Graduate PLUS Loan for Grad Students
The Graduate PLUS loan, or GradPLUS loan, is a low, fixed interest rate student loan guaranteed by the U.S. Government. The Grad PLUS loan is not need based like other Federal aid, but is a credit based loan similar to a private student loan with the benefit of having a fixed interest rate and federal guarantee.
The GradPLUS Loan allows graduate students to borrow the total cost for their graduate school needs, including tuition, room and board, supplies, lab expenses, and travel, less any other aid. Key benefits include:
Interest rate on the Graduate PLUS Student Loan is fixed at 6.41%
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- GradPLUS payments can be deferred while you are in school
- Cosigner not required
- Interest is tax deductible for most grad students
Loan eligibility not based on need
Loan eligibility and total loan amount is not based on household family income level, personal income level, financial need, or personal assets. GradPLUS loan borrowers will have to pass a credit-check.
How much can I borrow with a GradPLUS loan?
The yearly limit on a Graduate PLUS Loan is equal to your cost of attendance* minus any other financial aid you receive. For example, if your cost of attendance* is $60,000 and you receive $40,000 in other financial aid, you could borrow up to but no more than $20,000.
Do they get the money or do I?
Your lender (Direct Loan Servicing) will send the loan funds to your school. Your school might require you to endorse a disbursement check and send it back to the school. In most cases, the loan will be disbursed in at least two installments, and no installment will be greater than half the loan amount. The funds will first be applied to your tuition, fees, room and board, and other school charges. If any loan funds remain, you will receive the amount as a check or in cash, unless you authorize the amount to be released to your school account. Any remaining loan funds must be used for your education expenses.
What kind of credit do I need?
A qualified Graduate PLUS Loan borrower does not have an adverse credit history (defined in regulations as being 90 days or more delinquent on any debt, or having a credit report that shows default, discharge, foreclosure, repossession, tax lien, wage garnishment or write-off of a Title IV debt during the five years preceding the date of the credit report). Note that Graduate and Professional Student PLUS loans do not use any kind of a debt-to-income ratio or FICO® score, unlike private education loans.
Do I need a co-signer?
You might need a co-signer if your credit is insufficient. Graduate students with good credit should not need a co-signer to apply for the loan. If you get denied, you can re-apply with a cosigner.
Can I use a graduate PLUS loan for my Online degree?
Because online graduate degrees are offered at many top institutions that accept federal financial aid, you may be able to use a graduate PLUS loan to pay for your tuition.
Can I cancel the loan if I change my mind, even if I have signed the promissory note agreeing to the loan's terms?
Yes. Your school must notify you in writing whenever it credits your account with Graduate PLUS Loan funds. This notification must be sent to you no earlier than 30 days before, and no later than 30 days after, the school credits your account. You may cancel all or a portion of their loan if you inform your school within 14 days after the date your school sends this notice, or by the first day of the payment period, whichever is later. (Your school can tell you the first day of your payment period.) If you receive Graduate PLUS Loan funds directly by check, you may refuse the funds by not endorsing the check.
What's the interest rate on Grad PLUS Loans?
GradPLUS Loan rates are fixed at 6.41%. Interest is charged on the loan from the date the first disbursement is made until the loan is paid in full.
Some other financial aid options to explore
Graduate PLUS student loans are non-need based. GradPLUS Loans are based on your credit history. Click here to learn more about student loans for college!