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Loan Comparison Quick Reference



Use our loan comparison chart as a quick, convenient reference guide to the features, terms and repayment details for Federal Direct, PLUS, Perkins and private loans.

For more information, like how to apply for a loan, contact your college's financial aid office.


Loan Comparison Chart
Federal Direct Subsidized LoanFederal Direct Unsubsidized LoanFederal Direct PLUS
Loan
Federal Direct Graduate/
Professional
PLUS
Loan
Perkins
Loan
Private
Loan
No credit checkNo credit checkMust be credit worthyMust be credit worthyNo credit checkMust be credit worthy
Borrower responsible for repayment, no cosigner neededBorrower responsible for repayment, no cosigner neededBorrower responsible for repayment, no student responsibilityBorrower responsible for repayment, no cosigner neededBorrower responsible for repayment, no cosigner neededBorrower responsible for repayment; no cosigner needed if creditworthy. If cosigner needed, equal shared responsibility for repayment and debt
Loan limitsLoan limitsLoan limitsLoan limitsLoan limitsLimits vary by lender
Death/disability benefitDeath/disability benefitDeath/disability benefitDeath/disability benefit Death/disability benefitDeath/disability benefit availability varies; contact lender
Deferment/ forbearance
eligibility
Deferment/ forbearance
eligibility
Deferment/ forbearance eligibilityDeferment/ forbearance eligibilityDeferment / forbearance
eligibility
Possible deferment/
forbearance eligibility
Can be consolidated with other federal loansCan be consolidated with other federal loansCan be consolidated with other federal loansCan be consolidated with other federal loansCan be
consolidated
with other
federal loans
Consolidation
not applicable
Interest is not charged to your loan until 6 months from the time you leave school or drop below half time in school status, or during periods of defermentInterest is charged to your loan from the time the loan is disbursed to the school. You can make payments or capitalize interest until leaving school, subject to approvalInterest is charged to your loan from the time the loan is disbursed to the schoolInterest is charged to your loan from the time the loan is disbursed to the schoolInterest is not charged to your
loan until 9 months from the time you leave school
or drop below
half time in school status
Interest is charged to your loan from the time the loan is disbursed to you