California Dream Loan Program

The California DREAM Loan Program provides eligible undocumented AB 540 undergraduates with the option to borrow loans to help cover the cost of attending UC. The DREAM loan program, funded by the state and UC, aims to close that gap and provide eligible students with the opportunity to borrow student loans to help pay for their education. Loans must be accepted on your MyUCSC student portal no later than 10 business days prior to the end of your student's term of enrollment for an academic year. Awards not applied for and approved (including all required loan documents) by this time cannot be processed.  

We encourage you to explore other funding options prior to taking out a loan. Private Scholarships, institutional work-study and internships are among the other resources available to help reduce your need to accept student loans. 

If you decide to borrow the Dream Loan, you need to complete the following processes. 

What you need to do:

Step 1: Accept your loan on MyUCSC student portal:

Step 2. Wait for an e-mail from informing you of the loan requirements that must be completed online. The email will contain your Heartland ECSI PIN and information about where to complete these requirements.

Step 3. Complete the loan requirements. Review the Truth and Lending (TILA) documents, complete the entrance counseling, and e-sign the promissory note. 


California Dream Loan Details

Eligibility Requirements

  • Must be AB 540 Eligible
  • Ineligible for Federal Loans
  • Complete a DREAM Act Application
  • Determined to have financial need
  • Academic Program must qualify as an eligible program under Cal Grant guidelines

Loan Terms

  • Annual loan maximum $4,000 (even if enrollment at multiple institutions)
  • Aggregate maximum $20,000 at any one institution
  • Annual promissory note
  • Annual entrance counseling (through ACS Financial Counselor)
  • 6-month grace period, 10-year repayment
  • Interest rate matches Subsidized Direct Loan rate for that same year 
  • No interest while in deferment
  • Interest will accrue in forbearance

Additional Loan Details


You may quality to postpone your monthly payments in which no interest accrues if you are:

  • Unemployed (maximum 3 years)
  • In-School
  • Experiencing Economic Hardship or
  • Are in Active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces


If not eligible for deferment, you may be eligible to postpone or reduce your monthly payments under forbearance if you are:

  • Experiencing financial hardship
  • Experiencing a prolonged illness

To apply for a deferment or forbearance, contact Student Business Services at (831) 459-2107.


Resources You May Find Useful

California Dream Loan Glossary

California Dream Loan FAQs

Private Scholarships for Dreamers

Food Pantries and Other Resources