If you are a Texas resident or an out-of-state student attending a school in Texas, you’ve come to the right place for information about financing options. In addition to some programs you’ve probably already heard about and may qualify for – like federal student loans, grants, work study, and scholarships - you may also qualify for some unique, state-based programs as big and bright as the state of Texas itself. Of course, there are national lenders you can explore, as well. But let’s start with the companies who’ve made it their mission to help students in Texas.
North Texas Higher Education Authority, Inc. (Higher Education Servicing Corp.)
This agency partners with state-based lenders to provide affordable Texas student loans. The primary three in-school offerings are:
Texas Extra Credit Education Loan
- Permanent residents of Texas attending an in-state or out-of-state school may qualify for fixed or variable rate loans
- Student borrower must be enrolled at least half-time in a degree-granting program (as certified by the school) at an approved school o Zero fees
- Borrow from $1,000 up to $65,000 annually
Aggieland Credit Union (branch of Greater Texas Federal Credit Union)
- Loans can be made in the student’s name. Sponsor and Parent Loans are also available
- Be at least 18 years of age
- Be enrolled at least half-time or greater
- Must be a member of Aggieland Credit Union or Greater Texas Federal Credit Union or complete the membership process.
- Zero fees with both fixed and variable rates offered
- Borrow from $1,000 up to $50,000 per year
Baptist Credit Union
- Loans available to members of Baptist Credit Union. Sponsor and Parent loans are also an option
- Zero fees
- Borrow from $1,000 up to $25,000 per year or over your lifetime
- Be at least 18 years of age
- Attending or scheduled to attend a Participating School
- Enrolled at least half-time or greater
Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board
Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) offers the College Access Loan (CAL) to Texas students who are unable to meet a college’s annual cost of attendance.
College Access Loan
- Loans available to Texas residents enrolled in a course of study leading to a certificate or associates/bachelors/post-bachelor’s degree.
- Fixed interest rate of 6.6% for those who meet additional credit criteria, including minimum Experian™ VantageScore® of 650 (or higher) for credit approval.
- Borrow between $100 and a college’s annual cost of attendance less other financial aid
- Be enrolled at least half-time in
- a course of study leading to an associate, bachelor's, graduate or higher degree, or
- an approved alternative educator certification program;
- Borrowers who start the CAL application process on or after April 25, 2017 are subject to this credit requirement and interest rate. Credit eligibility and interest rate changes are driven by the interest rate of the latest bond sale and the overall restrictions on bond funding for the CAL program.
- Effective April 10, 2017, all borrowers will be required to create a new online account in order to apply for a loan or to view their online loan account information. Cosigners may now create their personal online loan account.
South Texas Higher Education Authority, Inc.
South Texas Higher Education Authority (STHEA) is not technically a lender. STHEA is a community partner and secondary market that provides scholarships, interest rate reductions and loan forgiveness programs to help borrowers realize significant savings. STHEA contracts with the Council for South Texas Economic Progress (COSTEP) for administering their program. COSTEP supports Texas students with financial literacy programs and a free credit health check.
You may hear about this agency through your college or university, and you can certainly tap into the non-lending services they offer.
As you can see, when it comes to student loans, Texas residents have a number of options. Ditto for students from out-of-state who need to rely on private student loans for their Texas education. Leveraging the benefits of an in-state program can be a smart choice. Just don’t forget that national lenders also offer robust choices. Shop around, do your homework, and choose the program that best suits your needs.