A loan is money you and/or your parents borrow and pay back with interest. Student loans can come from the federal government or from private sources, such as a bank or financial institution. Loans made by the federal government, called federal student loans, usually offer borrowers lower interest rates and have more flexible repayment options than loans from banks or other private sources. Learn more about the differences.
There are even loans designed specifically for graduate students. Known as PLUS loans, these federal loans can be used to help pay for education expenses not covered by other financial aid options.
To manage your My Direct Loan, follow this link.
In order to take out a federal loan, you must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
You can complete the FAFSA online, or by returning a paper copy to the federal processor by mail. To request a paper copy, call 800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243) or 334-523-2691. If you are hearing impaired, contact the TTY line at 800-730-8913.
It will take you about 30 minutes to complete the form. For complete instructions on how to complete the FAFSA, visit the Federal Student Aid Information Center
To find out what happens after you submit your FAFSA, watch this short video.