Federal Direct Stafford Loans
These low-interest loans are available to students who are attending college at least half time. No credit check is required. Repayment begins six months after you graduate or drop below half time. You must submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to gain eligibility for these loans. Annual Loan Limits for Stafford Loans have been set by the federal government and are based on your dependency status and year in school.
Federal Direct PLUS Loan
This low-interest loan program is available to parents of dependent, undergraduate students enrolled at least half time. The interest rate for PLUS Loans disbursed on or after July 1, 2013 and before July 1, 2014 is fixed at 6.41%. Graduate students also may borrow in the PLUS Loan program but must apply for Stafford Loans first. The PLUS borrower must pass a credit check to qualify for the loan. Repayment of the PLUS Loan begins 60 days after the loan is fully disbursed and generally will continue for ten years. In-school deferment is available, but interest will continue to accrue. If a parent is denied a PLUS due to adverse credit, the dependent student will become eligible to borrow up to the independent student annual loan maximum.
Private or Alternative Loans
These are credit-based loans that have varying interest rates and fees. Students must attend at least half time for most programs and may need to have a cosigner to be eligible.
Exhaust all Federal Direct Stafford Loans before considering private loan since private loans tend to be more costly than Stafford loans. Compare the terms of various private loan programs to find the loan that works best for you. Click here to learn more about private loans and to access CCU’s Preferred Private Lender List.
Charles E. Schell Foundation, Fifth Third Bank Trustee