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Stafford Loan Borrowing Limits and Interest Rates

Maximum Annual Borrowing Limits Established by the U.S. Department of Education

The table below shows the maximum amount a student can borrow each year, according to the student’s dependency status, FAFSA application information, and academic level. Student loans, in combination with other financial aid received for a single academic year, cannot exceed the cost of attendance.

Grade level

Subsidized Federal Direct Stafford Loan

Unsubsidized Federal Direct Stafford Loan

 TOTAL
Federal Direct Stafford Loan

 Yr 1 - Undergraduate
0 – 29.9 credits

 $3,500

 Dependent = $2,000
Independent = $6,000

 Dependent = $5,500
Independent = $9,500

 Yr 2 - Undergraduate
30 – 59.9 credits

 $4,500

 Dependent = $2,000
Independent = $6,000

 Dependent = $6,500
Independent = $10,500

 Yr 3 - Undergraduate
60+ credits
or
Second degree Undergraduate

 $5,500

 Dependent = $2,000
Independent = $7,000

 Dependent = $7,500
Independent = $12,500

 Aggregate Loan Limits

 $23,000

 

 Dependent = $31,000
Independent = $57,500

 Graduate/Professional

 $8,500

 $12,000

 $20,500

 Aggregate Loan Limits

 $65,500

 

 Graduate/Professional = $138,500

 

Federal Direct Stafford Loan 2012 – 2013 Interest Rates

  • Undergraduate Direct subsidized loan interest rate is 6.8%.

Effective July 1, 2012 the Federal Direct Stafford subsidized loan will remain interest-free while undergraduate students are enrolled in school at least half-time, however the interest rate will increase from 3.4 to 6.8%.

Federal Plus Loans (for dependent undergraduate students) first disbursed on or after July 1, 2006, have a fixed rate of 7.9%.

  • Subsidized loans for graduate students are no longer available.

Effectively July 1, 2012 graduate students will no longer be eligible for subsidized loans. While the total annual loan limit that students can borrow will remain $20,500, the full amount will be unsubsidized, accruing a 6.8% interest while in school.

  • Elimination of origination fee rebate on Stafford loans and Parent & Graduate PLUS loans beginning with the 2012-13 academic year.

This change will result in a 1% origination fee for all Direct Stafford loan subsidized & unsubsidized borrowers. A 4% origination fee will be assessed for all Parent PLUS and Graduate PLUS loan borrowers.

Federal Graduate PLUS Loans first disbursed on or after July 1, 2006 have a fixed rate of 7.9%.

For further information, please visit the Direct Loan Servicing website.

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