Broker Check

Comparison of Financial Education Loans

February 01, 2017

Financial Aid for College

Direct Unsubsidized Stafford LoanDirect Subsidized Stafford LoanPerkins LoanDirect PLUS Loan
DescriptionA federal student loan available to students regardless of financial needA federal student loan available to students with financial needA federal student loan available to students with the greatest financial needA federal loan available to parents and students with good credit histories regardless of financial need
Available toUndergraduate and graduate students enrolled at least half-timeUndergraduate students only enrolled at least half-timeUndergraduate and graduate students (can be less than half-time)Parents of undergraduate students enrolled at least half-time, and graduate and professional students
LenderFederal government onlyFederal government onlyCollegeFederal government only
BorrowerStudentStudentStudentParent or graduate/ professional student
Based on financial needNoYesYesNo
Interest rate for loans disbursed academic year 2016/20173.76% fixed for undergraduates; 5.31% fixed for graduate students3.76% fixed5% fixed6.31% fixed
Interest subsidizedNoYes1Yes1No
Grace period 6 months6 monthsGenerally 9 months6 months
Loan limits for academic year 2016/2017

Dependent undergraduates: 1st year - $5,500 ($3,500 subsidized), 2nd year - $6,500 ($4,500 subsidized), 3rd to 5th year - $7,500/year ($5,500 subsidized), $31,000 maximum

Independent undergraduates and dependent undergraduates whose parents don't qualify for PLUS loans: 1st year - $9,500 ($3,500 subsidized), 2nd year - $10,500 ($4,500 subsidized), 3rd to 5th year - $12,500/year ($5,500/year subsidized), $57,500 maximum

Graduate students: $20,500 per year, $138,500 maximum including undergraduate loans

Undergraduate students:
$27,500 limit

Graduate students:
$60,000 limit (including undergraduate loans)

Student's total cost of education, minus any other financial aid received

1The federal government pays the interest on the loan while the student is in school at least half-time, in a grace period, or in a deferment period.

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