The Stafford Loan is a federal student loan for students attending an accredited post-secondary institution. Prospective students can apply for two types of Stafford Loans, which are the subsidized Stafford Loan and the Unsubsidized Stafford Loan. The Subsidized Stafford Loan is distributed based on financial need, while the Unsubsidized Stafford Loan is not. Students that qualify for the Subsidized Stafford Loans do not have to pay interest, while in school, for the first six months after you leave school, and if he or she qualifies to have your payments deferred.

The government has placed certain limits on the amount that a student can borrow from the Stafford Loan. If a student reaches their lifetime loan limit, he or she cannot receive any more of that type of loan. If the student exceeds their limit, aid already disbursed will be billed back. The student will have to find alternate ways to finance their education. Therefore it is important to only borrow only what you need for educational expenses, and to keep track of your cumulative debt.

If you're a **dependent undergraduate student** (excluding students whose parents cannot borrow PLUS Loans), each year you can borrow up to:

· $5,500 if you’re a first-year student enrolled in a program of study that is at least a full academic year. No more than $3,500 of this amount can be in subsidized loans.

· $6,500 if you've completed your first year of study and the remainder of your program is at least a full academic year. No more than $4,500 of this amount can be in subsidized loans.

· $7,500 if you've completed two years of study and the remainder of your program is at least a full academic year. No more than $5,500 of this amount can be in subsidized loans.

· $5,500 if you’re a first-year student enrolled in a program of study that is at least a full academic year. No more than $3,500 of this amount can be in subsidized loans.

· $6,500 if you've completed your first year of study and the remainder of your program is at least a full academic year. No more than $4,500 of this amount can be in subsidized loans.

· $7,500 if you've completed two years of study and the remainder of your program is at least a full academic year. No more than $5,500 of this amount can be in subsidized loans.

If you're an **independent undergraduate student and a dependent student whose parents have applied for but were unable to get a PLUS Loan**, each year you can borrow up to:

· $9,500 if you're a first-year student enrolled in a program of study that is at least a full academic year. No more than $3,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.

· $10,500 if you've completed your first year of study and the remainder of your program is at least a full academic year. No more than $4,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.

· $12,500 if you've completed two years of study and the remainder of your program is at least a full academic year. No more than $5,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.

· $9,500 if you're a first-year student enrolled in a program of study that is at least a full academic year. No more than $3,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.

· $10,500 if you've completed your first year of study and the remainder of your program is at least a full academic year. No more than $4,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.

· $12,500 if you've completed two years of study and the remainder of your program is at least a full academic year. No more than $5,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.

If you're a **graduate or professional degree student**, each year you can borrow up to $20,500. The subsidized Stafford Loan is no longer available to graduate students, so there is no longer a graduate Stafford Loan loan limit. Graduates previously were able to borrow up to $8,500 in subsidized Stafford loans.

The maximum total debt allowed from Stafford Loans is $138,500 when you graduate with a graduate or professional degree. No more than $65,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans. This maximum total graduate debt limit includes Stafford Loans should include all undergraduate student loans as well. Students that participate in health professional programs have a limit of $224,000.

These amounts are the maximum yearly amounts you can borrow in both subsidized and unsubsidized Stafford Loans. Because you can't borrow more than your cost of attendance minus the amount of any Federal Pell Grant you're eligible for and minus any other financial aid you'll get, you may receive less than the annual maximum amounts.

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The maximum total debt allowed from Stafford Loans is $138,500 when you graduate with a graduate or professional degree. No more than $65,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans. This maximum total graduate debt limit includes Stafford Loans should include all undergraduate student loans as well. Students that participate in health professional programs have a limit of $224,000.

These amounts are the maximum yearly amounts you can borrow in both subsidized and unsubsidized Stafford Loans. Because you can't borrow more than your cost of attendance minus the amount of any Federal Pell Grant you're eligible for and minus any other financial aid you'll get, you may receive less than the annual maximum amounts.

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