Federal Direct Stafford Loan

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Eligibility

Eligible students filing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) will be considered for a student William D. Ford Federal Direct Stafford Loan. The U.S. Department of Education is the lender. Upon verification of eligibility, completion of a Master Promissory Note and Entrance Counseling (if you are a first-time borrower), the loan funds will be credited to your student Bursar account.

You may receive a Direct Subsidized Stafford Loan, a Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan, or both for the same academic year. The type of loan you receive is based on your financial need as determined under federal regulations. Need is not a factor in determining eligibility for an unsubsidized loan. With a Direct Subsidized Stafford Loan, the interest is paid by the federal government while you are attending school at least half-time or during grace or deferment periods. With a Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan, interest begins to accumulate on the day the loan is disbursed to your student Bursar account and continues until the loan is paid in full. Your repayment of the interest can be deferred while you are in school and attending at least half-time. All students will find their Direct Loan eligibility on their Financial Aid Award Notice.

The interest rate on both loans is fixed at the time the loan disburses. Currently, the maximum rate will not exceed 8.25 percent. New loan interest rates for subsequent years are adjusted once a year on July 1. (See the Direct Loan Servicing Center's calculators and interest rates.)

For 2012–2013, the loan fee charged for a Direct Subsidized and Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan is 1.0 percent of the amount borrowed.

You must be enrolled at least half-time each term of the loan period to be eligible to receive a student William D. Ford Federal Direct Stafford Loan. Half-time is defined as six or more credit hours for undergraduate students.

Loan Limits

The amount you can borrow each year for Direct Subsidized and Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loans depends on whether you are a dependent student or an independent student. The amount you can borrow may also be limited by other factors such as other financial aid you may receive. The loans are for educational purposes and can never exceed the cost of your attendance (determined by the Office of Student Financial Assistance) less any other aid.

Status Degree Pursued Yearly Loan Limit
Aggregate
(Lifetime)
Loan Limit
Dependent Bachelor's First (0-29 hours) $5,500 (only $3,500
in subsidized loans)
$31,000
(only $23,000
in subsidized loans)
Second (30-63 hours) $6,500 (only $4,500
in subsidized loans)
Third/Fourth (64+ hours) $7,500 (only $5,500
in subsidized loans)
Associate's First (0-29 hours) $5,500 (only $3,500
in subsidized loans)
Second (30-63 hours) $6,500 (only $4,500
in subsidized loans)
Independent   Bachelor's First (0-29 hours) $9,500 (only $3,500
in subsidized loans)
$57,500
(only $23,000
in subsidized loans)
Second (30-63 hours) $10,500 (only $4,500
in subsidized loans)
Third/Fourth (64+ hours) $12,500 (only $5,500
in subsidized loans)
Associate's First (0-29 hours) $9,500 (only $3,500
in subsidized loans)
Second (30-63 hours) $10,500 (only $4,500
in subsidized loans)

 

Promissory Note

In order for loan funds to disburse to your account, you must complete a Federal Direct Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN). You may complete an electronic promissory note (eMPN)minimum browser support required. To complete an eMPN, you will need your Personal Identification Number (PIN) obtained from the U.S. Department of Education. (Your PIN is the same number you used to complete your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online. If you did not complete your FAFSA online, do not have a PIN, or have misplaced your PIN, visit the U.S. Department of Education's PIN site.) You will also need your social security number, driver's license, and two references with different U.S. addresses. An eMPN must be completed before your loan will disburse to your account.

Entrance Counseling

If you are a first-year borrower with the William D. Ford Federal Direct Stafford Loan program, you will need to complete entrance counseling. You may complete online entrance counseling; minimum browser support required. To complete online entrance counseling, you will need your Personal Identification Number (PIN) obtained from the U.S. Department of Education or your name, social security number, and date of birth. (Your PIN is the same number you used to complete your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online. If you did not complete a FAFSA online, do not have a PIN, or have misplaced your PIN, visit the U.S. Department of Education's PIN site.) Entrance counseling must be completed before your loan will disburse to your account.

Disbursements

Your loans must be accepted and all requirements completed prior to loan disbursements. You can accept your loan and also view outstanding requirements by accessing BannerWeb.

In accordance with federal student aid regulations, Federal Direct Loan disbursements may occur as early as ten days prior to the beginning of the semester if all requirements are met.

Changing your loan amounts
Although your signature on the eMPN allows us to make multiple loans to you under a single promissory note, you are not required to accept the loan amount that we award you.

You should notify us immediately in writing if you want to borrow a lesser amount than what was awarded. In addition, you may cancel all or a portion of your loan(s) after the funds have been credited to your student Bursar account by notifying us in writing within 30 days after the date of the disbursement notice.

Borrower's Responsibilities—Repayment

You are required to begin making payments on your Federal Direct Stafford Loans after you graduate, leave school, or drop below half-time enrollment. Plan ahead for repayment and budget wisely. You have a grace period of six months before you must begin repayment. The Federal Direct Stafford Loan Program offers loan repayment plans designed to meet the needs of almost every borrower and allows you to choose which repayment plan is best for you. Federal Direct Stafford Loan borrowers may choose between the standard, extended, graduated, income contingent, and income-based repayment plans.

Your Stafford loan will be originated with the Direct Loan Servicing Center (1-800-848-0979), which, in addition to information on repayment plans, provides repayment calculators to help you determine how much you pay and how long it will take to repay your loan based on the plan chosen. Calculations are estimates and the values may not reflect the actual amount computed by the Direct Loan Servicing Center.

Approximately 7–10 business days after the first disbursement of your loan, your loan is assigned to a loan servicer, who will then send you information regarding your loan. Repayment of your loan is managed by your loan servicer. To review your loans and to obtain your loan servicer contact information, you may access www.nslds.ed.gov. You will need to log in using your FAFSA, PIN, SSN, and date of birth.

If You Already Have a Student Loan

If you already have a student loan that was made through the Direct Stafford Loan Program along with a Personal Identification Number (PIN), you can get your most recent account information from www.nslds.ed.gov.

Deferment/Forbearance
If you have a problem making your monthly loan payments, you may be able to postpone your payments through a deferment or forbearance request. Deferments are also an option if you are returning to school after an absence. You may also be eligible to have your Federal Direct Stafford Loan or Federal Perkins Loan forgiven (see listing of forgiveness programs).

If you have exhausted your deferment and forbearance options, and/or want to avoid a default, you may also want to consider a loan consolidation. A Direct Consolidation Loan allows you to combine one or more of your federal education loans into a new loan that offers several advantages. For more information, see Loan Consolidation FAQs.