Compare Graduate School Loan Options
There are a variety of low-interest loans available to graduate students. Graduate school loans are similar to the undergraduate loan programs, typically with higher annual loan limit amounts. Some loans are unique to a graduate student's program of study.
|Grad Stafford||Grad Private||Grad PLUS|
|Annual Limits||Up to $20,500/year||Cost less other aid||Cost less other aid|
|Checks Sent||To school||To school||To school|
|Approval Basis||Need (based on FAFSA)||Credit (no FAFSA required)||Credit (FAFSA usually required)|
|Rates||Fixed at 6.8%||Variable - credit based||Fixed at 7.9%|
|Repayment||Up to 25 years||Up to 20 years||Up to 25 years|
So which is the best graduate school loan?
Always start with the Stafford Loan for Grad Students. If you need additional funds for graduate school, you have a couple of options - Grad PLUS and Grad Private Loans. After looking at that chart, you may still be wondering which the best choice is. Most customers choose the Grad PLUS loan as it has less strict credit criteria (is easier to get) and comes with a low fixed rate.
Graduate PLUS or graduate private student loan?
When comparing graduate PLUS and private loans, take into consideration where interest rates are and what benefits are being offered; for example, as of 2009, the Prime Rate is around 3.25%, meaning that graduate private student loans can be had (with outstanding credit and some borrower benefits) for a lower rate than PLUS. That said, because graduate private student loan rates are variable, there will be times when the graduate PLUS loan is a more attractive option. The other big difference is that the Grad PLUS Loan does not require a cosigner - which is preferred by most applicants.
GradLoans.com is a service of the Student Loan Network - a leader in education funding and your online guide to graduate school student loans, Grants and Scholarships and Financial Aid. We will walk you through the entire loan process, from completing the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) through receiving your check. Hopefully, all your questions will be answered here.
In addition to a wealth of information on your financial aid options, we provide detailed information on our student loan programs:
- The Federal Stafford Loan for Graduate Study
- Private Student Loans for Graduate Students
- Consolidation Loans for Graduates
- PLUS Loans for Graduate Students
- Start Managing your Credit
For those of you in specific fields of study, we have developed specific programs to meet your specific need. Please visit:
- Dental School Loan Information
- Medical School Loan Information
- Business School Loan Information
- Law School Loan Information
- MBA Loans
- Nursing School Loans
- Other graduate fields of study
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