All About the William D Ford Federal Direct Loan program

The William D Ford Federal Direct Loan program allows qualified students to borrow money from the federal government at low-interest rates with flexible repayment options.

All About the William D Ford Federal Direct Loan program

Federal Direct Subsidized Loans, Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans, Federal Parent PLUS Loans, and Federal Graduate PLUS Loans are all part of the Federal Direct Loan Program.

Federal Direct Subsidized Loan

Undergraduate students with financial needs can apply for Direct Subsidized Loans. The amount you can borrow is determined by your school, and it cannot exceed your financial necessity.

The U.S. Department of Education pays the interest on a Direct Subsidized Loan

while you’re in school at least half-time,

for the first six months after you leave school (referred to as a grace period), and

during a period of deferment (a postponement of loan payments).

Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan

Undergraduate and graduate students can apply for Direct Unsubsidized Loans, and there is no need to demonstrate financial need.

The amount you can borrow is determined by your school based on your cost of attendance and other financial aid you receive. On a Direct Unsubsidized Loan, you are responsible for paying the interest at all times.

Note: If you choose not to pay the interest while you are in school and during grace periods and deferment or forbearance periods, your interest will accrue (accumulate) and be capitalized (that is, your interest will be added to your principal loan).

Terms & Conditions

For the 2021-2022 academic year the William D Ford Federal Direct Loan Program has a fixed 3.73% interest rate on undergraduate subsidized and unsubsidized loans.

Graduate loans are now all unsubsidized and have a fixed 5.28% interest rate.  Both loans have a 1.057% origination fee (valid through 10/1/22) that reduces the gross amount that appears on your billing statement.

Repayment for Direct Stafford Loan begins 6 months after a student graduates or ceases attending school at least half-time.

The typical payback term is ten years, but by consolidating the loans, you can obtain access to different repayment terms (extended, graduated, and income-contingent repayment).

If you merge your loans, though, you risk losing your grace period.

The lenders who hold your loan will contact you as your graduation date approaches to complete exit counseling and negotiate payment arrangements.

Application for Incoming Students and News Borrowers

All incoming students and new borrowers who want to apply for a federal loan during the 2022-2023 academic year must complete a Federal Direct Subsidized/Unsubsidized Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN) at

You’ll need your FSA ID to sign your MPN electronically. This is the FSA ID you used to apply for federal student aid using the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

If you can’t locate your FSA ID or are a new federal student aid applicant, you may reset or get a new FSA ID at

You will need to Sign In using your FSA ID from your FAFSA. Select Complete Master Promissory Note and then select Subsidized/Unsubsidized.

Once you’ve electronically signed the MPN with your FSA ID, the application is complete.

You see that you do not require to submit a requested loan amount while filling out the Federal Direct Subsidized/Unsubsidized MPN.

Application for Returning Students of William D. Ford Loan Program

Your Federal Direct Subsidized/Unsubsidized MPN is valid for 10 years if you previously borrowed at Widener Law Commonwealth, and you allow Widener Law Commonwealth to raise the aggregate loan amount each year.

Please complete the box on Widener Law Commonwealth’s Institutional Data Form to provide that information.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Listed below are the most asked questions about the Loan Program.

1. What’s a Federal Student Loan?

Student loans can come from the federal government, from private sources such as a bank or financial institution, or from other organizations.                      

2. Are US Federal Student Loans accessible on a Public Record?

If by public record you mean your credit history/report, then yes, they are available.

3. Why are US student loans such a Big Problem? 

The student debt crisis has surged 144% over the past decade, forcing 45 million Americans to shoulder $1.7 trillion in loans.

Rising tuition costs and unchecked borrowing aren’t helping. “And when borrowers cannot repay their loans, the federal government and taxpayers foot the bill.   

4. What can be Considered a Predatory Loan?

Predatory lending is any lending practice that imposes unfair and abusive loan terms on borrowers, including high-interest rates, high fees, and terms that strip the borrower of equity.                    

5. Efficient Ways to make Smart Money?

Liquidate Your Assets

Take on Odd Jobs

Track Down Your Loose Change

Organize a Garage Sale

Get Money From Your Retirement Accounts

6. What Companies Should I Choose to Refinance Student Loans?



Splash Financial


Discover Student Loans


Citizens Bank

PenFed Credit Union

Laurel Road                      

7. What’s your take on Private Student Loans?

Private student loans, like federal student loans, can pay for college costs, but they originate with a bank, credit union or online lender rather than the federal government.                      

8. How to Set Up Student Loan Rehabilitation?

To enroll in loan rehabilitation, contact your loan holder to find out if you’re eligible.

If your holder confirms that you can enroll, you’ll need to send in your latest tax return or tax transcript.

Then your loan holder will determine your reasonable and affordable monthly payment amount and will send you a written rehabilitation agreement within 15 days. 

9. How do Banks Verify Income for an Auto Loan?

To verify your income for an auto loan, you may only need to provide your lender with your latest W-2 or one or two recent pay stubs.

Be aware that lenders may call your employer to verify that you are currently employed with them.

Here, it may also be helpful to provide a copy of your employment agreement.

10. How did Student Loans become a $1.6 trillion Problem?

The issue is the ability to repay. 


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