My eyes are bugging out from reading FinAid's website on student loans, other FA websites, specific college FA sites, as well as books this past week. Can someone please help me with remaining questions?
Prior to doing some further reading tonight, I thought Stafford was my ONLY option and that PLUS loans would need to be paid immediately by my parents (who are completely lunable to add another monthly bill to their budget). Tonight, I have hope this may not be true. If it helps my parent's AGI was $75K last year, but may be lower this year due to the economy. Only child.
STAFFORD: I'm aware of Stafford and the FAFSA application. My Stafford question is this: Am I allowed to take out the max of $5,500 freshman year if my parents don't qualify as long as I select UNsubsidized? Or is the unsubdized portion only $2,000 for freshman? I've read conflicting scenarios.
PLUS & PRIVATE LOANS: What's the basic difference between Parent Plus and Private Student Loans? It seems most people talk about Parent PLUS loan (after the Stafford), so is there something unfavorable (interest rate?) about the Private Student Loans? Also, who (or what) determines whether the borrower can defer all or part of the balance? I was under the impression that PLUS and Private Loans had to be paid back immediately after receipt of money, but have hope we may be able to defer these?
Could someone be kind enough some of these questions for me? Thanks!