Student loans

You may have one or more student loans and each may be a different type. It’s important to know which you have as interest is charged differently for each and late fees may or may not be assessed. Repayment plan eligibility also depends on the type of loan you have.

William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program

Lender: U.S. Department of Education
Late fees: Not assessed at this time

Direct Subsidized Loans – For undergraduate students, no interest is charged while you are in school at least half-time and during deferment periods.

Direct Unsubsidized Loans – For undergraduate, graduate, and professional degree students, interest is charged on unsubsidized loans during all periods.

Direct PLUS Loans for Parents – For parents of dependent undergraduate students, interest is charged during all periods. The parent is the primary borrower.

Direct PLUS Loans for Graduate Students – For graduate and professional degree students, interest is charged during all periods.

Direct Consolidation Loans – For borrowers who want to combine their eligible federal student loans into a single loan.

Private Student Loans

Note that not all private loans offer forbearance and deferment options.

Lender: A bank or credit union
Late fees: Assessed

Private loans are primarily used to help students cover school costs above and beyond a federal loan. Unlike federal loans, private loan eligibility requirements, interest rates, and terms vary from lender to lender. Other key differences include:

  • Payments may be required while you are in school and during grace/separation and deferment statuses.
  • Interest rates may be fixed or variable, and if it’s variable it may go up.
  • Private loans are not subsidized and interest is charged during all periods.
  • The interest may not be tax deductible.
  • Private loan deferment and forbearance options may be limited – your loan servicers to find out what options are available.

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