Susan E. Thomas CPA
Newsletter
Comparison of Federal Higher Education Loans

Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan Direct Subsidized Stafford Loan Perkins Loan Direct PLUS Loan
Description A federal student loan available to students regardless of financial need A federal student loan available to students with financial need A federal student loan available to students with the greatest financial need A federal loan available to parents and students with good credit histories regardless of financial need
Available to Undergraduate and graduate students enrolled at least half-time Undergraduate students only enrolled at least half-time Undergraduate and graduate students (can be less than half-time) Parents of undergraduate students enrolled at least half-time, and graduate and professional students
Lender Federal government only Federal government only College Federal government only
Borrower Student Student Student Parent or graduate or professional student
Based on financial need No Yes Yes No
Interest rate for 2018/2019 5.045% fixed for undergraduates; 6.595% fixed for graduate students 5.045% fixed 5% 7.595% fixed
Interest subsidized No Yes1 Yes1 No
Grace period 6 months 6 months Generally 9 months 6 months
Loan limits for 2018/2019 Dependent undergraduates: Undergraduate students: $5,500/year $27,500 limit

Graduate students: $8,000/year $60,000 limit (including undergraduate loans)
Student's total cost of education, minus any other financial aid received
1st year: $5,500 ($3,500 subsidized)
2nd year: $6,500 ($4,500 subsidized)
3rd - 5th year: $7,500/year ($5,500/year subsidized)
Maximum: $31,000
Independent undergraduates and dependent undergraduates whose parents don't qualify for PLUS loans:
1st year: $9,500
($3,500 subsidized)
2nd year: $10,500
($4,500 subsidized)
3rd - 5th year: $12,500/year
($5,500/year subsidized)
Maximum: $57,500
Graduate students:
Any year: $20,500/year
Maximum: $138,500, including undergraduate loans

1The federal government pays the interest on the loan when the student is in school at least half-time, in a grace period, or in a deferment period.



Prepared by Broadridge Investor Communication Solutions, Inc, Copyright 2011