College Access Loan (CAL) Program
The College Access Loan Program provides alternative educational loans to Texas students who are unable to meet the cost of attendance. Cost of attendance is an institution's estimate of the expenses incurred by a typical financial aid recipient in attending a particular institution of higher education. It includes direct educational costs (tuition and fees) as well as indirect costs (room and board, books and supplies, transportation, and personal expenses, and other allowable costs for financial aid purposes).
The amount of federal aid that a student is eligible for (regardless of whether actually accepted) must be deducted from the cost of attendance in determining the CAL loan amount.
Student Eligibility Requirements
- Be classified by the institution as a Texas resident
- Be registered with Selective Service, or be exempt
- Be accepted for enrollment and enrolled at least half-time at an eligible Texas institution in a course of study leading to a certificate, an associate, 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 resources.
- An origination fee will no longer be assessed for all approved CAL borrowers.
Cosigner Eligibility Requirements
- Be at least 21 years of age
- 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 650 or higher
- Not have public records such as tax liens or bankruptcy proceedings
- Have a minimum of four 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, Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board reports account obligations to the credit reporting agencies. 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 or her repayment obligation.
- Interest begins to accrue on the outstanding principal from the date of disbursement using simple interest.
- Loans are not eligible for interest subsidy, but the interest is not capitalized.
- Interest is currently a fixed annual rate of 5.35%.
- Loans have a six-month grace period from the date a borrower ceases to be enrolled at least half-time 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?
You can apply at Apply Online.
Where Can I Get More Information?
Review Coordinating Board Rules, Chapter 22, Subchapter C and the Texas Education Code, Chapter 52, or contact our Borrower Services Department:
- Toll-free: 800-242-3062
- Online Inquiries: CONTACT US (select "Student Loan Question" as the Contact Reason)