There are federal student loan programs available for students. There are two forms of student loans - government guaranteed loans and private loans (sometimes requiring a co-signer). The government guaranteed loans are called Unsubsidized Stafford Loans. Limits are placed on how much students can borrow based on their year in school. These loans are long-term loans with no repayment while the student is in school. The interest rate is fixed at 5.41% for the 2013-2014 school year. Students who file the FAFSA are eligible to receive this loan regardless of their economic situation. A graduate student can borrow up to $20,500 each year in the Federal Stafford Loan program (or up to their cost of attendance, whichever is lower).
Graduate PLUS loans also are available for graduate students. Graduate PLUS loans are long-term loans with a fixed 6.41% interest rate for the 2013-2014 school year. Repayment begins 60 days after the second disbursement; students in school may request a deferment while they are attending school (as long as they are taking six or more credits).
Alternative loans are student loans that might require a co-signer and are taken out through a bank. Terms vary based on the bank that is used.