William D. Ford Direct loans are made directly from the Department of Education to students with no private lender involvement. Before July 2010, there was also a federal Family Education Loan Program (FFEL), also known as the guaranteed loan program. These loans were made by private lenders and guaranteed by the government. Many of the terms and conditions for the FFEL and Direct loan programs are the same. However there are some differences in repayment options. While there are still many FFEL loans in the system, no new FFEL loans are being made.