Undergraduate Stafford Loans
- Fixed interest rate - as low as 3.86%
- No payments while in school at least half-time
Undergraduate Stafford Loans are fixed-rate student loans for undergraduate students attending a college or university that participates in the Federal Direct Loan Program. Stafford loans can be used to pay tuition, and other eligible school expenses. Stafford loans are not based on credit, and they can be subsidized or unsubsidized depending on the student's financial need.
Subsidized Stafford loans are federally guaranteed loans based on financial need. Interest does not accrue on the loan while you are in school at least half time. Subsidized loans are only available to undergraduate students. For more information on graduate loans, see Stafford Loans for Graduate Students.
Unsubsidized Stafford loans are federally guaranteed loans that are not based on financial need. Interest will accrue from the time the loan is disbursed to the school, but payments can be deferred until 6 months after graduation.
Undergraduate Stafford Loan Benefits
- Low fixed interest rate, as low as 3.86%
- Increased limits - up to $12,500 per year depending on degree status and years in school
- No payments while enrolled in school and during the grace period
Stafford Loan Interest Rates
|Academic Year||Subsidized Rates||Unsubsidized Rates||Graduate Rates|
Current Stafford Loan interest rates in effect from 07/01/2013 to 06/30/2014
*These rates have been updated to reflect the new student loan interest rate legislation that went into effect on August 9, 2013. Stay up-to-date on interest rate changes and Stafford loan news at StudentLoanNetwork.com.
Stafford Loan Limits
|Dependent Students||Annual Loan Limits|
|First Year||$5,500 ($3,500 subsidized/$2,000 unsubsidized)|
|Second Year||$6,500 ($4,500 subsidized/$2,000 unsubsidized)|
|Third Year and Beyond||$7,500 ($5,500 subsidized/$2,000 unsubsidized)|
|Independent Students||Annual Loan Limits|
|First Year||$9,500 ($3,500 subsidized/$6,000 unsubsidized)|
|Second Year||$10,500 ($4,500 subsidized/$6,000 unsubsidized)|
|Third Year and Beyond||$12,500 ($5,500 subsidized/$7,000 unsubsidized)|
|Graduate or Professional||$20,500 ($8,500 subsidized/$12,000 unsubsidized)|
|Undergraduate Dependent||$31,000 (Up to $23,000 may be subsidized)|
|Graduate or Professional||
$138,500 (Up to $65,000 may be subsidized)
or $224,000 (for Health Professionals)
|For loans first disbursed on or after July 1, 2008.|
Undergraduate Stafford Loan Application Process
First-time undergraduate students must file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to apply for a Stafford Loan. The FAFSA is the federal application required for all federal student aid including Stafford loans, Pell Grants, and more. Students can renew each subsequent year using the renewal FAFSA.
Scholarship Resources for Students
Students should always remember to search for scholarships before applying for financial aid. Student Loan Network has two great free scholarship resources - Scholarship Search Secrets, a 40+ page eBook on how to find scholarships and the ScholarshipPoints program, where students earn points and win free scholarships!