How much can I get in student loans?

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    Jordan Moore
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    Team StellarFi
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    The amount of money you can borrow for a student loan depends on whether it is a private or federal loan and the level of education you’re completing. If you are an undergraduate student, you can borrow up to $12,500 a year and a total of $57,000 in federal loans. Graduate students can borrow up to $20,500 a year and $138,500 in all. 

    Federal loan limits

    With federal loans, your borrowing limit depends on your school year, whether you are a dependent, and the type of loan you’re applying to – Direct Subsidized, Direct Unsubsidized, or Direct PLUS loans.

    Subsidized loans are only for undergraduates while the unsubsidized are for both undergraduate and graduate students. There are limits to how much you can borrow per year and in total throughout your studies.

    If you reach your total limit, you can still borrow additional federal loans after you pay down outstanding debt. Here is a list of some of the limits per borrower type:

    • The limit for dependent undergraduate students in the first year is $5,500 overall and $3,500 subsidized.
    • The total limit for dependent undergraduate students is an overall $31,000 and $23,000 subsidized.
    • Independent undergraduate students can borrow $9,500 overall and $3,500 as a subsidized loan in the first year. 
    • Independent undergraduate students can borrow a total of $57,000 overall and $23,000 subsidized.
    • Graduate students can only borrow unsubsidized loans with an annual limit of $20,500 and a total of $138,500 including already-borrowed undergraduate loans.

    Direct PLUS loans don’t have a maximum limit but have a higher interest rate. Graduate and professional students as well as parents of undergraduate students can qualify for these loans. 

    You can take out a maximum of the school’s cost of attendance (tuition, board, books, and other fees) excluding any other financial aid you have received. Experts advise maxing out other loan options before opting for Direct PLUS. 

    Private loans

    The limit on a private loan varies by lender. You cannot borrow more than your school’s cost of attendance. 

    Generally, borrowers take out private loans to cover any costs not paid for by the federal loans. These loans also have a higher interest rate than federal loans, so it is advised to borrow as few private loans as possible. Moreover, private loans don’t have additional deferment and forbearance protections like federal loans, nor are there loan forgiveness programs available with private loans.

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StellarFinance, Inc. and its affiliates do not provide tax, legal or accounting advice. This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, tax, legal or accounting advice. You should consult your own tax, legal and accounting advisors before engaging in any transaction.

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