National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) for Students
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NSLDS is a repository of information from many sources. Changes to the data are made by those sources. Collecting the data into one central location such as NSLDS gives you convenience and saves you time. If for any reason you disagree with the information reported to NSLDS, please contact one or more of the sources of your data listed on the detail pages on this site. The Department is also available as a resource at 1-800-4FEDAID if you need additional assistance. Your comments and corrections will help improve the services NSLDS provides.
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Loan Types

The U.S. Department of Education’s (the Department’s) two major federal student loan programs are the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program (Direct Loan Program) and the Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFEL Program)

Loans made through the Direct Loan Program are referred to as Direct Loans. You borrow directly from the Department. Direct Loans include Direct Subsidized Loans and Direct Unsubsidized Loans, Direct PLUS Loans, Direct Consolidation Loans.


You repay these loans directly to the federal government.

Loans made through the FFEL Program are referred to as FFEL Loans. You borrow from a bank or other private lender, and the loans are backed by the federal government. FFEL Loans include subsidized and unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loans, Federal PLUS Loans and Federal Consolidation Loans.


You repay a FFEL Loan to the bank or other private lender that made the loan.

Direct Loans and FFEL Loans generally have the same terms and conditions. The major difference between the two loan programs is the source of the loan funds. Depending on which loan program(s) the school(s) you attended participated in, you may have received Direct Loans, FFEL Loans, or both.

Types of Federal Student Loans

  • Direct Subsidized Loans and Subsidized Federal Stafford Loans (subsidized loans) are for undergraduate, graduate, and professional degree students. You must have financial need to qualify for a subsidized loan. The federal government pays the interest on subsidized loans while you are enrolled at least half-time, during your grace period and during deferment periods.

  • Direct Unsubsidized Loans and Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loans (unsubsidized loans) are also for undergraduate, graduate, and professional degree students. You are not required to have financial need to qualify for an unsubsidized loan. You are responsible for paying the interest on unsubsidized loans during all periods, starting from the date the loan is first disbursed.

  • Direct PLUS Loans and Federal PLUS Loans (PLUS loans) are for graduate or professional degree students, and also for parents of dependent undergraduate students (this counseling session covers only PLUS loans for graduate or professional degree students). You are responsible for paying the interest on PLUS loans during all periods, starting from the date the loan is first disbursed.

  • Direct Consolidation Loans and Federal Consolidation Loans (consolidation loans) allow student and parent borrowers to combine multiple federal education loans into one loan with one monthly payment.


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Information contained on these pages reflects the most current data in the NSLDS database. The data contained on this site is for general information purposes and should not be used to determine eligibility, loan payoffs, overpayment status, or tax reporting. Please consult the Financial Aid Officer at your school or the specific holder of your debts for further information.

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