What is a Stafford Loan?
Stafford loans are the most common loans offered to you, and are available until the end of the academic year. Lane will automatically offer Subsidized loans in your award package if you are eligible. Beginning with the 2013-14 aid year, Lane will only offer Unsubsidized loans by separate request, after your award letter has been packaged without them. Even if you put on your FAFSA that you are only interested in grants, Lane Community College will still offer loans. You are never required to accept loans, and can choose how much loan money you want, if you do. Stafford loans do not require a credit check and you are not required (though you are encouraged) to make payments while in school. It's very important to think carefully about how much loan you will need, and avoid taking out more than you must, since this is money you will eventually have to pay back.
Stafford loans come in two types:
Subsidized-There is no interest charged to you during the time that you are in school at least half-time. Can go up to $3500 per year for first year students, or $4500 per year for second year students. If you drop below half-time at any point, interest is accrued for that time period, and stops again if you go back to half-time or more enrollment later.
Unsubsidized-Interest begins immediately on the portion of loan disbursed to you, in a separate account (not capitalized until repayment starts). The maximum any student may have in a year is $6000, but is usually limited to $2000 if you are a "dependent" student. These amounts may not cause your total awards to exceed your maximum Cost of Attendance Budget.
First time borrowers must wait 30 days into your first term for a Stafford loan to pay.