Master Promissory Note (MPN)

Definition

The term Master Promissory Note refers to a legal document used by schools and borrowers to streamline the federal student loan application process.  Colleges and universities participating in the Direct Loan program are required to use the Master Promissory Note.

Explanation

Also known as an MPN, the Master Promissory Note must be signed as part of the Direct student loan process.  The MPN outlines the borrower's rights and responsibilities, and explains the terms and conditions of the loan.  It's a legal document that contractually commits the borrower to repay their student loan as well as any accrued interest and fees.  Typically, additional loans can be obtained through a MPN for up to ten years.

The Master Promissory Note is used when applying for subsidized as well as unsubsidized Direct Loans.  If a parent or guardian of the student is borrowing money through Direct PLUS, they must also sign a second MPN.  In addition to outlining the repayment schedule for the loan, the MPN includes information on deferment and cancellation provisions.

The MPN is oftentimes signed electronically; however, the school's financial aid office will provide guidance on how to sign this document.  It takes approximately thirty minutes to complete this form.  The process includes entering personal and school information, providing references, reading the terms and conditions of the loan, and then submitting an electronic signature.

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