Student Loans F A Qs

Get answers to your most frequently asked questions about applying for student loans. 

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.

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.

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.

Loan amount cannot exceed the cost of attendance less financial aid received, as certified by the school. M&T Bank reserves the right to approve a lower loan amount than the school-certified amount. Miscellaneous personal expenses (such as a laptop) may be included in the cost of attendance for students enrolled at least half-time.

Parents can help their students pay for college in two ways: they can cosign an M&T Bank Undergraduate Student Loan or take out an M&T Bank Parent Loan in their own name. These are separate loans with different features and interest rates, so parents should compare their loan options.

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.

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.

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. 

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)

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.

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.

Interest is charged starting when funds are sent to the school. 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. Graduate School Loan APRs assume a 2-year in-school period.

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.

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.

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. 

When you are applying for an M&T Bank Student Loan, you will be transferred to our servicing provider, Sallie Mae®.

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.

Examples of typical transactions for a $10,000 M&T Bank Undergraduate Student Loan with the most common variable rate, fixed repayment option, 6-month separation period, and two disbursements: For a borrower with no prior loans and a 4-year in-school period, it works out to a 6.88% APR , 51 payments of $25.00, 119 payments of $136.17 and one payment of $112.58, for a Total Loan Cost of $17,591.81. For a borrower with $20,000 in prior loans and a 2-year in-school period, it works out to a 7.06% APR, 27 payments of $25.00, 179 payments of $98.17 and one payment of $66.85 for a total loan cost of $18,314.28. Loans are subject to a $50 minimum principal and interest payment. This minimum payment requirement may result in principal and interest repayment term of less than 10 years. Variable rates may increase over the life of the loan.

Example of a typical transaction for a $10,000 Graduate School Loan with the most common variable rate, Fixed Repayment Option, and two disbursements. For borrowers with a 27-month in-school and separation period, it works out to 11.49% variable APR, 27 payments of $25.00, 179 payments of $139.96 and one payment of $27.70, for a total loan cost of $25,755.54. Loans are subject to a $50 minimum principal and interest payment. This minimum payment requirement may result in principal and interest repayment term of less than 15 years. Variable rates may increase over the life of the loan.  
Unless otherwise specified, all advertised offers and terms and conditions of accounts and services are subject to change at any time without notice. After an account is opened or service begins, it is subject to its features, conditions and terms, which are subject to change at any time in accordance with applicable laws and agreements. Please contact an M&T representative for full details.
All loans and lines of credit and all terms referenced are subject to credit approval and other conditions. Other terms, conditions, fees and restrictions may apply.
 FAFSA® is a registered service mark of U.S. Department of Education, Federal Student Aid.
Loan amount cannot exceed the cost of attendance less financial aid received, as certified by the school. M&T Bank reserves the right to approve a lower loan amount than the school-certified amount. Miscellaneous personal expenses (such as a laptop) may be included in the cost of attendance for students enrolled at least half-time.
Interest is charged starting when funds are sent to the school. 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. Graduate School Loan APRs assume a 2-year in-school period.
Examples of typical transactions for a $10,000 M&T Bank Undergraduate Student Loan with the most common variable rate, fixed repayment option, 6-month separation period, and two disbursements: For a borrower with no prior loans and a 4-year in-school period, it works out to a 6.88% APR , 51 payments of $25.00, 119 payments of $136.17 and one payment of $112.58, for a Total Loan Cost of $17,591.81. For a borrower with $20,000 in prior loans and a 2-year in-school period, it works out to a 7.06% APR, 27 payments of $25.00, 179 payments of $98.17 and one payment of $66.85 for a total loan cost of $18,314.28. Loans are subject to a $50 minimum principal and interest payment. This minimum payment requirement may result in principal and interest repayment term of less than 10 years. Variable rates may increase over the life of the loan.

Example of a typical transaction for a $10,000 Graduate School Loan with the most common variable rate, Fixed Repayment Option, and two disbursements. For borrowers with a 27-month in-school and separation period, it works out to 11.49% variable APR, 27 payments of $25.00, 179 payments of $139.96 and one payment of $27.70, for a total loan cost of $25,755.54. Loans are subject to a $50 minimum principal and interest payment. This minimum payment requirement may result in principal and interest repayment term of less than 15 years. Variable rates may increase over the life of the loan.