When do I Receive my Stafford Loan? | 05.04.11

Posted in Financial Aid, Stafford Loan By Student Loan Network Staff

Woman-With-MoneyI become very, very impatient when someone owes me money. I don’t even like the 10 seconds it takes for an ATM to spit out my cash- feels like an eternity. And I am extra diligent about much larger sums of money, like my student loans. If you’re like me, you might be on pins and needles wondering when you actually receive your Stafford loan.

Your lender (in the case of federal loans, this would be the Department of Education) will disburse your Stafford Loan funds directly to your college or university. The disbursement will occur in two installments – typically in the fall and winter/spring semesters. Your school will take the money and apply it toward what you owe in tuition and fees. If there is any money leftover, the excess funds will either be used to credit your account or paid to you directly. Keep in mind that loans are not free money. They collect interest and need to be repaid, so it’s usually best that if you don’t need them, don’t use them! Contact your financial aid office for information on your school’s specific policy.

If summer classes are a regular part of your course-load, chances are your school divided your Stafford funds up to cover you. If you are taking extra summer classes, your Stafford Loans may not cover them. Be sure to contact your financial aid office for more information.

If your school disburses your funds in October, but you need money for September (to pay for off-campus housing, for example), consider a private student loan to cover any expenses you may have in the meantime. You can even compare private loans to find the best deal for you!


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54 Responses to “When do I Receive my Stafford Loan?”

  1. Tria says on April 8, 2013 at 10:56 pm:

    I was attending college via on line and I stopped going I applied for both loans and fafsa but the financial aid do not manticulate me for me to get my refund due to me not being able to get my high school transcript what happen does the loans go back to the student direct loans or what

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    • Student Loan Guru says on April 9, 2013 at 10:49 am:

      If you have to withdraw because of transcript issues, any unused portion of your aid will be sent back to the Department of Education. Any used portion will be applied to your classes and if this includes loans, you will be required to pay this portion. To find out if you will owe anything, you must talk with your financial aid office – they will calculate this if you end up withdrawing from classes.

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  2. DawnR says on December 4, 2011 at 4:23 am:

    I am in my senior year of college and attending a private university. I am a single mother and was working part-time up until about three days ago, so I have the maximum loan amounts, pell grant, and cal grant to help me support my son and myself while I attend college. I signed the paperwork requesting that I be in charge of my funds. When my pell grant and loans posted, the college sent me a refund of excess funds within eight days of posting the amounts to my student account and I returned to them the amount needed to pay for classes until the next financial aid came in. The school received my CalGrant funds Sept. 2nd but I have yet to see the excess funds which equal about $1400. Considering we’re going on 90 days here, do I have any legal recourse to get them to stop holding my funds for such a ridiculous amount of time?

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