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A direct student loan is a loan in which the federal government provides money directly to the students. Depending on your personal and financial situation, you may qualify for different types of loans.
Federal student loans come as both subsidized and unsubsidized. Under a subsidized loan, the government will pay any interest charges you incur while attending school. After you graduate, you will begin incurring interest while you pay back the loan. Under an unsubsidized loan, you will incur and be responsible for paying interest charges even while attending school.
Your situation as a dependent or independent student, as well as your academic history will affect the amount of money you can borrow. Dependent students qualify for lower amounts than independent students. First-year students also qualify for lower amounts than students that have completed one or two years of their academic careers.
Direct student loans usually have a 6-month grace period following graduation. Following the grace period, monthly payments must begin at an amount that depends on the loan and budget of the student.
Parents can also qualify for student loans to pay for their children's education. Such loans do not have grace periods and typically payments must be made even while the student is in school.
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