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15+ Year Member
Feb 14, 2000
Bethlehem, PA
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I am in the process of applying for next year's financial aid, and received a notice that I had (or will have) exceeded the limit for the loan program, and therefore the lender was denying the loan. Since I am out of the country, I had my mother call the lender (she's the cosigner, so there's no problem with getting the info). They told her that there's a $250,000 limit for all loan programs combined, and with the amount I was applying for, I would have exceeded that.

Now there are a couple of questions I have relating to this. When I was considering going to med school, I contacted the US Dept of Education to ask about Stafford limits, because I have previous undergrad and graduate loans and was worried about not being able to cover all my tuition. They told me that they consider only the amount borrowed, not the amount owed when calculating the totals.

Checking my records (or more importantly, what Sallie Mae has on record), I see that I have borrowed nowhere near that $250k they mentioned, but the current amount owed is almost $210k.

So here are my questions:
1. Does anyone know the real deal?
2. Are federal loans included in this total?
3. And how can I get the lender to differentiate between amount originally borrowed and what is owed at this moment (although that amoount changes by the second...)?



Senior Member
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15+ Year Member
Apr 21, 2002
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It sounds like you are talking about a private loan (since the limit is 250K). They can set their policy about limits any way they like, including considering accrued interest as part of the maximum debt allowed. You could try calling and asking about the policy.

Your statements from Sallie Mae should say how much of the money you owe is principle, and how much is interest, (or you can find this info on most lenders websites). But as to convincing the private lender that the amount you want to borrow should be allowed, because the amount you owe is so high due to accrued interest, and not principle, good luck. Unless they have a policy that states the 250K limit is only about principle, you probably won't get the loan.
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