Student Loan Comparison Chart

Loan Program Eligibility Award Amounts Interest Rate Lender/Length of Repayment
Federal Perkins Loans Undergraduate and graduate students; do not have to be enrolled at least half time Undergraduate-up to $4,000 a year (maximum of $20,000 as an undergraduate)
Graduate-up to $6,000 a year (maximum of $40,000, including undergraduate loans)
Amount actually received depends on financial need, amount of other aid, availibility of funds at school
5 percent Lender is your school
Repay your school or its agent
Up to 10 years to repay, depending on the amount owed
FFEL Stafford Loans Undergraduate and graduate students; must be enrolled at least half time Depends on grade level in school and dependency status (see chart)
Financial need not necessary
Changes yearly; for 2004-2005 was 3.37 percent for loans in repayment
For those with financial need, government pays interest during school and certain other periods
Lender is a bank, credit union, or other participating lender
Repay the loan holder or its agent
Between 10 and 25 years to repay, depending on amount owed and type of repayment plan selected
Direct Stafford Loans Same as above Same as above Same as above Lender is the U.S. Department of Education; repay Department
Between 10 and 30 years to repay, depending on amount owed and type of repayment plan selected
FFEL PLUS Loans Parents of dependent undergraduate students enrolled at least half time; parents must not have bad credit history Cost of attendance
Other aid received
Maximum loan amount
Changes yearly; for 2004-2005, was 4.17 percent for loans in repayment; government does not pay interest Same as for FFEL Stafford Loans above
Direct PLUS Loans Same as above Same as above Same as above Same as for Direct Stafford loans above, except that Income Contingent Repayment Plan is not an option

Courtesy of the US Department of Education.

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