Unlike grants and work-study, student loans are borrowed money which must be paid back with interest. Before you take out a loan think carefully about the amount you'll have to pay back over the years. Your Federal student loans for college or career school are an investment in your future. Maximum borrowing amounts and interest rates vary. Be sure to check with your financial aid office to receive the most up-to-date information.
- Lender is the U.S. Department of Education, though the loan servicer may be a private business.
- You borrow directly from the federal government and have a single point of contact, the loan servicer, for everything related to repayment – even if you receive direct loans at different schools.
- Have online access to your direct loan account information via your servicer's website.
- Can choose from several repayment plans that are designed to meet the needs of almost any borrower. In addition, you can switch plans as your needs change.
- Learn more about Direct Lending.
Federal Perkins Loans
- Offered to students who demonstrate exceptional financial need.
- Available to part-time and full-time students.
- Loans are campus-based, with the school acting as the lender.
- Interest paid for by the federal government during in-school and nine-month grace period.
- Funding is limited. There is no guarantee that you will receive funding, even if qualified. Early application is crucial.
Federal Direct Stafford Loans
- Subsidized loans require you to demonstrate financial need; unsubsidized loans do not.
- With a subsidized loan, Department of Education pays interest during certain periods; with unsubsidized loans, you must pay interest.
- Must be enrolled at least half-time.
Federal Direct PLUS Loans
- Can be obtained by parents to pay cost of education.
- Parents, not students, are held responsible for loan repayment
- Additional loan application; credit check is necessary.
- Loans are not subsidized; interest continues to accrue while loan is deferred or in forbearance and is capitalized when loan enters repayment.
- Maximum award is cost of attendance minus all other financial aid.
Loan Repayment and Default Prevention
Obtain all the information you need to manage repayment of your federal student loan and avoid defaulting.
See forms and learn more about your options.