The Federal Stafford Loan is one of the most popular education loans for undergraduates and graduate students. These loans are made available through private money lenders.
What are the criteria for a Stafford loan?
First and foremost you need to be a U.S citizen. Then you should submit your FAFSA. This is very important as without this you cannot get a Stafford loan. Don’t forget to include your school’s FAFSA code, so that the results are sent to financial aid’s office in your school. A fortnight after you file for FAFSA a SAR (student aid report) will be mailed to you. You should submit this to the school or college you wish to apply for. You can send this to more than one school. Indicate in your report which financial aid you wish to apply for. Applying for a Stafford loan does not end here. You still have to fill a promissory note. All this can be done online. Ensure you keep a copy of your loan application, promissory note and your FAFSA code to chase up later on. It is also essential that you should not have availed any other student loan or should have completed paying it off.
Once the lender has received the promissory note, funds will be made available to the school for disbursements. Schools set disbursement dates generally in July and absorb your Stafford Loan amount directly to tuition cost. Any money left over will be sent to you as a refund check.
The main advantage with a Stafford loan is you start returning only after you finish education. Moreover if the amount sanctioned is not enough you can also apply for a private student loan. It is not necessary that you need to be a full time student. It’s enough if you enroll half time.