Stafford (Direct) Loans

the most popular used loans for education

The Stafford student loan is a federal government "direct" loan made by the government to student who qualify for student loans.

The Stafford loan is a guaranteed fixed rate student loan that covers all or part of your education-related expenses as certified by the institution. The loan is available for both undergraduate and graduate level programs.

Page Topics:

financial aid types

About Stafford (Direct) Loans

There are two types of Stafford (Direct) Loans:

  1. Subsidized Loan:
    For undergraduate students only. No interest will be charged while you are in school at least half-time and during deferment periods. Eligible to those student who demonstrate need.
  2. Unsubsidized Loan:
    For undergraduate, graduate and professional degree students. Interest is charged on the loan during all periods that loan is outstanding.

How do you apply for this loan?

  1. Complete the FAFSA form - see financial aid steps
  2. Get with your college's financial aid office. They will have the information you need to complete
  3. Complete the Master Promissory Note (MPN) for this loan (see your college financial office)
  4. Complete entrance counseling - this is a mandatory information session which takes place before you receive any student loan (see your college financial office).

financial aid types

Loan Amounts

  • Varies by student grade level. The higher your credit earned, the higher amount of loan amounts: see loan chart
  • repayment on the amount borrowed begins 180 days after graduation or separation from school.
  • deferment plans are available
view summary aid charts
loan advantages/disadvantages ...

financial aid types

Loan Eligibility

  • display a need for financial aid (except for unsubsidized Stafford and PLUS loans).
  • complete high school and have been awarded a high school diploma or a General Education Development (GED) Certificate.
  • pass a college entrance exam approved by the U.S. Department of Education, and/or meet other standards your state may establish.
  • be enrolled or accepted for enrollment as a regular student working at least half-time toward a degree or certificate in an eligible program.
  • be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen.
  • have a valid Social Security number
  • make satisfactory academic progress.

financial aid types

Interest Rates and Fees

  • Current Rate: view rates
  • your interest rate is fixed for the life of the loan
  • interest on eligible amounts may be subsidized and unsubsidized
  • no credit check or co-borrower needed
  • loan fee that is a percentage of the borrowed amount will be charged when you take out your loan - so the amount you actually receive will be less than the amount you have to repay. This is the origination fee for the loan
view summary aid charts
view rates and fees