Student Loans

Federal Direct Student Loans

Student loans are borrowed money that you will need to repay after you leave school. If you are awarded a loan, you have the option to take out a smaller loan amount to reduce your future debt. Federal Direct Student Loans do not require a separate application--your FAFSA qualifies you for this type of aid. 

  • Undergraduate Loans

    • If you are borrowing a Direct Loan, you may be awarded a subsidized or unsubsidized loan depending on your financial need.


      • Basis of Award: Student has financial need.
      • What it means: Interest does not accrue while student is enrolled at least half-time.


      • Basis of Award: Student does not have financial need.
      • What it means: Interest accrues while student is enrolled in school. You will receive quarterly interest statements on your unsubsidized loan from your lender. It is recommended that you pay this interest every quarter. If you do not, the interest will be added to your loan amount, which will result in owing interest upon interest. For current interest rate information, visit
    • First-Year Students

      • Subsidized loan limit: $3,500
      • Unsubsidized loan limit: $2,000
      • Total loan limit: $5,500

      Second-Year Students

      • Subsidized loan limit: $4,500
      • Unsubsidized loan limit: $2,000
      • Total loan limit: $6,500

      Third and Fourth-Year Students

      • Subsidized loan limit: $5,500
      • Unsubsidized loan limit: $2,000
      • Total loan limit: $7,500
    • First-Year Students

      • Subsidized loan limit: $3,500
      • Unsubsidized loan limit: $6,000
      • Total loan limit: $9,500

      Second-Year Students

      • Subsidized loan limit: $4,500
      • Unsubsidized loan limit: $6,000
      • Total loan limit: $10,500

      Third and Fourth-Year Students

      • Subsidized loan limit: $5,500
      • Unsubsidized loan limit: $7,000
      • Total loan limit: $12,500
      • Subsidized loan limit: $23,000
      • Unsubsidized loan limit: $8,000
      • Total loan limit: $31,000
      • Subsidized loan limit: $23,000
      • Unsubsidized loan limit: $34,500
      • Total loan limit: $57,500

      Note: Includes students whose parents are unable to borrow under the parent loan (PLUS) program.

      • Fall – November 15
      • Spring – April 15
      • Summer – July 15
    • Students must begin repayment of their student loan(s) if any one of the following actions occur:

      • Withdraw from school
      • Drop below half-time status (fewer than 6 hours during a long semester)
      • Graduate
  • Graduate Student Loans

    • Annual Loan Limit: $20,500

      Aggregate Loan Limit: $138,500

    • The Graduate PLUS Loan Program may be of interest to you as a graduate student needing additional assistance to cover educational costs after all other federal loans have been exhausted. The program offers a non-need based federal loan with a fixed 8.05% interest rate. Grad PLUS Loans allow you as a graduate student to borrow up to the full cost of attendance minus any other financial aid you are receiving.

      We encourage you to consider your options before accruing additional loan debt. For more information on the Federal Grad PLUS Loan as compared with the federal unsubsidized student loans, go to Federal Student Aid.

    • Below are the steps that you will need to take in order to be awarded a Graduate (Grad) PLUS Loan and have the funds processed:

      • Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®), if you have not already done so.
      • Complete a Federal Graduate PLUS Loan Application at for each year you are borrowing funds through this program. Your application results will be sent to the school to be included in your aid package.
      • Accept your Grad PLUS Loan via Student Self-Service.
      • If you are a first-time Federal Graduate PLUS borrower, you must complete a master promissory note and entrance counseling at
  • Repaying Your Federal Student Loans

    • If you are borrowing for college, you need to think about the time when you will begin repaying your student loans. You need to be thinking about the following questions:

      • How much will I owe?
      • Who will I pay?
      • How much will my payments be each month?
      • When will my payments begin?
      • How long will I be making payments?
      • Why do I need to pay?

      If you fail to repay your student loans and default, it may result in the following:

      • Negative credit history
      • Wage garnishment
      • Collection fees
      • Suspension of a professional license
      • Withholding of tax refunds and other state and federal monies
      • Civil lawsuits 
    • The information on this section is designed to help you plan realistically how you will manage your loan repayment after graduation. The following tools are a good place to start:

    • You will pay the lender/servicer that holds your loans. You may have one lender/servicer throughout your academic career. However, there may be situations where lenders/servicers sell, without needing your consent, your student loans to another lender/servicer. The Federal Student Aid website is the primary resource to confirm which lender/servicer holds your loans.

    • The federal government offers several payment plans for Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loan borrowers. These payment plans (e.g., standard, extended or graduated) will determine the amount of your monthly payments, the number of monthly payments, and the total amount that you owe—including interest.

      Some students may be eligible for special repayment programs based on their income after graduation. Examples of these plans are the Income-Based, Income-Contingent, and Pay As You Earn. For more information about the federal student loan payment options, visit the U.S. Department of Education’s Direct Loan Repayment Plans page.

    • To estimate your student loan payments, visit the U.S. Department of Education’s Loan Simulator tool. This site uses real-time data about your student loans to best assist you. Sign in with your FSA ID and password to access your data and obtain an early view of the plans for which you may be eligible. You can then compare each plan’s monthly payment amount. You may also visit the Department of Education’s website for links to a variety of other repayment calculators to help you decide on a plan. For these calculators, you will need the cumulative amount of your federal loans, which you can obtain by logging into the Federal Student Loans website with your FSA ID and password. 

      Note: The repayment of your federal Direct Loans begins six months after you graduate, withdraw from classes or drop below half-time enrollment. Federal student loan borrowers meeting one of these criteria must complete online exit counseling.

    • Students receiving a bachelor’s degree at Texas State University who borrow through the federal student loan program have an average student loan indebtedness of $25,878. The below table indicates what the repayments will look like in terms of monthly payment amount, number of payment months and total amount paid—including interest.

      Typical Federal Student Loan Repayment Schedule Undergraduate with $25,878 in Loan Debt
      Repayment PlanMonthsMonthly PaymentTotal Interest PaidTotal Amount Paid


    • Students who are working full time in public service jobs may qualify for the forgiveness of the balance due on their eligible federal student loans after making 120 monthly payments under certain repayment plans. For more information, visit the U.S. Department of Education’s Public Service Loan Forgiveness page.

      If you are having trouble making your loan payments, you might qualify for a deferment, forbearance or other form of payment relief. For more details, visit the U.S. Department of Education’s Get Temporary Relief page.

    • Federal loan borrowers can combine different types of federal loans with various repayment schedules into a Direct Consolidation Loan with one single monthly payment. For more information about this option, visit the Loan Consolidation page.