Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board
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College Access Loan (CAL) Fact Sheet

 

The College Access Loan Program provides alternative educational loans to Texas students who are unable to meet the cost of attendance. The CAL may be used to cover part or all of the student's Expected Family Contribution (EFC). Students do not have to demonstrate financial need.  However, the amount of federal aid for which you are eligible (regardless of whether actually accepted) must be deducted from the cost of attendance in determining the CAL loan amount.

Eligibility Requirements

    Students must:

  • Be a Texas resident; and
  • Be enrolled at least half-time in:
    • a course of study leading to an associate's, bachelor’s, graduate, or higher degree; or
    • an approved alternative educator certification program;
  • Meet the satisfactory academic progress requirements set by the institution;
  • Receive a favorable credit evaluation or provide a cosigner who has good credit standing and meets other requirements.

Annual Loan Amounts

  • Students may borrow no less than $100 and up to the cost of attendance minus any other financial aid.
  • An origination fee will be deducted from the proceeds of each loan based on the higher of your or your cosigner's Experian VantageScore and a favorable credit evaluation:
    • 0% fee if either the student or cosigner has an Experian VantageScore of 711 or higher, or 
    • 3% fee if either the student or cosigner has an Experian VantageScore between 651 and 710, or
    • 5% fee if either the student or cosigner has an Experian VantageScore between 591 and 650

Cosigner Eligibility Requirements

    Cosigners must:

  • Be at least 21 years of age; and
  • Have a regular source of income;
  • Not be the borrower or the spouse of the borrower;
  • Receive a favorable credit evaluation;
  • Be a U.S. citizen, or a permanent U.S. resident and reside in the U.S. or in a U.S. territory.

Favorable Credit Evaluation Requirements

    Students or cosigners must:

  • Have an Experian VantageScore of 591 or higher;
  • Not have public records such as tax liens or bankruptcy proceedings;
  • Have a minimum of 5 credit trade lines, excluding student loans or authorized user accounts.
  • Not have defaulted on any federal or private education loans.

In line with financial industry practice, THECB reports account obligations to the credit reporting agency(ies). The reporting is at the loan level, with each loan reported as a tradeline. Cosigners are equally responsible for the repayment of the loan if the student fails to meet his/her repayment obligation.

Interest Rate

  • A fixed annual rate of 5.25%.
  • Interest is not capitalized.

Repayment

  • Loans have a six-month grace period from the date a borrower ceases to be continuously enrolled as at least a half-time student at an eligible institution;
  • Principal balances under $30,000 have up to a ten-year repayment period with minimum monthly payments of $50;
  • Principal balances of $30,000 or more have a repayment period up to 20 years;
  • The loan will not be sold to another lender;
  • Postponements of loan repayment and income-sensitive or graduated repayment schedules are available.

How can I apply?

Where can I get more information?

For more information, review the Coordinating Board Rules, Chapter 21, Subchapter CTexas Education Code, Chapter 52, or contact us. 


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A person submitting misleading or fraudulent information to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board in an attempt to obtain financial aid is subject to criminal prosecution. Please contact the State Auditor's Fraud Hotline to report suspected fraud.



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