Student Loan Options

Federal Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans

Subsidized and unsubsidized loans are federal student loans for eligible students to help cover the cost of higher education at a four-year college or university, community college, or trade, career, or technical school. The U.S. Department of Education offers eligible students at participating schools Direct Subsidized Loans and Direct Unsubsidized Loans (also referred to as Stafford Loans or Direct Stafford Loans).

Federal Direct PLUS Loans (Parent Loans for Undergraduate Students)

PLUS loans are federal loans that parents of dependent undergraduate students can use to help pay education expenses. The U.S. Department of Education makes Direct PLUS Loans to eligible borrowers through schools participating in the Direct Loan Program.

Here’s a quick overview of Direct PLUS Loans:

  • The U.S. Department of Education is the lender.
  • The borrower must not have an adverse credit history.
  • The maximum loan amount is the student’s cost of attendance (determined by the school) minus any other financial aid received.

Alternative/Private Loans

Private student loans are nonfederal loans, made by a lender such as a bank, credit union, state agency, or a school.