Best Answer: Healyallena:
Theoretically, there is no "maximum" amount of student loans that you can receive. In fact, ask some of the people around here who made the mistake of borrowing too much, and they'll probably tell you that they wish there had been some sort of maximum.
However - that's theory - in reality, you have to deal with the "new era" of student lending. It's a different era than students faced even a year or two ago.
I know you're read and heard about the international banking and lending crisis - you've probably thought it all sounded pretty complicated, and didn't really involve you. Well, the bad news is - it does.
Thanks to the banking crisis, many of the major banks that used to make what we call "private" or "alternative" educational loans are no longer accepting applications for that type of lending. And when I say "major banks", I mean really major banks, like Bank of America, the largest banking institution in the United States. Bank of America (and many other banks) no longer make private educational loans.
The only loan that you can count on is a Stafford loan, backed by the US government. When you complete the
FAFSA, you will be qualified to borrow from the Stafford lending program - it doesn't matter if you have a job, an income or a credit history - you can even have a really bad credit history, to be honest. You'll also never be asked to provide a cosigner.
The bad thing about Staffords (and it's not really bad) is that there IS an annual (and a lifetime) borrowing limit from the Stafford program. If you are a dependent undergraduate student, you will only be permitted to borrow a maximum of $5500 in your freshman year, a maximum of $6500 in your sophomore and junior years, and $7500 in your senior year.
If that's not going to meet your financial need, you'll have to think twice about taking on higher educational expenses than you can afford to pay. I don't want to mislead you and make you think that there are absolutely no banks making those alternative or private loans (as opposed to the Stafford loans), but you will need to have a substantial income and a significant positive credit history and/or a really top-notch cosigner in order to qualify for the few loans that are out there.
I hope that answered your question. Good luck!