How Do I Get a Stafford Loan?

Q: How can I find out if I qualify for a Stafford Loan?

A: As with all federal student financial aid, you apply for a Perkins or Stafford Loan by completing the FAFSA at

Once your FAFSA has been processed and you have received an Award Letter from your school, you will need to sign a Master Promissory Note (or MPN).

The Stafford Loan MPN is a binding legal contract that says you agree to repay your loan according to the terms of the promissory note. Read this note carefully before signing it and save a copy for your records.

Undergraduate and graduate or professional degree students may receive Stafford Loans.
Graduate and professional degree students and parents of dependent undergraduate students may also receive PLUS Loans.

You must be enrolled full-time or half-time at an eligible school in a program leading to a degree or certificate.

Student loans are borrowed money that must be repaid, with interest, just like car loans and mortgages.

Student loans cannot be canceled because you did not get - or did not like - the education you paid for with the loans, did not get a job in your field of study or because you are having financial difficulty.

Loans are legal obligations, so think about the amount you will have to repay before you take out a loan.

The maximum Stafford Loan amount you can borrow each academic year depends on your academic level in school and whether you are a dependent or independent student.

Students who demonstrate financial need are eligible for a subsidized Stafford Loan to cover some or all of that need.

For students who are eligible for a subsidized Stafford Loan, the U.S. Department of Education pays the interest while you are in school at least half-time, for the first six months after you leave school (your grace period) and during periods of deferment (a postponement of loan payments).

Unsubsidized Stafford Loans do not require a student to have financial need. The borrower is responsible for paying all interest on unsubsidized Stafford Loans.

For more information visit:

How Do I Get a FAFSA PIN Number?

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