University of California, Irvine

Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships

Federal School Code 001314

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California DREAM Loan

The DREAM Loan is a subsidized loan provided by The Regents of the University of California and the State of California to DREAMER students who demonstrate financial aid eligibility.


  • AB 540 Eligible
  • Ineligible for Federal Loans
  • Completed a California DREAM Act Application
  • Must be enrolled at least half-time


  • File the California DREAM Application by the March 2 deadline each year
  • Submit all requested documents by the deadlines specified


  • Determined to have financial need
  • Does not already have aid up to budget


  • Annual amounts depend on financial need and other aid received
  • Maximum award is $4,000
  • Aggregate maximum $20,000

Details about the DREAM Loan

Interest rate - matches subsidized Stafford Direct Loan rate for that same academic year. Interest rates are available at

Grace Period - Six months after you graduate, leave school or drop below half-time enrollment. No interest will accrue while during the grace period. Refer to your promissory note for specific information.

Deferment - No interest while in deferment. Information regarding deferments will be provided at your exit interview. Also, you may refer to your promissory note for the information.

Minimum payments are $50 per month and include interest.

No pre-payment penalty.

Full repayment - up to 10 years.

View customized loan repayments using this calculator.

To obtain a DREAM Loan you must complete the:

  • Promissory Note
  • Truth-in-Lending Statement
  • Loan Information Sheet
  • Statement of Understanding
  • Private Loan Applicant Self Certification Form
  • H-19 Private Education Loan Approval Disclosure

If you are awarded a DREAM Loan, complete instructions will be given to you from the "My To Do List" sectionof "My Aid" and forms will be available for you to print from the "Print My Forms" section.

It is your responsibility to read and understand the forms completely before signing.

Once you complete the documents, return them to the Financial Services office, 101 Aldrich Hall, Irvine, CA 92697-3010 in order to continue processing the loan.

Note: Failure to return the completed forms will delay the disbursement of your loans.

Prior to leaving school or dropping below half-time DREAM Loan borrowers must complete exit counseling.

For questions regarding your DREAM Loan you should contact Financial Services at (949) 824-7310 or 101 Aldrich Hall, Irvine, CA 92697-3010.

  • Q: What is the California DREAM Loan Program?
  • A: The DREAM Loan provides eligible AB540 undergraduates with the option to borrow loans to help cover the cost of attending UC.
  • Q: Am I eligible to borrow?
  • A: You must:
    • Be an AB 540-eligible undergraduate student
    • Be a California DREAM Act Application filer
    • Be financially needy
    • Not be eligible for Federal Loans
    • Not have your educational expenses for the school year already fully met by financial aid
  • Q: How much can I borrow per year at UCI?
  • A: You may be awarded up to $4,000 a year.
  • Q: What is the total amount I can borrow while attending UCI?
  • A: You may borrow up to $20,000 during your career at UCI.
  • Q: Is the DREAM Loan free money?
  • A: No. It is money you borrow that must be repaid with interest. Interest is the cost to borrow money. You will be charged a percentage of the loans' unpaid amount as interest.
  • Q: What is the interest rate on the loan?
  • A: The rate changes every school year. It will always be set to the same interest rate as the Federal Direct Subsidized Loan. For the 2016-17 school year, the interest rate is 3.76%. The interest rate for the 2017-18 school will be announced in June 2017.
  • Q: When does the interest start accruing?
  • A: Interest will not accrue until six months after you graduate or drop below half-time enrollment. This six-month period is called your grace period.
  • Q: Am I charged any fees to borrow the loan?
  • No.
  • Q: Must I borrow the loan if I am offered one as part of my financial aid award?
  • A: No. Whether you borrow the loan or not is up to you.
  • Q: Do I receive the full amount of the loan as soon as I accept it?
  • A: No. You will receive the amount of the loan in equal disbursements - a disbursement for each term for which you are enrolled that school year. For example, if you borrow a 3,000 loan, you will a $1,000 disbursement in the fall, a $1,000 disbursement in the winter and a $1,000 disbursement in the spring.
  • Q: How many years do I have to pay off the loan?
  • A: You have up to ten years to repay the loan.
  • Q: How often will my payments be due?
  • A: You will be expected to make monthly payments.
  • Q: Am I charged fees if I make a late payment?
  • A: Yes, there are late fees of four dollars a month.
  • Q: What if I fail to make my loan payments?
  • A: After 180 days of non-payment, you will be placed into default. Loan default is the failure to repay a loan according to the agreed-upon terms of the loan. You want to avoid this from occurring because legal action may be taken against you to get the money back.
  • Q: What if I wish to make payments, but I am unable to?
  • A: In certain situations, you may request a deferment. This postpones your loan payments without placing you in default. You are eligible to defer your loans if you are enrolled at least half-time in school, unemployed, experiencing financial hardship or serving on active duty in the military. No interest will accrue while your loans are in deferment. Sometimes, you may be granted forbearance if you are experiencing certain types of financial hardships. During forbearance, your loan payments are postponed, but interest still accrues on the loan.
  • Q: Can I begin paying off my loan before I leave UCI?
  • A: Yes, if you wish and you have the means to do so. The loan can be pre-paid at any time without penalties or pre-payment fees. Doing so will save you money because you will be paying less interest on the loan in the long run.
  • Q: Can my loan ever be cancelled?
  • A: If you should die or become permanently and totally disabled, the entire amount of the loan (plus the interest) is cancelled. You will no longer be obligated to repay the loan.
  • Q: How can I learn more about my rights and responsibilities as a DREAM Loan borrower?
  • A: You will be required to complete a loan counseling session the first year you borrow the loan (entrance counseling) as well as complete a similar counseling session again when you graduate from UCI or drop below half time enrollment (exit counseling).

Although you may not be eligible for federal student loans, the State of California requires that you be told the following:

Students considering student loans need to be aware of the differences between federal student loans and private student loans:

  • Federal student loans are required by law to provide a range of flexible repayment options including, but not limited to, income-based and income-contingent repayment plans, as well as loan forgiveness benefits that private lenders are not required to provide.
  • Federal direct loans are available to most students regardless of income. Other qualification criteria do apply. For more information, please visit
  • Private student loan lenders can offer variable interest rates that can increase or decrease over time, depending on market conditions.
  • The interest rate on a private loan may depend on the borrower's and/or co-signer's credit rating.
  • Private student loans have a range of interest rates and fees and students should determine the interest rate of, and any fees associated with, the private student loan included in their financial aid award package before accepting the loan. Students should contact the lender of the private student loan or their UC campus' financial aid office if they have any questions about a private student loan.

Some UC campuses offer students their own private (institutional) student loans. Students offered a UC institutional private student loan should know that:

  • Interest rates on UC loans will be fixed, not variable
  • UC loans can have a range of interest rates
  • UC loans are not awarded based on the credit history of the borrower
  • UC loans do not require a co-signer for borrowers 18 years of age or older

(Reviewed 4/5/2016 - BS)


Hours: 10am-5pm Monday to Friday
102 Aldrich Hall, Irvine, CA 92697-2825
Tel: (949) 824-8262
Fax: (949) 824-4876 (fax)

© 2018 The Regents of the University of California

About UCI
The State of California requires that you be told the following:
Federal student loans are available to most students regardless of income and provide a range of repayment options including income-based repayment plans and loan forgiveness benefits, which other education loans are not required to provide.