Federal Student Loans

A federal loan is one that you return with interest. A student or parent can borrow money for college programs supported by the federal government. They have low interest rates with flexible repayment options. The U.S. Department of Education (US DOE) has two federal student loan programs:
William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan and the Federal Perkins Loan Program.
William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan is divided into four types:



Loan
 Eligibility Annual Interest Rate
Annual Loan Limit
 Loan Amount when you graduate
Details
Federal  Perkins Loan Undergraduate and graduate students enrolled demonstrating financial need  5% Undergraduate students up to $5,500

Graduate Students $8,000

Undergraduate student: $27,500

Graduate Students $60,000
College is the lender

William D.
Ford Direct Subsidized
Stafford
Loans
 

Undergraduate
and graduate
students enrolled
at least half-time
Undergraduate
students: For loans disbursed on or after July 1, 2010 and before July 1, 2011: 4.5%
For loans disbursed on or after July 1, 2011 and before July 1, 2012: 3.4%
 $3,500–$8,500,
depending on year
in school
Undergraduate
students: $23,000
Graduate students:
$65,500
US DOE is the lender and pays interest on the loan while you are in school at least half time

Direct
Unsubsidized
Stafford Loans
 Undergraduate
and graduate
students enrolled
at least half-time
Financial need
is not required
 6.8%  $5,500–$20,500
(less any subsidized
amount received for
the same period)
depending on
year in school and
dependency status
Dependent
undergraduate
students: $31,000
Independent
undergraduate
students: $57,500
Graduate students:
$138,500—this includes
loans received for
undergraduate study

The US DOE
is the
lender.
You are
responsible
for paying all
interest on the
loan starting
on the date
the loan is first
disbursed.
 Direct Plus Loans Graduate and
professional
students and
parents of
dependent
undergraduate
students.
Student must be
enrolled at least
half-time
Financial need is
not required

 7.9% The student’s cost of attendance
(determined by the
school) minus any
other financial aid
received
 No aggregate limit for PLUS Loans  
The US DOE is the
lender.
The loan is
unsubsidized
(i.e., you are
responsible
for paying all
interest).
Direct Consolidation  Loan Students who want to combine multiple federal
student loans into
one loan.
Fixed rate is based on the weighted average of the
interest rates on
the loans being
consolidated,
rounded up to the
nearest one-eighth
of 1%.

Cannot exceed
8.25%
Not applicable  Not applicable  


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