Direct Stafford Loan Program
A federal unsubsidized loan available to graduate students. The maximum loan amount is $20,500 annually for graduate students. The interest rate is currently 6.00% fixed. Repayment of the interest and principal begins six months after graduation or enrollment ceases. The U.S. Department of Education provides a loan repayment calculator (estimate of repayment only). Current or former students may view their financial aid history by accessing NSLDS.
An entrance interview, master promissory note and exit interview are also required for any student receiving a Direct Stafford Loan. The Entrance, Master Promissory Notes and Exit interviews for Direct Stafford Loans can be completed online at Student Loans.gov.
Graduate Plus Loan
A federal loan program available to graduate students. Students can apply online at Student Loans.gov. The loan amount is determined either by request or by the eligibility remaining towards the cost of attendance. A credit check is required and will be processed by the Federal Government. The current interest rate is 7.00% fixed. Repayment is made through the Direct Loan Program and begins 60 days after the last disbursement of the loan is received. Usually the last disbursement is received in January. Payment Deferments are available upon request at Student Loans.gov.
Alternative Loan Program
There are several alternative loan programs available to students who need additional funding for school expenses. Alternative loans are not federal student loans, but are credit based student loans that often require a cosigner. Repayment of alternative loans is usually deferred until the student graduates or ceases to be enrolled at least half-time. Below is a link that will help you through the process of deciding which Private Loan is best for you. FASTChoice makes it easy by providing you with simple but critical information about types of funding and money management. It also clearly presents your new responsibilities if you go on to borrow money. And finally, FASTChoice presents you with a collection of loan products in a way that makes it easy to understand and compare them.