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California Dream Loan

DREAM Loan details

The California DREAM Loan Program provides eligible undocumented AB 540 undergraduates and graduates with the option to borrow loans to help cover the cost of attending CSUSM. Currently, undocumented students who graduate from a California high school and meet the California Dream Act requirements are eligible for state and university aid, but ineligible for federal aid (including federal loans). The DREAM loan program, funded by the state and the CSU system, aims to close that gap and provide eligible students with the opportunity to borrow student loans to help pay for their education.

If you're an undocumented AB 540 undergraduate or graduate, here's what you need to know:

A loan is borrowed money (you may hear terms like "borrowing" or "taking out loans" ) that you have to pay back with interest.

The maximum amount of a loan is capped at $4,000 each year. You can borrow every year you're an eligible student at CSUSM, or until you receive a maximum of $20,000 in DREAM loans.

  • The DREAM loan is a low-interest subsidized loan.
  • The interest rate changes annually on July 1st of the new academic year.
  • Interest will not accrue as long as you're enrolled at least half time (enrolled in 6 units undergraduate or 3 units graduate).
  • Once you graduate or are no longer enrolled at least half time, you will have a 6-month grace period before repayment begins.

Eligibility

  • Undocumented AB 540 undergraduates or graduate students who:
    • Have financial need
    • Are enrolled at least half-time at CSUSM

Obtaining a DREAM Loan

  • Apply for financial aid by completing a CA Dream Act application every year.
  • If you are awarded a DREAM loan you will need to complete the DREAM loan Master Promissory Note (MPN), using the SSN or ITIN listed on your application. This requirement will be added to your student checklist after you accept the loan.
  • Complete the Dream Loan Disclosures, using the SSN or ITIN listed on your application. This requirement will be added to your student checklist after you accept the loan.
  • Check your CSUSM email frequently for updates from our office.
  • Be sure to use the SSN or ITIN listed on your CSUSM application when completing any requirements for your DREAM loan.

Repaying a DREAM Loan

California Dream Loans are setup to be repaid in monthly installments over a 10-year period and have a minimum payment of $50 a month. You can pay off your loan earlier without penalty. You begin repaying your loan at the end of a 6-month grace period. The grace period begins once you graduate, leave school, or enroll less than half-time.

More Information

  • Information about the DREAM loan can be found at Heartland ECSI’s website. You can visit their website at https://www.heartlandecsi.com/
  • You will complete your loan requirements on your ECSI account.
  • You will make your payments through your ECSI account.