Eligible Borrowers

Students must be U.S. citizens or eligible non-citizens and be enrolled at least half-time in a qualifying program. Unlike with subsidized loans, borrowers do not need to show financial need to qualify for unsubsidized loans.

Repayment Terms

  • While in school, interest will continue to accrue on the loans.
  • Loans enter repayment 6 months following the borrower’s initial graduation, withdrawal, or drop to less than half-time enrollment.
  • Upon entering repayment, loans are set to a Standard 10 year repayment term. Borrowers can switch to an alternative repayment plan if necessary.
  • In some circumstances, the borrower can qualify for a deferment where loan payments are postponed for a period of time. During deferment, interest will continue to accrue.
  • A borrower may be able to request a forbearance to temporarily stop payments. During forbearance, interest will continue to accrue, and any unpaid interest may be capitalized.
  • There are no prepayment penalties for borrowers who choose to pay off their loans ahead of time.

Current Interest Rate

For Undergraduate Students:

Direct Unsubsidized Loans first disbursed on or after 7/1/2013 and before 7/1/2014 3.86%
Direct Unsubsidized Loans first disbursed on or after 7/1/2014 and before 7/1/2015 4.66%


For Graduate Students:

Direct Unsubsidized Loans first disbursed on or after 7/1/2013 and before 7/1/2014 5.41%
Direct Unsubsidized Loans first disbursed on or after 7/1/2014 and before 7/1/2015 6.21%


Loan Limits for Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans

Undergraduate dependent students may qualify for a certain limit in Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans. Undergraduate independent students and dependent students with parents unable to borrow a PLUS loan can qualify for additional unsubsidized loans. See the table below for a breakdown of loan limits.

Year Dependent Students excluding students with parents ineligible for PLUS Loans Independent Students & dependent undergrad students with parents ineligible for PLUS Loans
1st Year Undergraduate Annual Loan Limit $5,500 (not to exceed $3,500 in subsidized loans) $9,500 (not to exceed $3,500 in subsidized loans)
2nd Year Undergraduate Annual Limit $6,500 (not to exceed $4,500 in subsidized loans) $10,500 (not to exceed $4,500 in subsidized loans)
3rd Year & Beyond Undergraduate Annual Limit $7,500 (not to exceed $5,500 in subsidized loans) $12,500 (not to exceed $5,500 in subsidized loans)
Graduate/ Professional Students Annual Limit N/A $20,500 (only unsubsidized)
Subsidized & Unsubsidized Aggregate Limit $31,000 (not to exceed 23,000 in subsidized loans) $57,500 for undergraduates(not to exceed 23,000 in subsidized loans)

$138,500 for graduate or professional students (not to exceed $65,500 in subsidized loans)

The graduate aggregate limit includes all federal loans received for undergraduate education

Recent News

More than 90% of student debt today is in the form of federal loans. If you graduated from college recently and have a federal loan, you may have the option to temporarily postpone your payments, extend them, or lower them. The challenge is figuring out which of the eight major federal repayment plans is best for your situation.
The Federal Reserve’s decision to raise interest rates for the first time since 2006 likely won’t affect most student loan borrowers—not this year, at least.
Some of you may be familiar with the Pay As You Earn (PAYE) Repayment Plan, which caps payments at 10% of a borrower’s monthly income and forgives any remaining balance on your student loans after 20 years of qualifying repayment. But this plan is only for recent borrowers. REPAYE solves this problem. Like the name implies, REPAYE has some similarities to PAYE. First and foremost, REPAYE, like PAYE, sets payments at no more than 10% of income. However, REPAYE—unlike PAYE— is available to Direct Loan borrowers regardless of when they took out their loans.
Federal lawmakers are looking to repeal a provision in the recently passed U.S. budget that allows the government to robocall and text cellphones to collect debts, including student loans.
Student loans are coming due for borrowers who graduated or left school in May. But choosing the best repayment plan while avoiding misinformation and student loan scams isn't always easy.
As part of the Obama Administration's commitment to helping students and borrowers, the Department of Education is announcing the publication of two regulatory packages that will protect students in the rapidly-expanding college debit and prepaid card marketplace and add a new income-based repayment plan so more borrowers can limit the amount of their payments to 10 percent of their income.
Repayment on the most common student loans (federal Stafford loans) starts six months after the borrower graduates. So, if like most new college grads, you donned a cap and gown in May of this year, it’s about time to pay up. Paying off student loan debt can be intimidating, but there are many things you can do to reduce the stress of the situation.
The changes, which will be implemented over the course of 2016, will significantly affect the process of filing for federal financial aid and, for some families, the amount of aid they'll receive. For families of current and prospective college students, here are the changes to be aware of – and how to manage them.
In a report that came out this September, the CFPB examined student loan servicing practices and came up with a set of guidelines for how to fix problems in this business. The CFPB and Department of Education have also issued “joint principles” on how to clean up loan servicing, although they fall short of being stringent regulations or actual laws. In the interim, here is what you need to know when dealing with your own student loan servicer.
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) helps determine a student’s eligibility for aid by asking for information on the income and assets of the student and his or her parents for the previous year. Since the FAFSA can be completed as early as January 1, and because many schools want the form filed early in the year, families commonly fill out the form with estimates of their previous year’s income and then adjust the figures later after completing their tax returns. This has sometimes created problems that affected students’ financial aid packages. To simplify and streamline the process, the Obama administration recently changed the application guidelines in a way that will affect college planning for most families.