Skip to content

Direct Stafford

How much should I borrow?

This is up to you.  We recommend only borrowing what you need to attend school; however, this will mean different things to different people.  One way to look at this would be to subtract what your grants and/or scholarships from what you owe.  Remember to account for the origination fees!

It's important to know you can accept a lesser loan amount now and request the unused portion of your loan eligibility later in the semester assuming you continue to meet the loan requirements.

Direct Subsidized Loan

The Subsidized Stafford Loan is only offered to undergraduate students who demonstrate financial need as determined by FAFSA. For a Subsidized Loan, no interest is charged to the student as long as he/she is enrolled at least half time (6 credits).  Interest accrues from the start of the 6-month grace period and throughout the repayment period.

Direct Unsubsidized Loan

The Unsubsidized Stafford Loan is offered to students who do not qualify for a Subsidized on the basis of calculated financial need for a Subsidized Loan, or who qualify for only a portion of the Subsidized Loan annual limit. Interest is charged on an unsubsidized loan while the student is enrolled in school, beginning after the loan is disbursed. Students may elect to pay the interest or have it capitalized (added to the principal) and pay it during the repayment period.

Annual Direct Stafford Loan limits:
Credits

Dependent
Undergraduate Students

Independent Undergraduate Students Graduate, Law, and
APD Students
0-29 $5,500 - No more than $3,500 of this amount may be subsidized $9,500 - No more than $3,500 of this amount may be subsidized $20,500 - No subsidized amount is available
30-59 $6,500 - No more than $4,500 of this amount may be subsidized $10,500 - No more than $4,500 of this amount may be subsidized
60+ $7,500 - No more than $5,500 of this amount may be subsidized $12,500 - No more than $5,500 of this amount may be subsidized
Maximum total debt from Stafford Loans $31,000 - No more than $23,000 of this amount may be subsidized $57,500 - No more than $23,000 of this amount may be subsidized $138,500 - No more than $65,000 of this amount may be subsidized

Frequently Asked Questions


  • Are there additional steps I need to do to receive my loan?

    Yes. If you are a first time borrower of federal loans, you must complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN) and Entrance Counseling.  Both of these can be completed online at studentloans.gov and must be done before your loan(s) will apply to your account balance.  The MPN is valid for 10 years, and the Entrance Counseling is only done during the first semester you borrow loan(s) at UB.

    If you are transferring to UB and had a Direct Loan at a previous school, your MPN will transfer to UB automatically. You will need to log in to studentloans.gov to transfer your Entrance Counseling to UB.

  • Do I have to borrow the full amount that was offered to me?

    No.  In fact, we recommend only borrowing the amount you need.  After you click the "Accept" button when accepting your financial aid, you are able to change the amount to what you would like to borrow.  Please keep in mind the amount you borrow will be split equally in half between fall and spring semesters.
  • What are the current interest rates on Direct Loans?

    While interest rates are fixed for the life of the loan, the interest rates can change each year you accept a new loan. For the current rates, please visit the Department of Education's Web site for Direct Loans.

  • Are there fees for these loans?

    Yes. There is a 1.051% origination fee on all Direct Subsidized Loans and Direct Unsubsidized Loans. The loan fee will be proportionately deducted from each loan disbursement.

  • When do I begin repayment on my loan(s)?

    After you graduate, leave school, or drop below half-time enrollment, you will have a six-month grace period before you are required to begin repayment. During this period, you'll receive repayment information from your loan servicer, and you'll be notified of your first payment due date. Payments are usually due monthly.