The Federal Direct (Stafford) loan program is the primary source of financial assistance to Georgetown Law students. Students may apply for an annual maximum of $20,500 in Stafford loans. Graduate-student Stafford loans first disbursed between July 1, 2015 and June 30, 2016 have a fixed interest rate of 5.84% which accumulates interest while the student is enrolled. (Graduate-student Stafford loans first disbursed between July 1, 2014 and June 30, 2015, between July 1, 2013 and June 30, 2014, and between July 1, 2006 and June 30, 2013 have fixed interest rates of 6.21%, 5.41% and 6.8%, respectively.) The lender allows the interest to accrue separately until the time the student enters repayment, at which point the interest will capitalize (i.e., become part of the principal). Repayment on the loans generally begins six months after graduation, or six months after the borrower ceases to be enrolled at least half-time. There is a 1.073% origination fee on new Direct Stafford loans (decreasing to 1.068% for Direct Stafford loans first disbursing on or after October 1, 2015).
These loans are generally disbursed in two installments, half at the beginning of each semester. Funds disburse electronically and are posted to the student's account no sooner than just prior to the start of classes. Funds will be applied first to the outstanding account balance (tuition, housing, and other authorized charges) and the excess may be requested by the student for transfer to a linked bank account for eligible living expenses.
Repayments are made over a 10-year period, unless the borrower extends the repayment period to up to 25 years (based on total loan volume borrowed). Stafford loans may be included in a Federal Direct Consolidation Loan (which have a repayment period of up to 30 years) and are eligible for Income-Based Repayment, Public Service Loan Forgiveness and Georgetown Law's Loan Repayment Assistance Program.
There is a lifetime aggregate Stafford loan limit of $138,500.