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Can I apply for  Stafford loan to fund my post-graduate study?

I finished my undergraduate prigram a couple of years back and I have been employed for a year now. I had applied for student loans for college to pay for my first degree and my federal student loan repayment track is good.  However, I still want to further my studies by undertaling a post-graduate program next year.

Therefore, I have been looking for graduate loans to assist me with the tuition fees. Does the Stafford loan apply for graduate students as well? If so, what is the criterion for consideration?

Dana Keller

in Student Loans

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Jodi Brooks on March 20, 2018

Stafford loans are a good alternative that graduate students taking up further studies can apply. If you are eligible and your application is successful, you can receive up to a maximum of $20,500 unsubsidized loan annually.

However, you can only borrow a total maximum loan of $138,500. Additionally, if you are a beneficiary of this loan for your earlier degree, the amount is included in this figure. This loan, like all other federal loans has a very low fixed interest rate (as low as 3.4% for undergraduates who qualify for Stafford subsidized students loans for college). However, the fixed interest is usually higher for graduate students and it is important to understand the rates before you apply. An administration fee of 1% is also charged on the amount loaned.

The good thing about this loan is that it offers a grace period of 6 months after you graduate to begin making payments. In this period, you are advised on you repayment plan, agreed terms and any other useful information regarding your loan.

Eligibility criteria:

The requirements for this loan are quite similar to any other federal graduate loan that you may have applied before. That is:

  1. You must be a citizen of the US or a permanent US resident. You must be able to prove that you are a citizen. However, in some cases non-citizens may be eligible to apply.
  2. You must fill FAFSA form and submit it to relevant authority before the set deadline. I’m sure you have filled this form before as you applied for your first federal loan. Therefore, you know that it is important to fully complete and hand it in at the appropriate time.
  3. You must have enrolled at a recognized college full time or half time. This means that if you have not enrolled yet, you cannot apply for the loan. As soon as you apply for the course you intend to study, and your application is successful, start the loan application process. Start these processes early.
  4. You must be on a par with repayments of your previous federal student loan. This should not be a problem as you have mentioned that you are making repayments and your progress is good. You can attach the proper records to prove this. You actually stand a good a chance of being granted this loan because of your good credit score.

Kayla Bowena year ago

Stafford loans are actually the best for undergraduate, post-graduate or any other professional degree program. It has the following advantages:

  • Very low-interest rates: its main purpose is to help students access financial aid for their after high school studies. It is not designed to make profits and therefore charges low-fixed-interest rates. In subsidized loans, the federal government pays most of the accrued interest for the student.
  • Few requirements for consideration: no other requirements apart from the ones mentioned above are required.
  • A credit check is not necessary: a credit check is not part of the procedure for the award of these loans. Therefore, you do not need worry. However, you should not be in default of any other federal loan.
  • Available for both graduate and undergraduate students in the US
  • Half-year grace period before repayments after completing school: this period is given to accommodate for job searching.


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