If you have received a Federal Stafford Loan to help pay for your college education there are some steps that you will need to take in order for that loan to be certified. First you must complete a session of entrance loan counseling and second you must sign a master promissory note. A master promissory note is the official agreement between you and Direct Loans that says you have agreed to repay the loan funds that you have taken out. A Master Promissory Note is a binding agreement and should be taken seriously. The convenient aspect of a Master Promissory Note is that you only have to sign it once for all of the loan funds you will be receiving over the course of your education.
To actually sign your Master Promissory Note you will need to have your FAFSA PIN. If you do not know what your four digit FAFSA PIN is then you can go to FAFSA.gov and request a duplicate PIN. Once you have your PIN you can go ahead and sign your Master Promissory Note. You will first need to log in to the Department of Education's website studentloans.gov. This is the same website where you can complete entrance loan counseling if you need to do that as well.
Under the "Manage My Direct Loans" box you will click on "Sign In". This will prompt you to put in some demographic information and your PIN. Once you have successfully logged in you can click on "Sign master Promissory Note". This will take you to a new screen where you will once again enter your basic demographic information. You will also need to enter the names and contact information for two references. This information is collected by Direct Loans in the event that they are unable to contact you. These references will then be contacted to try and determine your whereabouts. Please note that by putting names down as references you are in no way connecting them to your loan. They will not be a co-signer on your loan and they will be in no way liable to repay your debt. Once you have included the references there are a few statements that you will need to read and agree to.
Once you have completed all of these steps you will then be prompted to enter your PIN one last time to electronically sign your Master Promissory Note. Once this step is completed, your Master Promissory Note has been signed and is on file with Direct Loans. It is always a good idea to print out a confirmation page for your Master Promissory Note. Direct Loans does keep an electronic copy of your note which you can view at any time, but it is always a good idea to have a back up copy.
Congratulations, you have successfully signed your Master Promissory Note for your Federal Stafford Loan!