Federal Student Stafford Loan | Print |
College Planning Center - Financing College

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Federal Stafford loans first disbursed July 1, 2006 are fixed-rate, low interest loans available to undergraduate students attending accredited schools at least half time. Stafford loans are the most common source of college loan funds.

 

Two types of Stafford loans
Subsidized Stafford loans are need-based, and interest does not accrue on these loans while you are in school, during a six-month grace period immediately preceding repayment, and during authorized deferment.

Unsubsidized Stafford loans are not need-based, and you are responsible for all of the interest that accrues on the loan, including while you are in school.

 

Eligibility
You must have submitted a FAFSA to be eligible for a Stafford loan.
For subsidized Stafford loans, you must have financial need as determined by your school.
You must be a U.S. citizen or national, a U.S. permanent resident, or eligible non-citizen.
You must be enrolled or plan to enroll at least half time.
You must be accepted for enrollment or attend a school that participates in the Federal Family Education Loan Program.
You must not be in default on any education loan or owe a refund on an education grant.

Features
Offer borrower benefits on Stafford loans that can save you money in repayment.
Flexible repayment options are available for Stafford loans.
No payments are required while you are in school at least half time.
You can manage your account online 24/7 at www.ManageYourLoans.com.
You get life-of-loan servicing from Sallie Mae.
There is no prepayment penalty.
No credit check is required for a Stafford loan.
Six-month grace period when no payments are required immediately following your graduation or dropping to less-than-half-time status.

Loan terms
Loan limit
Dependent Annual loan limit
Freshman $5,500
($3,500 between subsidized and unsubsidized, plus an additional $2,000 unsubsidized)

Sophomore $6,500
($4,500 between subsidized and unsubsidized, plus an additional $2,000 unsubsidized)

Junior or senior $7,500
($5,500 between subsidized and unsubsidized, plus an additional $2,000 unsubsidized)


Independent Annual loan limit
Freshman $9,500
($3,500 between subsidized and unsubsidized, plus an additional $6,000 unsubsidized)

Sophomore $10,500
($4,500 between subsidized and unsubsidized, plus an additional $6,000 unsubsidized)

Junior or senior $12,500
($5,500 between subsidized and unsubsidized, plus an additional $7,000 unsubsidized)

Graduate or professional $20,500
($8,500 between subsidized and unsubsidized, plus an additional $12,000 unsubsidized)

Lifetime limits
Undergraduate dependent lifetime limit $31,000
(up to $23,000 may be subsidized)

Undergraduate independent lifetime limit $57,500
(between subsidized and unsubsidized)

Graduate or professional lifetime limit $138,500
(up to $65,000 may be subsidized) or $224,000 (for health professions)
For loans first disbursed on or after July 1, 2008.


Interest rate
The interest rate on subsidized Stafford loans for undergraduate students that are first disbursed July 1, 2008–June 30, 2009 is 6%. For all subsidized Stafford loans for graduate and professional students, and for all unsubsidized Stafford loans for all students, the interest rate is fixed at 6.8%. For Stafford loans first disbursed beginning July 1, 2006, the interest rate is fixed at 6.8%.

The interest rate on Stafford loans first disbursed beginning July 1, 2008:

Subsidized Stafford loans for undergraduate students has a declining fixed interest rate.
July 1, 2008–June 30, 2009 the interest rate is 6%.
July 1, 2009–June 30, 2010 the interest rate is 5.6%.
July 1, 2010–June 30, 2011 the interest rate is 4.5%.
July 1, 2011–June 30, 2012 the interest rate is 3.4%.
Beginning July 1, 2012 the rate is 6.8%.
Subsidized Stafford loans for graduate and professional student and all unsubsidized Stafford loans is 6.8%.


Fees
For loans first disbursed July 1, 2008–June 30, 2009: Up to 2% in fees that includes a 1% federal origination fee and a 1% federal default fee.

 
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