Direct Stafford Loans are the most common federal student loans. Available to undergraduate, graduate, and professional students, these education loans are originated by the federal government and feature fixed interest rates, a 1.069% origination fee and various repayment options. There are two types of Direct Stafford Loans:


Subsidized Stafford Loans are available to undergraduate students who demonstrate financial need. The government pays the interest on these loans while the student is in school and during deferment. If your subsidized loan is disbursed between July 1, 2012 and July 1, 2014, you are responsible to pay any interest that accrues during the 6-month grace period.


Unsubsidized Stafford Loans are available to undergraduate and graduate students with or without financial need. The interest is accrued and added to the loan balance while the student is in school.

To determine if you may be eligible for either a subsidized or unsubsidized Direct Stafford Loan, you must complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), even if you don’t think you’ll be eligible for financial aid. Your eligibility will be defined in the Award Letter from your school. Learn more about the financial aid application process.

  • Older Federal Perkins Loans
  • Newer Direct PLUS Loans