Stafford loans are popular federal loans that are given to students to help with college expenses. Just about all students are eligible for them. Not only is the eligibility open to most students, but your credit history does not affect whether or not you are approved for the loan.
In order to apply for Stafford loans you must complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) which will help determine your financial need. To qualify for a subsidized Stafford loan you need to demonstrate a minimum amount of need. Even if you don't qualify for a subsidized loan, most students will be able to get an unsubsidized loan. The two major differences between subsidized and unsubsidized loans are the interest rates and borrowing amounts allowed. Both are lower with subsidized loans.
Another requirement for applying for Stafford loans is you must be enrolled at least half time. For most schools and programs this means a minimum of six credit hours. The exact amount depends on the lender's terms as well as your school's policies.
Stafford loans are favorites among students because they have a low, fixed interest rate and flexible repayment terms. For instance, no payments are required while you are still enrolled in school and you often have a grace period of six months between your graduation date and when your first payment is due. For a student just getting on their feet, the grace period is a great help.
As with other federal loans, these loans can be consolidated when you're finished with school. By consolidating you combine multiple loans into one, with a low, fixed interest rate and one monthly payment. This makes repaying your loans easier and will usually lower your interest rate, saving you money in the process.
Although there are many other options when looking for student funding and financial aid, Stafford loans are among the best for students looking to make their transition from school to the working world as easy as possible. Most lenders are more than willing to help make your repayment terms as smooth as possible often restructuring the terms to suit the borrower.