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Stafford Loan

The main federal loan for students is called the Stafford Loan and has two variations:

    * Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP) loans are provided by private lenders, such as banks, credit unions and savings & loan associations. These loans are guaranteed against default by the federal government.

    * Federal Direct Student Loan Program (FDSLP) loans or "Direct Loans", administered by "Direct Lending Schools", are provided by the US government directly to students and their parents.

All Stafford Loans are either subsidized (the government pays the interest while you're in school) or unsubsidized (you pay all the interest, although you can have the payments deferred until after graduation). To receive a subsidized Stafford Loan, you must be able to demonstrate financial need. About 2/3 of subsidized Stafford loans are awarded to students with family AGI of under $50,000, 1/4 to students with family AGI of $50,000 to $100,000, and a little less than 10% to students with family AGI over $100,000.

With the unsubsidized Stafford loan, you can defer the payments until after graduation by capitalizing the interest. This adds the interest payments to the loan balance, increasing the size and cost of the loan. All students, regardless of need, are eligible for the unsubsidized Stafford Loan.

Repayment begins six months after the student graduates or drops below half-time enrollment. The standard repayment term is 10 years, although one can get access to alternate repayment terms (extended, graduated and income contingent repayment) by consolidating the loans.

Applying for a Stafford Loan

To apply for a Stafford Loan, you must submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Even though the unsubsidized Stafford Loan is available to all students regardless of financial need, you must still submit the FASFA to be eligible. You can receive a subsidized loan and an unsubsidized loan for the same period.



Stafford Loan Perkins Loan

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