Federal Direct Student Loan Qualifications/Requirements

A direct student loan is money borrowed by a student or a parent of a student from the United States Department of Education. This type of loan must be used to fund a post-high school education and does not need to be paid back until after a student decreases his/her attendance to less than half time.  Interest rates of direct student loans are lower than other loans. Depending on the type of loan, the government may cover the interest that accrues over the term of the loan.    

The Department of Education has requirements that apply to every type of loan.

  • The student must be a United States citizen, or have eligibility papers if he/she is not. A social security number is necessary.   
  • The student must be working towards a degree in a recognized program.
  • The student must prove that he/she has completed high school, or has the equivalent course completions that qualify him/her to apply to colleges.
  • The money must be used to fund a post-high school education.
  • The student must maintain a stated standard of academic performance. Each college or university has its own definition of satisfactory academic performance

All loans require that you fill out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). If you want to fill out the FAFSA application online, you will need to acquire a Federal Student Aid PIN, which you can do online. The application will require your social security number, your most recent W-2 forms, your most recent Federal Income Tax Returns, records of your most recent untaxed income, and financial papers such as bank statements. If you are a dependent of your parents, they must provide the same information that you provide. If you are married, your spouse must provide the same information that you provide.       

Subsidized Direct Student Loan

This type of loan goes to a full or half time student that is in need of financial aid. Financial need is determined through an analysis of the documents that you submit with your FAFSA.

Unsubsidized Direct Student Loan


This type of goes to a full or half time student that is not necessarily in need of financial aid.

Direct PLUS Loan


This type of loan is for parents of undergraduate students. It is also for graduate or professional students. Financial need does not need to be established.  The borrower needs to have a clean credit history. 

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