Federal Stafford Loans
All Stafford Loans are Direct Loans. This means you work with us and the U.S. Department
of Education to secure your loan. It’s the simplest, most cost-effective and safest
If you are at least half time at UHCL, you may qualify for a low-interest Federal
Federal Direct loans are available for both undergraduate and graduate students. You
can use the loans to pay tuition and fees, as well as some other living expenses (such
as room and board, books and transportation). You can receive Federal Direct loans
as subsidized, unsubsidized, or as a combination of the two.
Direct loans can be subsidized – interest-free while you’re in school – if you qualify
To qualify for a subsidized loan, complete the FAFSA form. If your FAFSA results demonstrate financial need, you can qualify for a subsidized
loan. The government will pay the interest on your loan while you are in school. Only
undergraduates are eligible for subsidized loans.
Unsubsidized Direct loans are also available with low interest rates and favorable
Although you are charged interest on an unsubsidized loan, you have the same low interest
rate, deferment, and repayment options. You can save money by paying the interest
on an unsubsidized loan quarterly, rather than allowing it to add up until you enter
the repayment period.
Federal Direct Loan Interest Rates
|Federal Direct Loan Interest Rates by Disbursement Dates
||First Disbursed between July 1, 2016 and June 30, 2017
|Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans (for Undergraduate Students)
||Fixed at 3.76%
|Direct Unsubsidized Loans (for Graduate or Professional Students)
||Fixed at 5.31%
|Direct PLUS Loans (Parents and Graduate or Professional Students)
||Fixed at 6.31%
When interest is due on unsubsidized loans
You accrue interest on your loan from the time you receive your loan until you pay
it in full. You can put off paying interest while you are in school and enrolled at
least half time. However, if you put it off, it is added to the original balance of
the loan. If you can, pay the interest when you receive your quarterly interest statement.
Origination fee of 1.068%
In addition to charging interest, all subsidized and unsubsidized loans also charge
a 1.068% origination fee. All PLUS loans charge a 4.272% origination fee. The fee
comes out of the first funds you receive from your loan.
- US citizen or permanent resident
- An undergraduate or graduate student enrolled at least half time
- Complete a FAFSA
- Maintain satisfactory academic progress
- You don't exceed annual or lifetime total loan limits
- No credit check is required
After graduation from college, dropping below half-time, or leaving school for any
other reason, you have a 6-month grace period before starting repayment. Repayment
options vary and under some circumstances you may be eligible to postpone or temporarily
reduce payments. The standard loan repayment is a 10-year plan; though other repayment
plans such as graduated or extended repayment plans may be available.
How to apply for a Stafford Loan
UHCL will calculate your Stafford loan eligibility when we receive your FAFSA. For
National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS)
The U.S. Department of Education’s (DOE) central database for student aid is the National
Student Loan Data System (NSLDS). Schools and agencies that guarantee loans, the Pell
grant program, and other DOE programs report data here.
The NSLDS Student Access website at www.nslds.ed.gov is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You can inquire about loans or grant
amounts, outstanding balances, loan status, and other disbursements. To use the
NSLDS website, you need your PIN assigned at www.pin.ed.gov. This is the same PIN
used when filling out your FAFSA.