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Federal Direct Stafford Loans

The Federal Direct Stafford loan program allows students to borrow low-cost educational loans from the federal government. To be eligible for a Direct Stafford loan, COM students must be enrolled at least 6 hours. 

When you borrow a Stafford loan for the first time at UIC, you must sign a Master Promissory Note (MPN) at www.studentloans.gov agreeing to pay back the money borrowed, with interest, according to the terms of the program.  Students borrowing a Direct Loan for the first time at UIC must complete Direct Loans Entrance Counseling at www.studentloans.gov before any loans can disburse.

Federal Unsubsidized Direct Stafford loans are not need based. Interest begins accruing from the date of first disbursement. You can choose to pay the interest quarterly while in school, or you can allow it to accumulate and be capitalized when repayment begins.  Repayment begins 6 months after you graduate, leave school, or fall below half-time enrollment.

The maximum amount you may borrow in an Unsubsidized loan for the Fall and Spring semester (nine-months) is $40,500.  For students attending summer term (rising M3 and rising M4), you will be eligible for an additional $6,667.  In addition, your total loans may not exceed your total cost of attendance in a given award year.  If you are awarded an Unsubsidized Direct Stafford loan, it will appear on your Award Notification as “Direct Loan – Unsubsidized.”

Lifetime Maximums: The combined lifetime aggregate maximum for Stafford loans is $224,000 (total Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans) for medical students. This limit includes all undergraduate and/or graduate Stafford loans from any college or university attended.

Interest Rates:  Congress has passed and the President has signed the Bipartisan Student Loan Certainty Act of 2013, which ties federal student loan interest rates to financial markets. Under this Act, interest rates will be determined each June for new loans being made for the upcoming award year, which runs from July 1 to the following June 30. Each loan will have a fixed interest rate for the life of the loan.

A 5.41% interest rate will be applied to Unsubsidized Direct Loans made on or after July 1, 2013, and before July 1, 2014.  These rates will apply to all new Unsubsidized Direct Loans made during this time, even loans already disbursed before the passage of the Act.

Origination Fees:  Most federal student loans have loan fees that are deducted proportionately from each loan disbursement you receive. This means the money you receive will be less than the amount you actually borrow. You're responsible for repaying the entire amount you borrowed and not just the amount you received.

A  1.072% origination fee is applied to Direct Unsubsidized Loans first disbursed on or after Dec. 1, 2013.  Loans first disbursed prior to Dec. 1, 2013, have different loan fees.

For the more information on Direct Loan Interest Rates and Fees, please visit:  http://studentaid.ed.gov/types/loans/interest-rates.