Student Loans F A Qs
Get answers to your most frequently asked questions about applying for student loans.
Where can I get a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) form to complete?
Use the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) form on the FAFSA® website to apply for financial aid for college or graduate school. Many states and colleges have set priority deadlines when you’ll need to submit the FAFSA® form to be considered for the aid programs they administer. There is also a federal deadline each academic year.
Do I need a cosigner?
Private student loans are credit-based, which means we will check your credit when you submit your application. Applying for an M&T Bank Undergraduate Student Loan with a cosigner may help your chances for approval. A cosigner is someone who shares responsibility with you for paying back the loan and is often a parent, but can be any creditworthy adult who is a U.S. citizen or U.S. permanent resident.
Can the money be used for more than just tuition?
Yes. Students attending at least half time can use their loan funds to pay for all of their school-certified expenses like tuition, fees, books, housing, meals, travel, and even a laptop.
Is there a loan my parents can take out for my education?
Why should I borrow for the entire school year?
Students can apply just once a year with a single credit check and funds are sent (also known as disbursed) for each term directly to your school. You can cancel future disbursements as needed with no penalty. No additional interest is charged until money is sent to your school, so you can relax, knowing you've got the funds when you need them.
What's the difference between a variable interest rate and a fixed interest loan rate?
A student loan with a variable interest rate can rise or fall as the stock market index changes, so your student loan payments may vary over time. A student loan with a fixed interest rate will have predictable monthly payments with a rate that doesn’t change over the life of the loan. You may pay more for your total undergraduate student loan cost because a fixed interest rate is usually higher than a starting variable interest rate.
Do I need to apply for financial aid each year?
Yes, completing and submitting a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) each year is the single most important thing you can do to get financial aid for college or graduate school, but completing the FAFSA® is not a requirement to get an M&T Bank student loan.
Do I need to be a full-time student to obtain an M&T student loan?
You can borrow to cover the costs at a degree-granting institution, even if you're not a full- or half-time student. The loan's flexibility makes it a good choice for many situations:
- Attending school full-time, half-time, or less than half-time
- Winter or Summer classes
- Study abroad
- Professional certification courses
- A U.S. citizen or permanent resident enrolled in a school in a foreign country
- Undergraduate and Graduate Loans: a non-U.S. citizen student, including DACA students, residing in and attending school in the U.S. (with a cosigner who is a U.S. citizen or U.S. permanent resident)
How does interest accrue on my student loans?
M&T Bank Undergraduate Student Loan and Graduate Loans: Interest is charged throughout the life of the loan - beginning with disbursement, during school, through any grace/separation period, and ending when the loan is paid in full. With the Fixed and Deferred Repayment Options, the interest rate is higher than with the Interest Repayment Option and Unpaid Interest is added to the loan’s Current Principal at the end of the grace/separation period. Payments may be required during the grace/separation period depending on the repayment option selected. Variable rates may increase over the life of the loan. Advertised variable rates reflect the starting range of rates and may vary outside of that range over the life of the loan. All Advertised APRs assume a $10,000 loan. M&T Bank Undergraduate Student Loan APRs assume a freshman borrower with no other Sallie Mae serviced loans. Medical School Loan and Dental School Loan APRs assume 4 years in school. Law School Loan APRs assume 3 years in school. MBA Loan, Graduate School Loan for Health Professions, and Graduate School Loan APRs assume 2 years in school.
What is the minimum and maximum amount I can borrow with M&T?
Our loan applications are subject to a minimum loan amount of $1,000. The maximum amount depends on the type of student loan requested. For undergraduate, parent and graduate student loans, you can borrow up to 100% of the school-certified expenses– however, the loan amount cannot exceed the cost of attendance less financial aid received as certified by the school. For Post-Graduate loans, the maximum amounts range from $15,000-$30,000 depending on the type of loan.
How long does it take to get an M&T Bank Student Loan?
It takes about 15 minutes to apply and get a credit decision. If you’re approved, you choose your undergraduate or graduate student loan options, accept your loan disclosure, and the loan is certified by your school. We send (disburse) the funds directly to the school. The process can take as few as 10 business days from application to disbursement.
What happens after my loan is approved?
A certification request is sent to your school after your loan is approved. All schools have different processes for certification - some certify daily, weekly, biweekly, etc. Most schools only certify 30 days before the enrollment period begins, even though you may have applied months in advance. Usually no actions are required from you or your cosigner during this time. We’ll keep you posted so you always know where we are in the process.
How are the funds sent to my school?
When certification is received, and after the right to cancel period has expired, your student loan is ready to be disbursed. A disbursement is funds that are sent to your school. Loan funds may be divided into multiple disbursements (usually one per semester). If you chose a repayment option that requires in-school payments, your monthly payments will begin as soon as your funds are disbursed.
Who will service my loan?
When you are applying for an M&T Bank Student Loan, you will be transferred to our servicing provider, Sallie Mae®.
When do I start paying back my student loan?
With the M&T Bank Undergraduate & Graduate Student Loans, you can select from three repayment options - you can choose to make payments while in school with monthly interest payments or with fixed $25 payments, or you can choose to defer payments until after school. No matter which option you choose, you have at least six months after you leave school (your grace period) before you begin to make principal and interest payments.
With the M&T Bank Parent Loan, borrowers can select from two repayment options - borrowers can choose to make monthly interest payments while the student is enrolled in school for up to 48 months, followed by monthly principal and interest payments for the remaining life of the loan or borrowers can choose to make monthly principal and interest payments while the student is enrolled in school and through the life of the loan.