what the differnts between a Stafford Loan and a regualar student loan
There are two types of Stafford Loans – a subsidized stafford and an unsubsidized. The Stafford Loans are from the federal government and have annual and cumulative maximums by year. For example, the most you can borrow on a stafford loan as a dependent student your freshman year is $3,500. This amount increases each year to a maximum of $5,500 your senior year. The total amount you can borrow in a stafford for your undergraduate degree is $23,000.
The major benefit of the subsidized stafford is the fact that the government pays the interest on your loan while you are a student. In other words – it's interest free money while you are in school. The repayment (and interest) begins 6 months after you graduate from school.
The unsubsidized stafford loan has interest accruing from the date of the first disbursement of funds to your school.
Your level of need determines whether you qualify for a subsidized or unsubsidized stafford loan. You must submit a FAFSA to learn whether you qualify for either type of stafford loan.
Regular student loans are not guaranteed by the government, do not require the completion of the FAFSA and can cover the complete cost of college (not a good idea!). You need to apply for these loans and need to have credit and income – usually hard for students. Therefore students usually get a cosigner – also, not always easy to do.
Be sure to check all fees associated with any loans.
This is a good publication from the department of ed regarding student loans. Stafford loans are backed by the government and Subsidized Stafford loans the interest while you are in school.
Private student loans are not subsidized by the government, they have higher fees and higher interest rates.