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Stafford Loans

Subsidised Stafford Loans

This loan is based on financial need as demonstrated to the US Department of Education. The US Federal Government pays your interest (subsidises you) while you are studying at least half-time, during the grace period and during an authorised period of deferment. Only Undergraduate students are eligible for the Subsidised Stafford Loan.

Repayments for the loan will commence:

  • Six months after graduation,
  • If you withdraw from study, or
  • If you drop below half-time enrolment (less than four units per semester at UQ).

Unsubsidised Stafford Loans

This loan is not based on financial need and is available to all eligible students. With the unsubsidised loan, the student is responsible for paying the interest. Interest accrues immediately from the time of your first disbursement. Options for payment include:

  • Making minimum monthly payments of the unpaid balance including interest, whichever is less while in school. This will save you a considerable amount and reduce your debt in the long run
  • Deferring your interest and principal payments until you enter the repayment period (at which point this interest is ‘capitalised’). This option may increase your monthly repayment amounts when you leave university

Loan Limits

There are limits on the maximum amount in Subsidised and Unsubsidised loans that you are eligible to receive each academic year (annual loan limit) and over your lifetime academic career (aggregate loan limits). These limits depend on:

  • what year you are in school, and
  • whether you are a dependent or independent student

The following chart provides maximum annual and aggregate loan limits for Subsidised and Unsubsidised loans as of 1 July 2012:

Year of study

Annual Subsidised Loan Limits

Annual Total Combined Loan Limits (Sub & Unsub)

Aggregate Subsidised Loan Limits

Aggregate Combined Loans Limits (Sub & Unsub)

Undergraduate Dependent Students

1st year

$3,500

$5,500

$23,000

$31,000

2nd year

$4,500

$6,500

$23,000

$31,000

3rd year & above

$5,500

$7,500

$23,000

$31,000

Undergraduate Independent Students

1st year

$3,500

$9,500

$23,000

$57,000

2nd year

$4,500

$10,500

$23,000

$57,000

3rd year & above

$5,500

$12,500

$23,000

$57,000

Graduate & Professional Students

All years

$0

$20,500

$65,500

$138,500

Direct PLUS Loans

Grad PLUS

The Grad Plus loan allows Graduate students to borrow funds to pay for educational expenses on their own or with an eligible co-signer.

  • Loan requires the borrower to pass a credit check
  • Before applying for this loan the borrower must first apply for and the school must determine the student’s eligibility for the maximum annual Stafford loan amount
  • Repayment usually occurs 6 months after the student graduates, withdraws or drops below half-time enrolment

Parent PLUS

The Parent PLUS loan allows parents to borrow funds to pay for the educational expenses of their dependent (Undergraduate) student.

  • Loan is need-based
  • A credit check must be passed
  • Interest begins to accrue when funds are disbursed and repayment begins within 60 days after the loan has been fully disbursed

Loan Limits

The maximum annual PLUS loan amount you can borrow is the Cost of Attendance minus any other financial assistance received (i.e. Scholarship).

At present, there are no aggregate loan limits for PLUS loans.

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