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Federal Direct Student Loans - #84.268

Direct Loans


Applicants may apply for a loan for any year of school. The interest rate on new Stafford and Unsubsidized Stafford Loans starting July 1, 2006 is fixed at 6.8 percent. The College Cost Reduction and Access Act (CCRAA) of 2007 authorized phased reductions to the interest rates for Subsidized Stafford loans borrowed by undergraduates with the rate cut in half to 3.4 percent on July 1, 2011. There are four repayment plans that are available for Direct Loan borrowers: (1) A standard repayment plan with a fixed monthly payment amount over a period of up to 10 years; (2) an extended repayment plan with a fixed monthly payment amount paid over a period of 12 to 30 years, depending on the amount owed; (3) a graduated repayment plan with a monthly payment that will increase generally every 2 years. The repayment period varies from 12 to 30 years, depending on the amount owed; and (4) except for Direct PLUS Loan borrowers, an income contingent repayment (ICR) plan with a monthly payment that is adjusted annually based on the income of the borrower and paid over a extended period of time not to exceed 25 years. Any unpaid balance remaining after 25 years in the ICR plan is forgiven by the Secretary of Education. However, under current IRS rules, the amount written off is considered taxable income to the borrower in the year it is written off. A legislative change removing this taxable treatment has been sought. CCRAA created a new income-based repayment plan for those borrowers meeting a standard of 'partial financial hardship' based on their annual repayment amount in relation to their adjusted gross income. Generally a borrower would not have to repay on a monthly basis more than 15 percent of their discretionary income. Any outstanding balance would be forgiven after 25 years of repayment in the income-based repayment option. CCRAA also created a new loan forgiveness program for Direct Loan borrowers who work in public service during a 10-year period while they are repaying their loans. If these borrowers during repayment have an outstanding loan balance after 10 years of working in public service, the Federal Government will forgive the remaining balance on behalf of the borrower. Public service may include a variety of public disciplines such as education, health, law, military service and public safety. See the following for information on how assistance is awarded/released: Electronic transfer.

Not Applicable.

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