Federal Loans: An Overview

Of all the loan types, federal loans are the most desirable to have in your financial aid package. They offer fixed, low interest rates, and in some cases, are subsidized. Federal student loans include Perkins, Stafford, Parent PLUS, and Graduate PLUS Loans. All require you or a parent to fill out the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid).

Stafford Loans

federal student loan overview
Stafford Loans have low, fixed interest rates but lower borrowing limits, so students often need to find funding from other sources to meet their needs. They come in two forms:


Save up to 90% on your textbooks

Perkins Loans

Perkins Loans are obtained directly through the school, and have very limited availability. They have low, fixed interest rates (5%) and are distributed to students with exceptional financial need.

Parent PLUS Loans

Parent PLUS Loans are federal student loans for parents of undergraduate students. PLUS Loans have a fixed interest rate (6.41%) and higher borrowing limits than other federal loans. Parents can borrow up to the cost of attendance minus any financial aid received by the student. PLUS Loan applications are available from the school’s financial aid office. In most cases parents must pass a credit check or have a creditworthy relative or friend who agrees to endorse the loan and repay the loan if your parents fails to do so.

GradPLUS Loans

Graduate PLUS Loans are federal student loans for graduate or professional program students that have a fixed interest rate (6.41%) and higher borrowing limits than other federal loans. You can borrow up to the cost of attendance minus any financial aid. Make sure to borrow the maximum in Stafford Loans before using a GradPLUS Loan.

 
Need a private student loan? Compare your student loan options all in one place. SimpleTuition


Federal Loan Topics


What are your financial aid options?