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Types of Student Loans



Federal Stafford Direct Loans

Direct Loans are low-interest loans for students and parents to help pay for the cost of a student's education after high school.  The lender is the U.S. Department of Education (the Department) rather than a bank or other financial institution.  With Direct Loans, you borrow directly from the federal government and have a single contact-the Direct Loan Servicing Center-for everything related to the repayment of your loans, even if you receive Direct Loans at different schools.

Types of Federal Direct Stafford Loans

  • Subsidized: for students with demonstrated financial need, as determined by federal regulations. No interest is charged while a student is in school at least half-time, during the grace period, and during deferment periods. Repayment begins following a six-month grace period after you graduate, leave school, or cease being enrolled as at least a half-time student.
  • Unsubsidized: not based on financial need; interest is charged during all periods, even during the time a student is in school and during grace and deferment periods. Repayment begins following a six-month grace period after you graduate, leave school, or cease being enrolled as at least a half-time student.

Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan

Parent PLUS Loans: credit-based loans for the parents of dependent students. Parents may apply for these loans and, if approved, may use the funds to help pay for education expenses up to the cost of attendance minus all other financial assistance. Interest is charged during all periods.

Note: PLUS loan borrowers cannot have an adverse credit history (a credit check will be done).
Note: Students must complete a FAFSA to receive a Direct Parent PLUS loan.


Federal Direct PLUS Loans for Graduates

Graduate PLUS Loan: credit-based loans for graduate students. Graduate students may apply for these loans and, if approved, may use the funds to help pay for education expenses up to the cost of attendance minus all other financial assistance. Interest is charged during all periods.

Note: PLUS loan borrowers cannot have an adverse credit history (a credit check will be done).
Note: Students must complete a FAFSA to receive a Graduate Direct PLUS loan.

Federal Perkins Loan

Federal Perkins Loans: awarded to students with exceptional financial need. Interest is low (5 percent) and repayment begins after a nine-month grace period (after you graduate, leave school, or cease being enrolled as at least a half-time student).

Other Loan Options

Alternative loans: private, credit-based loans. Students may apply for these loans and, if approved, may use the funds to offset educational expenses. They are designed to help supplement Federal loans for educational costs.



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