Financial Aid

FAQ - Loans (General)

  • When are loans credited to my student account?
    • Per federal regulations, the earliest that any federal loan funds can be released to your university account is 10 days before the start of classes. Private and Alternative loans are released on the first day of classes. 
  • Why haven't my loans been applied to my account?
    • There are a number of reasons why your loan may not have credited to your account. Among the reasons are the following:
      1. You're a first-time loan borrower and you haven't completed Entrance Loan Counseling and a Master Promissory Note (MPN).
      2. Need to register for classes.
      3. Need to register for 6 or more credit hours.
      4. Need to pay a past-due University bill.
      5. Need to have transfer hours sent to the University.
      6. Need to meet Satisfactory Progress Standards.
  • Why are the loan amounts applied to my bill different than those listed on my award letter?
  • How do I cancel or reduce a loan I don’t need?
    • You may reduce or cancel your loan at any time before the end of the semester. If you wish to cancel your loans, make sure to review your Account Detail on STARS first to see if the funds have already applied your account – canceling loans that have already credited your account will increase your balance due. 

      Also, remember that if you have both subsidized and unsubsidized loans, you should cancel or reduce the less desirable unsubsidized loan first.

      If you need to reduce or cancel your loans, please use one of the following options:
      • Log into your STARS account  and navigate to the "Financials" Tab. Then c lick "Financial Aid Information". After that, c lick on the button for the Academic Year you are cancelling loans for and then click on the " Financial Aid Awards" link. Finally,  c lick "Reduce or cancel my loan" and follow the instructions listed. You can also email or stop by our office to submit your request to cancel/reduce your loans.

  • How do I request additional loan funds?
    • Your federal student loan eligibility is determined by your EFC and class level – you can find the most recent eligibility limits on's FAQ. WIU students are automatically considered for federal student loan funds when the FAFSA is completed – this eligibility will be listed on your financial aid award letter. If you need to request additional loan funds, you can call, email, or stop by our office to inquire about any remaining loan eligibility you may have. Always remember, however, not to borrow any more than you actually need to pay for educational expenses.
  • Should I pay the interest on my unsubsidized loan while in school or wait until the loan enters repayment?
    • If you take out any unsubsidized loans, intrest will accrue while you are in school. Attempt to pay the interest throughout school. Waiting to pay the interest when the loan enters repayment adds to the total amount you must repay due to capitalization of interest. You can review how much in loans you've taken out, how much interest has accrued, and repayment options by logging into's Loan Managment Portal.
  • What is the average indebtedness for a Western student at graduation?
    • The average indebtedness for a May 2023 graduate was $19,103.
  • What loan repayment options are available?
    • The Direct Loan Program offers a variety of repayment plans. All students are put on a Standard Repayment Plan but you can change to a different payment plan depending on your repayment goals. You can see a full list of student loan repayment options by viewing's FAQ.