Stafford Loans

Federal Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized loans are the most common and one of the lowest-cost forms of education funding.

  • Interest rate is fixed.
  • Available to students attending at least half time.
  • Loan fee deducted prior to disbursement.

Subsidized loans

The government pays the interest while you are in school at least half time and during a six-month grace period. To receive a subsidized loan, you must be able to demonstrate financial need as determined by filing the FAFSA. There is a time limit on how long you can receive loans.

Time limitation on Direct Subsidized Loan eligibility

Unsubsidized loans

This loan does not qualify for a federal interest subsidy. You are responsible for all the interest. You can have the payments delayed until after graduation. The interest will then be added to the loan balance, increasing the size and cost of the loan.

  • The unsubsidized loan is available to all students regardless of financial need.
  • A FAFSA is required.

Interest rates and loan fees

Loan Type Borrower
First disbursed
Federal Direct Subsidized Loan Undergraduate 4.53% fixed
Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan Undergraduate 4.53% fixed
Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan Graduate 6.08% fixed

The loan fee for loans first disbursed on or after October 1, 2018 and before October 1, 2019 is 1.062%.

Before you borrow

When making decisions on loan borrowing, it is important to consider your loan repayment.

Federal Loan Repayment Calculators

Loan reporting

Federal loan information is submitted to the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS), and will be accessible by guaranty agencies, lenders, and institutions determined to be authorized users of the data system.

How to check your loan history