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Federal Direct Loan Program

Direct Loan details

Students and parents borrow directly from the federal government, and have a single contact — Manage Loans — for everything related to repaying all loans, even if Direct Loans were made at different schools.

Borrowers have online access to Direct Loan account information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, at

Additional information regarding Direct Loans interest rates, repayment plans, and loan cancellations can be found at the Direct Loan for Students website.

Direct Loan benefits

UC San Diego's Financial Aid and Scholarships Office believes the long-term benefits of a stable fund source (the Department of Education).

Federal Direct Loans Offer

  • Various repayment plans: income-based, income contingent, standard, graduated and extended
  • A loan forgiveness program
  • Interest rate reductions for borrowers with loans first disbursed on or after July 1, 2012, if their payments are automatically debited from their bank account
  • Varied deferment options
  • Easy qualification for Parent PLUS and Graduate PLUS loans
  • A simplified loan process for borrowers

Types of Direct Loans


For students with demonstrated financial need, as determined by federal regulations. No interest is charged while a student is in school at least half-time, during the grace period, and during deferment periods. No new subsidized loans will be made to graduate/professional students for periods of study beginning on or after July 1, 2012. Annual and aggregate loan limits for these students will not change.

Effective July 1, 2013, there is a limit on the maximum period of time (measured in academic years) that you can receive Direct Subsidized Loans.


Not based on financial need; interest is charged during all periods, even during the time a student is in school and during grace and deferment periods.


Unsubsidized loans for the parents of dependent students and for graduate/ professional students. PLUS loans help pay for education expenses up to the cost of attendance minus all other financial assistance. Interest is charged during all periods.

Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan Application Instructions


Eligible federal student loans can be combined into one Direct Consolidation Loan, once the student has graduated.