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What types of federal student loans are available?

The U.S. Department of Education’s federal student loan program is the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan) Program. Under this program, the U.S. Department of Education is your lender.

There are four types of Direct Loans available:

Direct Subsidized Loans - are loans made to eligible undergraduate students who demonstrate financial need to help cover the costs of higher education at a college or career school. 

Direct Unsubsidized Loans
- are loans made to eligible undergraduate, graduate, and professional students, but eligibility is not based on financial need.

Direct PLUS Loans - are loans made to graduate or professional students and parents of dependent undergraduate students to help pay for education expenses not covered by other financial aid. Eligibility is not based on financial need, but a credit check is required. Borrowers who have an adverse credit history must meet additional requirements to qualify.

Direct Consolidation Loans - allow you to combine all of your eligible federal student loans into a single loan with a single loan servicer.

A Funny Look at Student Loans

If Student Loans Were Honest - Honest Ads (College Debt)

While our site is proud of its listing of close to two million scholarships, most students will finance their college education by way of FAFSA Grants and Student Loans.  Despite this subject constantly being on the news and in publications and online most people are still confused about this subject.

Mostly we hear bad things about taking out loans for student loans. The alternative for many is no higher education resulting in lower lifetime wages and less career choices.

A student loan is a type of loan designed to help students pay for post-secondary education and the associated fees, such as tuition, books and supplies, and living expenses. It may differ from other types of loans in the fact that the interest rate may be substantially lower and the repayment schedule may be deferred while the student is still in school.

Student loan debt in the United States has been growing rapidly since 2006, rising to $1.6 trillion by 2019, roughly 7.5% of GDP. While getting the loans may have it's repurccussions, not getting the proper education for the best career that you obtain may have harsher results than not getting one.

There are two types of student loans:

Federal loans - Sponsored by the federal government and private student loans, which broadly includes state-affiliated nonprofits and institutional loans provided by schools. The overwhelming majority of student loans are federal loans. Federal loans can be "subsidized" or "unsubsidized." Interest does not accrue on subsidized loans while the students are in school. Student loans may be offered as part of a total financial aid package that may also include grants, scholarships, and/or work study opportunities. Applying for these federal loans will come through FAFSA.

Private Student Loans -

Direct PLUS loans are federal loans that graduate or professional degree students and parents of dependent undergraduate students can use to help pay for education expenses. Direct PLUS loans have a fixed interest rate and are not subsidized, which means that interest accrues while the student is enrolled in school.