Below is brief comparison of the four types of student loan programs available.
|Loans Options||Eligibility Requirements and Terms||Yearly Amounts||Application Requirements|
|Federal Perkins Loan||
Fixed 5.0% interest rate. No fees. Awarded to students with exceptional financial need. Interest and repayment are deferred until nine months after a student ceases to be enrolled at least half-time. More information is available here.
|Range from $500 to $3,000.||
Federal Student Direct Loans
Fixed interest rate. Subsidized loan interest rate is 3.4%, Unsubsidized loan interest rate is 6.8% interest rate. Federal Direct loans have a 1.051% origination fee.
A subsidized loan is awarded on the basis of need. The federal government pays all interest on the loan while the student is enrolled at least half time.
An unsubsidized loan is not based on financial need. The student is responsible for all interest associated with the loan.
Repayment for both types of Federal Direct Loans begins six months after the student is no longer enrolled at least half-time.
|Varies by year in school.
|Direct Parent PLUS Loans||
Fixed 7.9% interest rate. PLUS loans have a 4.204% origination fee.
PLUS loans enable parents with good credit histories to borrow to pay the educational expenses of their dependent children. Generally, repayment begins 60 days after the loan is fully disbursed.
|Up to the student's cost of education, less any other financial aid received.|
|Private Student Loans||Private student loans enable students to borrow to pay educational expenses beyond what is available through government loan programs. Interest rates and fees are variable and the loan usually requires a co-signer. Terms and conditions vary and are subject to change. Students are highly encouraged to compare lenders and limit private borrowing whenever possible.
||Up to the student's cost of education, less any other financial aid received.||