Repayment on Direct Loans is not required until 6 months after the student leaves school, as long as the student remains enrolled at least half-time. Interest accrual while the student is in school is dependent on the type of Direct Loan received (subsidized or unsubsidized). Unsubsidized Direct Loans will accrue interest while the student is in school.
Interest Rates & Fees
The interest rates for Direct Loans with a first disbursement date on or after July 1, 2017 and before July 1, 2018 are:
- 4.45% on Subsidized & Unsubsidized Undergraduate Direct Loans
- 5.31% on Unsubsidized Graduate Direct Loan
The origination fee for a Direct Loan is 1.066% for loans originated on or after October 1, 2017 and before October 1, 2018. For loans originated on or after October 1, 2016 and before October 1, 2017, the origination fee was 1.069%.
Annual and Lifetime Stafford Loan Borrowing Limits
Federal regulations specify the maximum Federal Direct Loan amount any student can borrow each academic year, depending upon grade level. Actual eligibility is specified on the University of Maine Award Notification and may be less than the annual maximum:
|Grade Level and Dependency||Credit Hours Earned||Maximum Direct Subsidized||Maximum Total Direct Loan(Subsidized and Unsubsidized)|
|Dependent first-year||Less than 24||$3,500||$5,500|
|Dependent junior or senior||54 and above||$5,500||$7,500|
|Independent first-year||Less than 24||$3,500||$9,500|
|Independent junior or senior||54 and above||$5,500||$12,500|
|Graduate student||any credit hours||N/A||$20,500|
NOTE: Dependent students whose parents are denied a Federal Direct PLUS Loan are eligible for the independent student limits if there is a valid Direct PLUS Loan denial (dated within the last year) on file with our office.
Lifetime Direct Loan Limits
There are also lifetime limits regarding how much Stafford Loan you can borrow. The limits, effective July 1, 2008, are as follows:
|Grade Level and Dependency||Maximum Direct Subsidized||Maximum Total Direct Loan (Subsidized and Unsubsidized)|
Note: The graduate debt limit includes loans received for undergraduate study.
Loan Repayment and Consolidation
Some students may want to consider consolidating their federal student loans into a Consolidation Loan. This is an option that has both pros and cons, so be sure you investigate this option carefully. For more information on Consolidation Loans, click here.