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If you need to borrow money for college, federal student loans can be the answer. There are different types of government student loans available, mostly based on financial need. Federal student loans are the best choice once you have exhausted free money options, like scholarships and grants.
The Federal Perkins Loan is a low-interest loan for both undergraduate and graduate students with financial need. The loan is provided with government funds, with a share contributed by the school. You must repay this loan to your school. Your school’s financial aid office lets you know if you qualify after you complete the FAFSA.
The Stafford Loan is the most widely used, low-cost education loan sponsored by the U.S. government. No lender can charge you higher than 6.8% on a new Stafford Loan.
The amount of money you can borrow under the Stafford Loan program is based on your academic level1.
* $5,500 Freshman
* $6,500 Sophomore
* $7,500 Junior, Senior and 5th year undergraduate students
Remember that your federal student loans can be subsidized or unsubsidized. Subsidized federal student loans do not accrue interest while you are in school at least half-time, while unsubsidized federal student loans do.
PLUS Loans for Parents and Graduate Students
If you are a parent of a child who is under the age of 24, unmarried and a dependent, undergraduate student, then you can apply for a federal parent loan called the PLUS Loan. A PLUS Loan can cover your child’s full cost of attendance, minus any other financial aid that your child has already received. The interest on a PLUS Loan is fixed at 8.5% for most loans.2
Graduate students can take out a PLUS Loan for themselves. If you are a grad student you, too, can borrow enough to cover your cost of attendance. The interest on a PLUS Loan is also fixed at 8.5% for you too.
PLUS Loans for parents and grad students require a credit check. There are also additional fees charged by the government and the guarantor.
Labels: Federal Loans