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Direct Student Loans

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The Direct Loan program is a federal student aid program where the federal government is the lender. Colleges and universities decide whether they want to participate in the Direct Loan program. If your school participates in the Direct Loan program, Stafford and PLUS loans at that school are provided by the school itself with the US Department of Education serving as the lender.

With the Direct Loan program, the Department of Education serves as the lender and the PLUS and Stafford loans are offered in the same amounts as they are in the FFEL program (where private lenders actually lend the money to students rather than the government).

As they are with the FFEL program, Stafford and PLUS Loans offered through the Direct Loan program are based on the FAFSA application – students must complete this form to be eligible to borrow.

If you attend a Direct Loan school, we encourage you to speak to your school’s financial aid office about how to obtain a Stafford loan.

* Think Financial refers applications to Simple Tuition, a leading student loan comparison site, and is paid a fee for this referral.