Borrow Money at Student Rates

Consider borrowing money at a student rate to help you pay for college and college-related expenses. Be sure to do your research to find out the different interest rates, true costs, and duration of loans available to you.

Federal Direct Student Loans are a long-term financial obligation. Getting a loan means you are responsible for repaying the money you borrow, including interest costs and fees. Use the Repayment Plan Estimator to determine payment amounts for each repayment plan based on your loan balance and anticipated income. This tool can be used by all our students regardless of loan servicer. 

Free Student Loan Counseling

Sierra College partnered with ECMC Solutions to provide student loan counseling and support to borrowers as they navigate federal student loan repayment.

To learn more, contact ECMC Solutions by calling 1 (877) 331-3262 or visit the ECMC Solutions website to schedule a one-on-one ECMC counseling appointment, connect through email, or web chat with a student loan counselor. The team at ECMC also offers a free webinar series to support borrowers as they navigate repayment.

Federal Loan Options

Option 1: Federal Direct (Federal Student Loan)

Estimate Your Cost

Before you request a loan, find out the actual costs, interest rates and how long it will take to repay the loan. Go to The Federal Student Aid website for answers to these questions and more.

Use Your Loan for Education Purposes Only

Only use your student loan to pay for your education expenses at the school that is giving you the loan. Education expenses include:

  • Tuition
  • Room and board
  • Fees

Indirect education expenses include: 

  • Books
  • Supplies
  • Equipment
  • Dependent child care expenses
  • Transportation
  • Rental or purchase of a personal computer


You do not need credit checks and co-signers for Federal Direct Student Loans. However, you cannot:

  • Be in default on a previous student loan
  • Owe a repayment of other federal financial aid
  • Be enrolled in less than six units

Option 2: Direct PLUS (Federal Parent Loan)

If your parent is interested in a low-interest loan to help pay for your college education, go to the Direct PLUS federal website. You will find eligibility information, interest rates and application instructions.

You must submit a written statement to the Financial Aid Office about how much money your parent is requesting through the PLUS program. You may attach a copy of Parent Master Promissory Note (MPN) or include parent information on your written request.

The request should contain the following:

  • Parent’s full name
  • Your social security number
  • Your date of birth
  • Your address
  • Your phone number
  • Your citizenship status

Your parent must do everything else on the Direct PLUS website.

Virtual Advisor

Get In Touch

Financial Aid Services — Nevada County

Nevada County

Building N1, Room 112

M-R: 8:30am-5pm; F: 8:30am-noon