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Stafford Loan Limits Increased for 2008

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

In recent years tuition has been rising faster than federal financial aid. In order to address this, Congress passed a law this year which boosts federal funding for students. One aspect of this law was to increase the annual limits for Unsubsidized Stafford Loans by $2,000 for undergraduate students.

For example, last year a dependent freshman could only take out $3,500 in Subsidized and Unsubsidized Stafford Loans, this year he will be able to borrow $5,500, up to $3,500 of which may be subsidized. This is important because Stafford Loans offer much better terms and are generally lower cost than other types of loans, including PLUS and private loans. You can compare Stafford Loans to private loans using our student loan marketplace.

Annual Stafford Loan Limits

Year in School 2007 2008
Subsidized Total Subsidized Total
Freshman Dependent $3,500 $3,500 $3,500 $5,500
Independent $3,500 $7,500 $3,500 $9,500
Sophomore Dependent $4,500 $4,500 $4,500 $6,500
Independent $4,500 $8,500 $4,500 $10,500
Junior Dependent $5,500 $5,500 $5,500 $7,500
Independent $5,500 $10,500 $5,500 $12,500
Senior Dependent $5,500 $5,500 $5,500 $7,500
Independent $5,500 $10,500 $5,500 $12,500

Note: Dependent students whose parents do not have access to PLUS Loans qualify for the independent student Stafford Loan limits

The law also increased the total amount a student could take out in Subsidized and Unsubsidized Stafford Loans.

Total Stafford Loans (Subsidized and Unsubsidized)

2007 2008
Undergraduate (Dependent) $23,000 $31,000 ($23,000)
Undergraduate (Independent) $46,000 $57,500 ($23,000)

Note: Subsidized Stafford Loan limit in parenthesis

You can also use our Student Loan Marketplace to find Stafford Loans


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