Stafford Loan Limits

Annual Loan Limits for Subsidized and Unsubsidized Stafford Loan

  Dependent Undergraduate Student Independent Undergraduate Student Graduate/Professional Student
1st Year
(0-24 credit hours)
$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. $20,500
2nd Year
(25-48 credit hours)
$6,500—No more than $4,500 may be in subsidized loans $10,500—No more than $4,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.  
3rd and 4th
Year (each)
(49+ credit hours)
$7,500—No more than $5,500 may be in subsidized loans  $12,500—No more than $5,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.  
Maximum Total Debt from Stafford Loans When You Graduate $31,000—No more than $23,000 of this amount may be in subsidized loans  $57,500—No more than $23,000 of this amount may be in subsidized loans. $138,500—No more than $65,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.

The graduate debt limit includes Stafford Loans received for undergraduate study.

It is important to remember that even though you may be eligible for the above mentioned dollars, you do not always have to borrow the full amounts to help pay for your tuition. Smart Borrowing is always the way to go and we encourage you to go to our resources below and educate yourself on how to borrow smartly. Remember, you do have to pay these loans back!

Smart Borrowing – Limit Your Debt
How much should I borrow for College?
The Cost of Borrowing Money
Smart Borrowing and the Future of Repayment (video series)
BEWARE. The effects of Financial Aid on Your Life after Graduation