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Helping Students Succeed

Federal Direct Loans

Obtaining a Loan

Students must accept the portion of the loan(s) they would like to borrow through their student portal. Students will also need to complete their Entrance Counseling and Master Promissory Note.

  • Entrance Counseling - First-time borrowers are required to complete Direct Loan Entrance Counseling prior to receiving the first disbursement of a Direct Loan. Counseling is completed online at  and helps students understand their rights and obligations as student loan borrowers. Loan counseling must be completed before students can receive loan funds.
  • Master Promissory Note - Students who are borrowing through the Direct Loan Program (also known as Stafford loans) for the first time must complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN) in order to receive their loan funds. The MPN authorizes the university to credit the loan funds to your UC Merced account for multiple years.

To complete your MPN for Direct Loans online:

  1. Go to
  2. Log in to Start 
  3. After logging in, select Complete Loan Agreement (Master Promissory Note). Select the correct type of loan
  4. Be sure to select the correct name and address for UC Merced

                                                                                                 University of California, Merced
                                                                                                 5200 N. Lake Road
                                                                                                 Merced, CA 95343-5603

For information about Stafford borrowing limits, click here.  

Repaying your Loan

Remember, federal student loans are real loans and must be repaid!
You must repay all student loans even if your financial situation becomes difficult. When repaying your federal student loans, understand that there are many details that you need to consider. Find out when your repayment starts, how to make payments, what types of repayment plans are there, what to do if you have trouble making payments, and more! For more information about your student loans visit Federal Student Aid.

  • Exit Counseling - Exit Counseling is required when you graduate, leave school, or drop below half-time enrollment. Exit Counseling provides important information to prepare you to repay your federal student loan(s). You will be notified via email as well as the item added to your student checklist when you are required to complete exit counseling.


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