Stafford Loan FAQ

Does my college accept Stafford Loans?
Some colleges do not accept Federal student loan programs but most do. Ask your student aid officer for information about a Stafford Loan.

I still live with my parents or legal guardian. Am I eligible for a Stafford
Loan?
Yes as long as you meet the basic Stafford Loan guidelines it does not matter if you live at home or not. There are some guidelines which affect whether or not you’re a “dependent” or an “independent” student but they have to do with financial contributions from family members and not where you actually live.

How long does it take to be approved for a Stafford Loan?
It can take up to 90 days to process your Stafford Loan application but often times it is completed in 30 days or less if there are no problems.

When do I have to start repaying my Stafford Loan?
Unless you took the “immediate repayment” option, where you started making your payments the month after you received your Stafford Loan, then your first payment is due 180 days (6 months) after graduating or after leaving school for more than six months regardless of whether you graduated or not.

Do I remain eligible for an already approved Stafford Loan if I change schools?
Yes, as long as your new school participates in the Stafford Loan program and you continue to meet the other eligibility requirements.

What is a “half time” student?
If your school uses credit hours and semesters, trimesters, or quarters, “half time” means that you are enrolled at least six semester hours or quarter hours per term if you are in an undergraduate program.
If your school uses credit hours but does not use semesters, trimesters, or quarters then “half time” means that you are enrolled in at least 12 semester hours or 18 quarter hours per year for an undergraduate program.
If your school measures your attendance by standard “hours on the clock” then “half time” is at least 12 hours of attendance per week for an undergraduate program.
These are only general guidelines. Your school may be different. Check with your financial aid office for all of the facts.

I have bad credit. Can I still qualify for a Stafford Loan?
Yes. Eligibility requirements do not include a credit check of any sort.
What happens if I can’t repay my Stafford Loan?
If you haven’t defaulted on your Stafford Loan yet then you can apply for an economic hardship forbearance through the financial aid office of the last school that you attended.

Once the your forbearance is approved you will have to apply for a federal student loan consolidation which will lower your monthly payments and extend the repayment period.

If you have already defaulted on the loan then you must apply for a defaulted student loan consolidation through the financial aid office of the last school that you attended.

Under certain circumstances you can apply to have your Stafford Loan cancelled or forgiven. Again, see the financial aid office of the last school that you attended for more information?

Who is this guy Stafford and why is he loaning all of this money?
The Stafford Student Loan Program (formerly called the Guaranteed Student Loan Program) is named in honor of Senator Robert Theodore Stafford, a Vermont Republican who served in the U.S. Senate from 1971 – 1989. He was, and remains, a staunch supporter of education and has dedicated much of his life to helping students achieve their educational goals. The money that is loaned out in the Stafford Loan program is not his, however. It belongs to the U.S. Government and is funded from tax revenues paid by taxpayers everywhere in the U.S.

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