First, you must complete the
Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). After your FAFSA is processed, your school will review the results and will inform you of whether or not you're eligible for a loan.
You must then complete the promissory note provided by your school or the Direct Loan Servicing Center. Remember, the promissory note is a legal document requiring you to repay the loan. Read it carefully before you sign.
Federal Direct Loans are sometimes referred to as Direct Stafford Loans. To learn more about the differences between Direct Subsidized Loans and Direct Unsubsidized Loans, visit the
Department of Education's Federal Student Aid site.
The Direct Loan Program offers four repayment plans that are available to borrowers of Direct Loans. The repayment plans will be explained to you in more detail during entrance and exit counseling sessions at your school.
Repayment Estimator chart and tool on the Department of Education's Federal Student Aid site shows estimated monthly payments for various loan amounts under each of the plans. In some cases it may be beneficial for you to consolidate one or more of your Direct Loans into a Consolidation Loan.
You can find more details about each type of repayment plan at the
Federal Student Aid site.
FinAid.org to access a loan payment calculator. This will assist you in estimating your monthly loan payments and the annual salary required to manage them.