The U.S. Department of Education offers a loan program called the Federal Direct Grad PLUS Loan. Graduate and professional degree students are now eligible to borrow under the PLUS Loan Program up to their cost of attendance minus other estimated financial aid. Students must complete the FAFSA and must be enrolled at least half-time in an eligible program at an eligible school. Students must also be creditworthy to receive the loan.
The Facts Regarding Federal Direct Grad PLUS loans:
- The annual borrowing limit on a Federal Direct Grad PLUS Loan is equal to your Estimated Cost of Attendance minus any other financial aid you receive.
- Applicants must complete the FAFSA and borrow their annual maximum Stafford loan eligibility before applying for the Federal Direct Grad PLUS loan.
- The Federal Direct Grad PLUS Loan interest rate is fixed at 7.9%. Interest is charged on a PLUS Loan from the date of the first disbursement until the loan is paid in full.
- The Direct PLUS Loan program requires a 4% fee (3% origination fee + 1% default fee). There's an up-front rebate of 1.5%, so the net disbursement is 97.5% of the gross loan amount. The borrower must make the first 12 payments on time to keep the rebate.
- There are two repayment options available for the Federal Direct Grad PLUS loan: either 60 days after the loan is fully disbursed or to begin repayment six months after you graduate or cease to be enrolled on at least a half-time basis.
- To apply for the Federal Direct Grad PLUS loan, complete the Graduate PLUS loan process by visiting the Direct loan website. First time applicants must also complete Entrance Counseling and the Master Promissory Note (MPN).