment Option
The borrower will make interest-only payments while in-school at least half-time plus a six month grace period. After that, full repayment of principal and interest will begin.
Deferred Repayment Option
The borrower can defer repayment of principal and interest while the borrower is enrolled at least half-time, plus a 6 month grace period. After that, repayment of principal and interest will begin.
Once the Repayment Option is chosen and the loan is originated, the Repayment Option cannot be changed and will apply for the life of the loan. Borrowers should carefully consider their ability to repay the loan while attending school, the potential need to defer payments if returning to school after the loan enters repayment, as well as the cost of capitalized interest when selecting a repayment option.
Variable rate loans carry an interest rate that is recalculated periodically based on a market index rate plus a set number of percentage points. The interest you pay on these loans may increase or decrease after it has been originated, depending upon changes to that market index rate. Because the rate may change, your payment may vary over the life of the loan as well. Variable rate loans tend to be less expensive at the beginning of the loan than comparable fixed rate loans of the same term.
Fixed rate loans carry a set interest rate and payment for the life of the loan. This provides predictable payments for the borrower. Because fixed rate loans create some interest rate risk for the lender, fixed interest rates tend to be higher at the beginning of the loan than comparable variable rate loans.
No, we do not charge any origination fees. Additionally, we do not charge application fees or prepayment penalties and borrowers may prepay their loans at any time.
Fixed Rates. The interest rate for a fixed rate Student Loan depends on your credit profile, the repayment option chosen, and the length of repayment term that you select for the loan. The rate will remain constant for the life of the loan, except for periods where you may take advantage of the Auto-Pay Discount.
Variable Rates. Variable Rate is equal to the ”Rate Index” which is set based on a selected market index rate (as described in your credit agreement). The Variable Rate may change on the first day of the calendar month after the Rate Index is determined (a “Change Date”). In no event will the Variable Rate exceed 9.90%. A change in the Variable Rate will cause the monthly payment amount to change.
Whether you choose a fixed or variable interest rate depends on your financial situation.
Yes, we offer a .25% interest rate reduction (the “Auto-Pay Discount”) once you have entered repayment and you sign up with your loan servicer to have your payments automatically drafted from your bank account.
Failure to make payments may result in the loss of the 0.25% Auto-Pay Discount. You may requalify for the Auto-Pay Discount upon reauthorization of automatic payments from a valid bank account. The Auto-Pay Discount will not apply in-between disbursements, during periods of deferment or forbearance. Once you have entered repayment, you may contact your loan servicer, American Education Services (AES), to enroll in this program. Please remember that, although you may elect to make payments before your first payment is actually due, you will not be eligible for the Auto-Pay Discount until you have entered active repayment (i.e. you receive your first statement with a payment due).
Yes, you can refinance private student loans and federal student loans with Brazos’ Student Loan Refinance program. Click here to learn more about refinancing your loan or review the Refinance FAQs for more details.
Certifying the Cost of Attendance
As defined by Congress, the Cost of Attendance is an estimate of the cost to attend a particular school for one academic year. The Cost of Attendance (budget) includes tuition and fees; on-campus room and board (or a housing and food allowance for off-campus students); and allowances for books, supplies, transportation, loan fees, and, if applicable, dependent care. It can also include other expenses like an allowance for the rental or purchase of a personal computer, costs related to a disability, or costs for eligible study-abroad programs.
The Cost of Attendance is determined, specifically for your situation, by the school you are attending and may be obtained from the school's financial aid office. The financial aid office will send you an Award Letter or upload the information on your financial aid portal, indicating the Cost of Attendance and additional financial aid, which could include scholarships, grants, institutional aid and federal loans.
During the application process, you will be required to complete and certify a Private Education Loan Self Certification. On this certification, you will be asked to calculate how much you need to borrow in private loans based on the Cost of Attendance and other financial aid that you have been awarded. This is used to help promote awareness of the amount you are borrowing, as well as to prevent borrowers from borrowing more than what is needed. You should use your Award Letter from your school, as well as other information you can obtain from your financial aid portal, if possible, in completing this certification.
In addition to the Private Education Loan Self-Certification, the school will certify certain information related to your enrollment. We will obtain the school certification from the school as a part of the application process. The school you are attending must certify:
- That the loan amount does not exceed the cost of attendance minus other financial aid received.
- The loan period which the loan covers.
- Your enrollment status.
- Your grade level.
- Your Expected Graduation Date.
- The disbursement dates.
- The individual disbursement amounts if the loan has multiple disbursement dates.
Sometimes the school may certify an amount that is different from the loan amount that you request. If the amount the school certifies is higher than the amount you request, the certification will cover the lower amount that you have requested, and the loan will be approved for the lower amount that you requested.
If the school certifies an amount less than the amount you have requested but is within the program limits, the loan amount will be adjusted to match the amount the school certifies. This adjustment will be evident when you receive your Final Disclosure as part of the loan process.
If the school certifies an amount less than the program minimum ($1,000), the loan will be denied.
Applying For a Loan
Brazos Student Loans are originated by Brazos Education Lending Corporation. When you click "Apply Now" to apply for a Brazos loan, you will leave the studentloans.com website and be taken to the loan origination website for the processing of your loan application.
Yes, the application process does include a hard credit pull which may impact your credit score.
You will need:
- Your social security number.
- The Cost of Attendance as well as the amount of other financial aid you have been awarded.
- Your permanent address.
- Proof of Income - depending upon your sources of income, this may be your two most recent pay stubs, 1099 Forms, or your most recent tax return.
Once you submit your application, your credit will be pulled (hard credit pull) in order to pre-approve you for the loan. This pre-approval is typically an instant decision. Once you are pre-approved, you will be asked to upload documents to verify income and residency. We estimate the process could take a few weeks, depending upon when you are applying for the loan. Having the documentation ready when you apply will help speed up the process. Once you have uploaded your documents and they have been approved, we will request certification from your school.
Once the school has certified the loan and you have accepted the loan, funds will be disbursed to the school based on the school’s disbursement schedule. Schools typically certify loan requests just prior to the start of the school period in order to take into account any additional grant aid or scholarships you may receive. For a standard academic year, disbursements are typically set with half of the loan amount being disbursed just prior to the start of the fall semester and the other half just prior to the start of the spring semester.
Repaying Your New Student Loan
When you apply for the loan, you can select one of three repayment options: Deferred Repayment, Interest Only Repayment or Immediate Repayment. The option you choose will determine when you will have to start making payments. Once you make the choice, it applies for the life of the loan and cannot be changed. Below are general descriptions. For more detail, please review the credit agreement carefully when you apply.
Immediate Repayment Option
Borrowers will enter full repayment of principal and interest upon full disbursement of the loan, while you are still in school.
Deferred Repayment: If you choose this option, you are not required to make any payments while you are attending school at least ½ time and for a grace period of 6 months after graduation or withdrawal from school. After that time, repayment of principal and interest will begin.
Interest Only Repayment: If you choose this option, you make interest-only payments during the time you are enrolled at least ½ time and during a six-month grace period. After that, you will be responsible for repayment of principal and interest.
If you have chosen the Deferred Repayment option, as described above, you will not enter the Repayment period and thus will not have to make payments on your loan while you are enrolled at least half-time in a degree-granting program, with a cap of fifty-four (54) months. Once you enter the Repayment Period and have begun making payments because you have graduated or stopped attending school, and you re-enroll at least half-time at an eligible school, you may request an In-School Deferment of up to fifty-four (54) months. You will have to provide proof of separation or graduation in order to qualify.
If you have chosen either the Interest Only Repayment or Immediate Repayment option, you must make payments on your loan while you are in school completing the degree level for which the loan was obtained. Once you have graduated with the degree for which the loan was obtained, and you re-enroll at least halftime at an eligible school pursuing another degree, you may request an In-School Deferment of up to fifty-four (54) months. You will have to provide proof of graduation to qualify.
In addition, if you are in a Medical Residency or Internship, you may request a Medical Residency or Internship Deferment, to be granted in one (1) year increments so long as you can show continued proof of participation in a medical residency or internship.
Immediately following the end of any period of Deferment, you may also request an additional six (6) month period during which time no payments are due, which is referred to as a Post-Deferment Grace.
Interest will continue to accrue during periods of Deferment and Post-Deferment Grace and any accrued, unpaid interest will capitalize upon re-entering active repayment.
Interest that accrues and remains unpaid will be added to the principal balance of the loan (capitalized) at the end of the Interim Period or grace period, as well as at the end of any periods of forbearance or deferment. For the Deferred Repayment option and the Interest Only Repayment option, the Interim Period ends six months after you cease to be enrolled at least half time or you graduate (not to exceed fifty-four (54) months). For the Immediate Repayment option, the Interim Period ends once the loan is fully disbursed.
Yes, you may pay interest on the loan prior to full disbursement. This can help prevent interest from being capitalized and added to the principal balance of the loan at the time the loan is fully disbursed. Please note that the loan is not considered in repayment, and you will not be able to set up auto-debit payments.
Brazos Student Loans are serviced by American Education Services (AES).
The American Education Services (AES) is a loan servicer that handles both Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP) loans and private student loans, including Brazos.
Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP) student loans are federally-backed loans issued and managed by private lenders. In 2010, FFELP was replaced by the Direct Loan program, which is still in use today. Click here for more information about the 2021-2022 FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid).
Instructions for registering your online account will be provided to you by American Education Services (AES). Once registered, you will be able to log in online and set up payments. Additionally, once you have entered repayment, and have registered with AES, you will be able to set up automatic payments to take advantage of the Auto-Pay Discount. Auto-Pay Discounts will not apply during periods of deferral or forbearance and will not apply until the loan is fully disbursed and you have entered active repayment (i.e. received a statement with a payment due)..
Tax questions are complex and you should consult your own tax advisor to answer this question. However, Brazos loans are considered qualified education loans for federal and state tax considerations. You may or may not be eligible for deducting interest on your student loans depending on your individual situation.
No, once you enter the Repayment Period, your monthly payments will be calculated such that your loan will be repaid within the repayment term you selected. This cannot be modified. If you experience financial hardship, and have problems making your payments, certain forbearance options may be available.
Three types of payment forbearance are available. They are described below. Please contact your servicer, American Education Services (AES), for details.
Economic hardship forbearance
Borrowers are able to postpone payment on their loan for 3 months at a time, with a cumulative forbearance length of 12 months.
Borrowers on active duty may apply to have their loan payments postponed while on active duty. Cumulative military forbearance length of 36 months is available.
Natural Disaster forbearance
Borrowers affected by a natural disaster may request a forbearance of up to 12 months, in 3 month increments.
Interest continues to accrue during periods of forbearance listed above.
No. Brazos Student Loans are not eligible for any forgiveness programs.
Yes. If you have chosen the Deferred Repayment option at the time you applied, your Interim Period does include a six month period after you have graduated or ceased to be enrolled half time during which time payments are not due. In addition, for both the Deferred Repayment option and the Immediate Repayment option, if you have qualified for an In-School Deferment, you may also request a six-month Post-Deferment Grace Period immediately following the In-school Deferment.
The interest rate is the percentage of the loan amount that is charged for borrowing money. The APR, or annual percentage rate, represents a more complete view of what you may be or are being charged and includes fees, such as origination fees if applicable, as well as costs attributed to times when the loan is estimated to be in a status where payments are not being made but interest continues to accrue, such as the Interim Period. An advertised APR, which may be found on websites and marketing materials, always assumes certain facts about a “standard” loan, such as an assumed period of time for payment deferment which may not line up exactly with your specific facts and circumstances. Once you actually apply for a loan, you will be calculated and provided with an APR that more closely aligns with your specific facts and circumstances and, thus, may be different than what was advertised.
No, the loan will not be placed in default or be deemed immediately due and payable in full if the primary borrower or cosigner files for bankruptcy.
If the borrower dies, the loan is forgiven as to all parties on the loan, including the cosigner. If the cosigner dies, the cosigner is removed from the loan, and the borrower will be solely responsible for repayment of the loan for the remainder of the repayment term. We do not accelerate debt upon death of any party to the loan, and we will not pursue the estate of a deceased individual.
Yes, we offer a cosigner release program. A borrower may request to have the cosigner released after making twenty-four (24) consecutive on-time payments or prepaying an amount equal to twenty-four (24) months of principal and interest by the due data just prior to the request. Additionally, the borrower will have to pass a credit check and qualify with at least the same pricing tier as the cosigner on the loan at the time of the application.
Yes. If you default on your Brazos Student Loan and have a cosigner, your cosigner will be liable to pay your loan.
No, only federal loans are eligible for consolidation, whereas private education loans, such as Brazos Student Loans, are eligible for refinancing. See Student Loan Refinance vs. Student Loan Conolidation to learn more about the benefits of consolidating student loans and determine your best parent student loan options.
Not a Texas Resident?
At Brazos, we are committed to making higher education more attainable. Reach out to us and we will assist you in finding the best parent student loans for your situation.