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Graduate School Stafford Loan FAQs

Find out if an unsubsidized Stafford loan is right for you.


Call the Department of Education and ask about income-based payment options, such as the Pay as You Earn plan. If that doesn't bring your payments down to an affordable level, you can also ask for either "deferral" or "forbearance" of your payments, which could postpone or temporarily lower your payment requirement.

[Find out how to avoid delinquency and default.]

What are the downsides of federal loans?

Unlike credit card debt and mortgages, which can be canceled if you file for bankruptcy, education loans of all types whether federal or private must be repaid. Most bankruptcy courts will not cancel them unless your situation is extremely dire.

Trying to fund your education? Get tips and more in the U.S. News Paying for Graduate School center.