Loans FAQs

Direct loans are borrowed money from the federal government and must be repaid. 

Federal loans are available for both students and parents and have interest rates and requirements set by the government. Visit our Types of Aid page for more information.

Student loans are designed for students. That is, there are limits on how much you can take out and there are flexible repayment plans. Learn more about student loan types, interest rates and repayment through our Money Matters videos.

Subsidized loans: better terms to help out undergraduate students with financial need.

Unsubsidized loans: no requirement to demonstrate financial need and are available to both undergraduate and graduate students. 


Subsidized loans: based on need. With these loans the federal government pays the interest while the student is in school. After graduation, the student is responsible for paying the loan and the interest. 

Unsubsidized loans: not based on need. It is based on your grade level and the cost of education minus other aid. Interest begins adding to your payments as soon as you take out the loan.

Year Dependent Students (except students whose parents are unable to obtain PLUS Loans) Independent Students (and dependent undergraduate students whose parents are unable to obtain PLUS Loans)
First-Year Undergraduate Annual Loan Limit $5,500—No more than $3,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans. $9,500—No more than $3,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.
Second-Year Undergraduate Annual Loan Limit $6,500—No more than $4,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans. $10,500—No more than $4,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.
Third-Year and Beyond  Undergraduate Annual Loan Limit $7,500—No more than $5,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans. $12,500—No more than $5,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.
Graduate or Professional Students Annual Loan Limit Not Applicable (all graduate and professional students are considered independent) $20,500 (unsubsidized only)
Subsidized and Unsubsidized Aggregate Loan Limit $31,000—No more than $23,000 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.

$57,500 for undergraduates—No more than $23,000 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.

$138,500 for graduate or professional students—No more than $65,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans. The graduate aggregate limit includes all federal loans received for undergraduate study.

If the loan has not been paid to your account you can use the student portal to decline it by accepting $0. If a loan has been paid to your account already, please send an email to loantalk@umd.edu.

Yes, please email loantalk@umd.edu. Send us your full name and university ID number. 

You can use the National Student Loan Data System to review all the federal student loans you have taken out while an undergraduate and/or graduate student. You will need your FSA ID to access this information.

  • Federal student loans go into repayment six months after you drop below half-time enrollment or when you graduate.
  • Federal parent loans generally begin repayment 60 days after the final loan disbursement; however, parents may request a delay in payment for up to four years.