What Is Federal Direct Loan Subsidized Vs Unsubsidized

What Is Federal Direct Loan Subsidized Vs Unsubsidized – If you are thinking about getting a federal education loan, then there are two options to choose from: subsidized or unsubsidized. As the word suggests, subsidized loans offer some subsidy to students as interest. And the unsubsidized ones do not have that characteristic. In addition, there are many more differences between Subsidized loans versus Unsubsidized loans. Those planning to take out a federal student loan should consider these differences to decide on the type of student loan to go for.

Before detailing the differences between subsidized and unsubsidized loans, let’s understand what the two loans mean.

What Is Federal Direct Loan Subsidized Vs Unsubsidized

What Is Federal Direct Loan Subsidized Vs Unsubsidized

Subsidized loans are only available to undergraduate students. The purpose of the subsidized loan is to support students who need additional financial support. And that is why students applying for this loan must demonstrate financial need. No interest accrues on such loans while the student is in school. In addition, no interest accrues during the deferral period.

Federal Unsubsidized Loans

However, unsubsidized student loans are available to everyone, whether they are pursuing graduate or undergraduate programs or a professional degree. Interest on this loan starts accruing immediately upon repayment. In addition, the interest that remains unpaid before the grace period or period of deferment of the loan is capitalized. In addition, students applying for this loan also do not need to demonstrate any financial need.

Students undergoing undergraduate studies are only eligible to apply for subsidized loans. Because every student, whether pursuing undergraduate or graduate studies or even a professional degree, is eligible to take out an unsubsidized loan. Of course, in both cases, the student must be enrolled at least half an hour.

Subsidized loans have lower loan limits compared to unsubsidized loans. In contrast, unsubsidized loans have higher loan limits. For example, a first-year undergraduate student can borrow up to $3,500 in subsidized loans, but the limit is $5,500 for unsubsidized loans.

To qualify for a subsidized loan, a student must demonstrate financial need. The borrower must provide financial information showing need when submitting the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). In contrast, there is no such need for unsubsidized loans.

Subsidized Vs. Unsubsidized Loans

While the need is demonstrated in the case of a subsidized loan, all sources of financing are considered. For example, family contributions, grants, scholarships, etc. After all these are adjusted, if there is still a gap in relation to the total cost and only then will the student be eligible for a subsidized loan grant. If these resources are sufficient to cover the student’s expenses, then no subsidized loans are available. However, this is not the case with the unsubsidized loan, and the student can still apply for and get an unsubsidized loan.

Let us try to understand this aspect of loan eligibility with an example. Let’s say Mr. A is a dependent undergraduate student from first year. His total eligible expenses for the first year are $18,600. The EFC (expected family contribution) of Mr. A is $10,000, and for other grants, he is eligible for $9,000.

In this case, Mr. A would not be eligible for a subsidized loan because the EFC and other financial aid would be more than his cost of attendance/expenses for the first year of undergraduate. Therefore, there is no financial need.

What Is Federal Direct Loan Subsidized Vs Unsubsidized

Mr. A, however, is eligible for an unsubsidized loan. Even though Mr. A needs a loan of $9,600 ($18,600 less $9,000), he can only get $5,500, which is the maximum available for a first-year dependent undergraduate student.

Should You Accept Each Of The Federal Student Loans You Are Offered?

With a subsidized loan, the federal government pays the interest during the college term. Interest on this loan starts accruing immediately upon repayment. And it continues to accumulate.

On both subsidized and unsubsidized loans, no payments are required within the first 6 months after a student leaves school. But during this moratorium, the interest on subsidized loans is paid by the education department. Therefore the interest during the grace period is the department’s account and not the student’s.

Because no such fee comes from the education department for all unsubsidized loans. And the interest continues to accumulate and remains the responsibility of the student to pay even in the grace period. At the end of the grace period, such interest is capitalized or added to the original loan amount. And therefore, it increases the total amount of the loan up to the interest limit of the grace period.

Deferment means that payment is temporarily stopped. The education department pays the interest during the deferment period. But, with unsubsidized loans, interest accrues during the deferral period, and again the final repayment is made by the student alone.

What Is A Direct Unsubsidized Loan

In case of subsidized loans, borrowers can borrow up to 150% of the duration of their educational course. This means that if the academic program is for four years, then the maximum period of eligibility is six years. Conversely, such extended period is not applicable to unsubsidized loans.

Along with the differences, there are also many similarities between subsidized and unsubsidized loans. These similarities are:

The school determines the final amount of the student loan. Once the applicant submits the application and other documents, the affiliated school provides details on the financial aid package. This package will show the amount the student can get under both types of loans.

What Is Federal Direct Loan Subsidized Vs Unsubsidized

The interest rate for undergraduate students is the same under both types of loans. Currently, the interest rate is 2.75% for undergraduates. The interest rate is 4.30% on unsubsidized graduate degree loans.

Direct Subsidized/unsubsidized Loan Timeline To Disbursement

These two types of loans have the same fees. Currently, the loan fee for both loan types is 1.057% (for loans between October 1, 2020 or later, and October 1, 2022).

This is another similarity between the two types of loans. In both types of federal loans, there is no credit check for the borrower, whether he is applying for a subsidized or unsubsidized loan.

If the student has both subsidized and unsubsidized loans, it is a better idea to pay off the latter first. This is because the interest on the unsubsidized loan continues to accrue during the course. Therefore, the total outstanding balance grows in the case of unsubsidized loans. So, by giving priority to this loan, the borrower can save on interest more than in the case of a subsidized loan.

For example, let’s say the student took out subsidized and unsubsidized loans of $2,000 each last year (at 2.75%). Once the course is completed, the remaining balance in the case of the subsidized loan will remain at the original level, i.e. $2000. This is because the education department will cover the interest amount during the grace period. But, the balance of the unsubsidized loan increases with the amount of interest, that is, $2, 055.

Subsidized Vs. Unsubsidized Loans: Which Is Better For Students?

Therefore if one does not start paying as early as possible, this loan will continue to grow.

Generally, both types of loans have the same interest rate. However, in case of subsidized loans, the disbursement is less over time because of the interest subsidy one gets. This means that interest cannot accrue while the student is in college. For this reason, it is better to go for a subsidized loan first. At the same time, it is better to pay off the unsubsidized loan first.

Sanjay Borad is the founder and CEO of . He is passionate about maintenance and making things simple and easy. This blog has been running since 2009 and tries to explain “Financial Management Concepts in Layman’s Terms”. While a college education is a priority for many people, the ever-increasing cost threatens to push it out of financial reach. If you don’t have the savings to cover the cost of attending college, look into loan options.

What Is Federal Direct Loan Subsidized Vs Unsubsidized

Private college loans can come from many sources, including banks, credit unions, and other financial institutions. You can apply for a private loan at any time and use the money for any expenses you want, including tuition, room and board, books, computers, transportation, and living expenses.

Subsidized Vs. Unsubsidized Student Loans: Know The Difference

Unlike some federal loans, private loans are not based on the borrower’s financial needs. In fact, you may need to undergo a credit check to prove your creditworthiness. If you have little or no credit history, or poor credit, you may need a loan cosigner.

Borrowers should note that private loans often have higher loan limits compared to federal loans. The repayment period for student loans from private lenders can also vary. While some may allow you to defer payments until after you graduate, many lenders require that you begin repaying your loan as soon as you enter school.

Federal student loans are administered by the United States Department of Education. They tend to have lower interest rates and more flexible payment plans than private loans. To qualify for a federal loan, you will need to complete and submit the government’s Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).


Subsidized Student Loans Vs. Unsubsidized Student Loans

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