Undergraduate Federal Student Loan Limits
Total subsidized and unsubsidized loan limits over the course of your entire education include:
- Dependent: $31,000
- Independent: $57,500
Both dependent and independent students can borrow $23,000 in subsidized loans, but unsubsidized loans allow independent students to borrow more.
How Much Student Loan Can I Borrow Per Semester
Undergraduates can borrow up to $12,500 annually and $57,500 total in federal student loans. Graduate students can borrow up to $20,500 annually and $138,500 total.
Direct subsidized and unsubsidized loan limits.
|Dependent undergraduate students|
How long does it take to pay off a student loan?
- Federal student loan providers estimate that it will take borrowers 10 years to pay off their student loans, or at least thats the timeline for payoff with a standard repayment plan.
Federal Direct Plus Student Loan Limits
Direct PLUS Loans work very differently than other federal student loans. While the other loan types dont require credit checks, PLUS Loans do. And, they have different rules for how much you can borrow.
Instead of having an annual or aggregate limit, PLUS Loans allow you to borrow up to 100% of the school-certified cost of attendance minus other financial aid you received.
While the ability to borrow more is a major perk, keep in mind that PLUS Loans have the highest interest rate of any federal loan. If you are a parent borrowing to pay for your childs education, you may want to refinance Parent PLUS Loans later to reduce your interest rate.
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What If I Am A First Time Loan Borrower
30 Day Hold
If you are a first-year undergraduate student and a first-time borrower, federal regulations require your first payment not be disbursed until 30 days after the first day of your enrollment period. This ensures you will not have a loan to repay if you withdraw during the first 30 days of classes.
How will I get the loan money?
For the Direct Loan program, you will be paid through the school in at least two installments. No installment may exceed one-half of your loan amounts. Your loan money is first applied to pay for tuition, fees, and other school charges. If loan money remains, you will receive the funds however you specify when selecting your refund preference with BankMobile. Questions about refunds should be directed to the SF Cashier.
Loan proration is a reduction of the standard annual loan limit for an undergraduate student. Proration of the loan amount is required if the student’s program, or the remainder of the student’s program, is less than a full academic year in length.
Get Your Loan Information
The U.S. Department of Education has the database of information on federal grant amounts, your loan statuses , and disbursements. Go to studentaid.gov/h/manage-loans to access this information.
New Annual Amount For Same Grade Level
Progression to a higher grade level does not always coincide with the beginning of a new academic year. For both standard-term programs and SE9W nonstandard term programs, if a student is enrolled at the same grade level after a full academic year has elapsed, the student may be eligible for a new annual maximum amount at the same grade level, provided that the student maintains satisfactory academic progress. For example, a student in a standard term or SE9W nonstandard term program who completes only 12 semester hours during the first SAY, BBAY 1, or BBAY 2 could receive another loan when the calendar period associated with that academic year has elapsed, but the borrower would still be classified as a first-year undergraduate at the start of the second academic year.
As long as a student is maintaining satisfactory academic progress, your school is not permitted to have a general policy that limits the number of times the student can receive the maximum annual loan limit at one grade level. A school may refuse to originate a loan or may originate a loan for an amount less than the borrowers maximum eligibility only on a case-by-base basis.
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Is Standard Repayment Right For You
The standard repayment plan on student loans may make sense for you if you want to limit the amount you pay overall. Payments under standard repayment are larger than under other plans that extend your repayment term. But youll pay the least interest and finish repayment the fastest using standard repayment.
If standard payments are too expensive, you may be able to lower your monthly bills with income-driven repayment, extended repayment or graduated repayment. Keep in mind that any plan that decreases your payments will likely increase the amount of interest you pay. Generally, stick with standard repayment if you can afford it.
What Happens If You Hit Federal Loan Limits
If your cost of attendance exceeds what you can borrow in federal student loans, you may not have enough cash on hand to cover the extra costs. If youre worried about not having enough money to pay for school, you have a few options, including:
Working part-time. Find a job that lets you work non-traditional hours so you can pay for school. You can look on- or off-campus, depending on your living situation and transportation options. Consider a side-hustlelike delivering groceries, tutoring or freelancingto cover your extra schooling costs.
Requesting payment assistance. Many schools require payment in full, whether that comes from your lender or you. If you cant pay your outstanding bill, talk to your schools financial aid office about a payment plan, like making monthly payments instead of one lump-sum payment. Also inquire about emergency grants or interest-free loans, which vary by school but might be available based on your need.
Switching schools. Cost of attendance varies by each school. Since every institution has different service fees, you might pay more at a private or big-name school compared to community colleges, which tend to have fewer fees. If you can, consider attending local colleges for the first couple years and then transferring to your school of choice to complete your bachelors degree.
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Annual And Aggregate Loan Maximums
Annual Loan Limits by Grade Level
determined by Financial Aid Services)
Additional Unsubsidized Amount
$31,000 Independent Undergraduate $57,500 Graduate/Professional $138,500
*Dependent students who have a current PLUS loan denial on file with our office may be eligible to borrow an additional $4000 in Unsubsidized loan. The PLUS denial along with a loan request or a request to increase loan form must be submitted in person to Financial Aid Services.**The maximum loan amount an undergraduate student may borrow must be prorated in certain situations. For example, loans must be prorated if the borrower is enrolled in an eligible program of study that is shorter than a full academic year or when a borrower is enrolled in a program that is one academic year or more in length but the borrower is in a remaining period of study that is shorter than a full academic year.***There is a limit on the maximum period of time that you can receive Direct Subsidized Loans. In general, you may not receive Direct Subsidized Loans for more than 150% of the published length of your program. This is called your “maximum eligibility period”. For more information about Subsidized loan limit usage, go to
Example: Annual Loan Limit For Independent Undergraduate
Dottie is a first-year independent undergraduate student at Russells Institute. Her combined Direct Subsidized Loan and Direct Unsubsidized Loan annual loan limit is $9,500, not more than $3,500 of which may be subsidized. Her COA is $14,500, her EFC is 1800, and she is receiving a $4,595 Pell Grant. Dottie has sufficient financial need to qualify for the maximum Direct Subsidized Loan amount of $3,500. She may also receive an additional $6,000 in Direct Unsubsidized Loan funds to fully cover her unmet need and replace part of the EFC . Her total loan amount in Direct Subsidized Loans and Direct Unsubsidized Loans is $9,500.
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Unallocated Consolidation Loan Amounts
NSLDS may also show a Consolidation Loans, Unallocated amount that is not counted against a borrowers aggregate loan limits. The Consolidation Loans, Unallocated amount represents the portion of a consolidation loan that cannot be attributed to other loans in the borrowers loan history . You are not responsible for determining the origin of any unallocated consolidation loan amounts.
Time Limit For Canada Loans
The Canadian government has different rules about loan limits than Alberta.
Canada loan limits are based on number of weeks rather than dollar amount. Most students can receive Canada student loans for up to 340 weeks, including interest-free periods while youre in school, except:
- students in doctoral studies have 400 weeks
- students with permanent disabilities have 520 weeks
- if you reach your lifetime loan limit but not your Canada time limit, you can still receive up to $210 per week of study from Canada
- if you reach your time limit, you can still receive loans from Alberta if you havent reached your lifetime loan limit
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Can You Take Out More Than One Student Loan At A Time
Yes, its possible to take out more than one student loan at once. Many people have to do this if they want to borrow enough to cover the costs of their educations.
If youre using federal loans you can get all three types of loanssubsidized, unsubsidized, and PLUS loansat once. If your federal loans arent sufficient to cover your expenses, you can also apply for student loans from private lenders.
Public Service And Teacher Loan Forgiveness
Public Service Loan Forgiveness is available after 10 years of qualifying payments and employment, only for Direct Loans . The Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program is available for loans in both the Direct and FFEL programs. All federal loans issued since July 1, 2010 are Direct Loans. Teachers with Perkins loans may be eligible for a loan cancellation if they meet certain requirements. More information for teachers can be found at studentaid.gov.
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Checking Loan Amounts In Nslds
Before originating a Direct Subsidized Loan or Direct Unsubsidized Loan, its important to make sure the student still has remaining eligibility under the aggregate loan limits. As long as there is no conflicting information, you may rely on the financial aid history and the Transfer Student Monitoring process to tell you if a student is about to exceed the aggregate loan limits.
The Loan History shown in NSLDS for a borrower who has received Title IV loans shows Aggregate Loan Information for the borrowers outstanding subsidized and unsubsidized loans. The Aggregate Loan Information subsidized and unsubsidized Outstanding Principal Balance amounts shown in a borrowers NSLDS loan history do not include unpaid accrued interest, capitalized interest , or other charges, as these amounts are not counted against the aggregate loan limits. For each individual loan that a borrower has received, NSLDS shows both the outstanding principal balance and the aggregate outstanding principal balance . The OPB is what the borrower owes, which may include capitalized interest and other charges. The Agg. OPB is the portion of the OPB that counts against the aggregate loan limits for subsidized and unsubsidized loans.
Increased Unsubsidized Loan Limits For Independent Undergraduates And For Certain Dependent Undergraduates
The maximum Direct Subsidized Loan amount that an undergraduate student may receive each academic year is the same for both dependent and independent undergraduates. However, there are higher Direct Unsubsidized Loan annual loan limits for independent undergraduate students and for dependent undergraduates whose parents unable to obtain Direct PLUS Loans. For these students, the combined Direct Subsidized Loan and Direct Unsubsidized Loan annual loan limits are:
$9,500 for independent first-year undergraduates , not more than $3,500 of which may be subsidized
$10,500 for independent second-year undergraduates , not more than $4,500 of which may be subsidized and
$12,500 for independent third-, fourth-, and fifth-year undergraduates , not more than $5,500 of which may be subsidized.
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How Student Loan Limits Are Calculated
When you take out a student loan, both the annual and aggregate loan limits are applied to the loan amount. Each type of loan limit represents a restriction on the amount you can borrow.
Sometimes, you may want to borrow an amount that satisfies the annual limit, but you will qualify for a lower amount because your total debt would exceed the aggregate loan limit. You will then be restricted to the lower loan amount.
The Direct Unsubsidized Loan has annual limits for dependent undergraduate students based on the students year in school. The 2021-2022 loan limits are:
- $5,500 for freshmen
- $6,500 for sophomores
- $7,500 per year for juniors, seniors, and any additional undergraduate years of study
The Direct Unsubsidized Loan also has an aggregate loan limit of $31,000 for dependent undergraduate students.
Suppose a dependent undergraduate student in a 5-year engineering degree program borrows the annual maximum for each of the first four years, for a total of $27,000. During the students fifth year the annual limit would be $7,500. However, as the next table shows, the remaining aggregate loan eligibility is only $4,000 after the end of the fourth year. So, the student cant borrow the $7,500 annual maximum as a fifth-year senior. Instead, this student can borrow no more than $4,000.
What Is The Standard Repayment Plan On Student Loans
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The standard repayment plan is the basic plan for repaying student loans. Youre automatically placed in this plan when you start repayment, unless you select a different option. Here are the key details about the standard repayment plan on student loans:
Repayment length: 10 years.
Payment amounts: The same amount each month.
Other qualifications: Must have federal student loans.
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To Receive Your Subsidized Or Unsubsidized Loan:
Health Professions Programs Eligible For
Additional $20,000 in Unsubsidized Loans for an Academic Year Covering 9 months
Additional $26,667 in Unsubsidized Loans for an Academic Year Covering 12 months
Accreditation: Council on Chiropractic Education, Commission on Accreditation
Doctoral Degree in Clinical Psychology
Accreditation: American Psychological Association, Committee on Accreditation
Masters or Doctoral Degree in Health Administration
Accreditation: Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education
Note: Students in all of the programs on this page are also eligible for a higher aggregate limit for combined subsidized/unsubsidized loans. See the Aggregate Loan Limits section later in this chapter.
Proration of annual loan limit for academic year covering 10 or 11 months: For programs with an academic year covering 10 or 11 months, the annual additional unsubsidized loan limit must be prorated. If the academic year covers 10 or 11 months, the prorated annual loan limit is determined by dividing the applicable loan limit for an academic year covering 9 months by 9, and then multiplying the result by 10 or 11.
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How Do I See How Much Money Fafsa Gave Me
Your FAFSA status can be found on the My FAFSA page, which displays immediately after you log in if you have already started or completed a FAFSA form. To check on the status of financial aid being disbursed to you or your account, check with the financial aid office at your college or career school.
Parent Plus Loan Limits
If youre a graduate or professional student or have a parent with a good credit history, consider a PLUS loan. There arent any specific limits to the amount of money that you can borrow with a PLUS loan. This type of loan is capped at what your school lists as the cost of attendance less any other financial aid that the student receives. Parent PLUS loans come with higher interest rates, so be sure to max out your federal subsidized and unsubsidized loans first.
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Visit Your Colleges Financial Aid Office
For students or parents who are facing educational costs they cant cover or are nearing either annual or aggregate student loan limits, there is help.
If they suspect the loan amount will not cover all costs, they should reach out to the colleges office of financial aid to discuss this, Moon said. If the loan amount does not cover the cost of attending the university, then there are options the university can offer.
For instance, Moon said, a university might be able to offer institutional need- or merit-based aid. Students or families might also be able to get on a payment plan for tuition or college costs and avoid a loan.
Even if you dont think you qualify for more aid, you should make the effort. Make an appointment, meet in person and be prepared to describe your situation and any extenuating circumstances.
Explain why you need and should receive additional aid. The human element can make all the difference.