How To Get A Federal Student Loan?

How To Get A Federal Student Loan?

Getting a college education is an essential step towards building a successful career. However, tuition and other expenses can often be a barrier for many students. This is where federal student loans come in. Federal student loans are financial aid offered by the government to help students pay for their education. These loans have several advantages over private loans, including lower interest rates and more flexible repayment options.

To get a federal student loan, the first step is to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This form collects information about the student’s financial situation and determines their eligibility for federal aid. The FAFSA considers the student’s income, assets, and family size to calculate their Expected Family Contribution (EFC). This is the amount the student and their family are expected to contribute towards their education.

Once the FAFSA is submitted and processed, the student will receive a Student Aid Report (SAR), which summarizes the information provided on the FAFSA. This report will also include the student’s EFC. Based on the SAR, the student will then be able to apply for federal student loans. The loan amount the student is eligible for will depend on their financial need, as determined by the EFC. It is important to note that federal student loans have annual and lifetime limits, so students should consider their borrowing needs carefully.

Federal student loans are a popular option for many students who need financial assistance to pay for their education. However, certain eligibility requirements must be met for students to qualify for these loans. One of the main requirements is that the student must be a U.S. citizen or an eligible non-citizen. This means that international students may not be eligible for federal student loans.

In addition to these requirements, students must maintain satisfactory academic progress to remain eligible for federal student loans. The student must maintain a certain GPA and complete several credit hours each semester. Failure to meet these requirements can result in the loss of eligibility for federal student loans.

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Students must understand and meet these eligibility requirements to maximize their chances of receiving federal student loans. Students can access the financial assistance they need to pursue their higher education goals by ensuring they meet the necessary criteria.

Federal direct student loan program benefits

The interest rate is fixed and is often lower than private loans – and much lower than some credit card interest rates. View the current interest rates on federal student loans. The fixed interest rate may be lower than private loans – and much lower than some credit card interest rates.

Who is eligible for direct student loans

Direct Subsidized Loans are available only to undergraduate students who have financial need. Direct Unsubsidized Loans are available to undergraduates and graduate or professional degree students. You are not required to show financial need to receive a Direct Unsubsidized Loan.

Parent organization of federal direct student loan program

The William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan) Program is a federal student loan program under which eligible students and parents borrow directly from the U.S. Department of Education at participating schools.

How do you apply for direct student loans?

To apply for any Direct Loan, complete and submit the 2024–25 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) form. Your school will use the information from your FAFSA form and the school’s cost of attendance to determine the types and amounts of student aid you’re eligible to receive.

How do direct student loans work?

Direct Unsubsidized Loans are given to any undergraduate or graduate student. It is not based on financial need. Interest will be collected while in school and included in your student loan repayment plan. Direct PLUS Loans are for the parents of undergraduate students or graduate and professional students.

Bill pay phone number for the federal direct student loan program

To find out who your loan servicer is, call Federal Student Aid at 1-800-433-3243.


Type of Loan Description
Direct Subsidized Loans Available to undergraduate students with financial need. The U.S. Department of Education pays the interest while the student is in school at least half-time, during the grace period, and during deferment periods.
Direct Unsubsidized Loans Available to undergraduate, graduate, and professional students. Financial need is not required. The student is responsible for paying the interest during all periods.
Direct PLUS Loans Available to graduate or professional students and parents of dependent undergraduate students. Financial need is not required, but a credit check is required. Borrowers can use this loan to help cover education expenses not covered by other financial aid.
Direct Consolidation Loans It allows students to combine all their eligible federal student loans into a single loan with a single loan servicer. This can simplify loan repayment, but it may also result in losing some benefits associated with the original loans.
Federal Perkins Loans This program is available to undergraduate and graduate students with exceptional financial need. As of September 30, 2017, it is no longer available for new borrowers, but some borrowers still repay these loans.
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Types of Federal Student Loans

Four types of federal student loans are available:

  1. Direct subsidized loans.
  2. Direct unsubsidized loans.
  3. Direct PLUS loans.
  4. Direct consolidation loans.

Federal student loan requirements

Our general eligibility requirements include a financial need for need-based aid, being a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen, and enrolling in an eligible degree or certificate program at an eligible college or career/trade school.

✿ Learn More: Student Loan Basics Answers.

Dave Pennells

By Dave Pennells

Dave Pennells, MS, has contributed his expertise as a career consultant and training specialist across various fields for over 15 years. At City University of Seattle, he offers personal career counseling and conducts workshops focused on practical job search techniques, resume creation, and interview skills. With a Master of Science in Counseling, Pennells specializes in career consulting, conducting career assessments, guiding career transitions, and providing outplacement services. Her professional experience spans multiple sectors, including banking, retail, airlines, non-profit organizations, and the aerospace industry. Additionally, since 2001, he has been actively involved with the Career Development Association of Australia.