Florida Department of Financial Services Facebook Florida Department of Financial Services Twitter

Student Loans

Student Loan Debt Now More Transparent Student Debt Relief Scam

Effective July 1, 2017, Florida colleges and universities that disburse state financial aid must provide each student with an annual breakdown of their federal student loan debt.

The breakdown will include:

  • An estimate of the student’s total amount of borrowed student loans.
  • An estimate of the student’s total potential loan repayment amount associated with the total amount of student loans borrowed by the student.
  • An estimate of the student’s monthly loan repayment amount for the student’s total amount of borrowed student loans.
  • The percentage of the borrowing limit that the student has reached at the time the information is provided.
For more information on the requirement, review Senate Bill 396.


Student Debt Relief Scam

The Federal Trade Commission Returns More than $3.1 Million to Victims of Student Loan Debt Relief and Credit Repair Scheme View the FTC’s site to learn more.

Stafford Loans

The primary student loan available to students and families by the federal government is the Stafford Loan. It comes in two forms:

  • Federal Family Education Loans - These are by private lenders.
  • Federal Direct Student Loans - These are provided by the government directly to students and their parents.

Stafford Loans are either subsidized, meaning that the government pays the interest on them while the student attends school, or unsubsidized. Subsidized loans are advantageous because the student doesn't have to worry about making payments on them until six months after graduation, when a good paying job is more likely. Eligibility for subsidized loans depends on income level and school costs.

Government loans carry maximum limits, which vary according to the area of study, year in college or whether or not the borrower is still a legal dependent of the parents. The loan limits range from $2,000 per year to $40,500 for medical students. The interest rates are currently fixed at 6.8%.

Direct PLUS Loans

Direct PLUS Loans are federal loans that graduate or professional students and parents of dependent undergraduate students use to help pay for education expenses, not covered by other financial aid.

Like Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans, these loans have a fixed interest rate. Note that Direct PLUS loans are unsubsidized, meaning that interest accrues throughout the life of the loan, including while the student is enrolled in school. The borrower is charged a loan fee (equal to a small percentage of the amount borrowed) to process a Direct PLUS Loan. The loan fee is deducted from the loan disbursement before the borrower receives the funds.

To learn more about available student loans, visit Federal Student Aid.