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Grad PLUS Loans

Graduate and Professional Students are Eligible
under the PLUS program to borrow up to 100% of graduate and professional education-related expenses as certified by the institution.
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Federal Grad PLUS Loans:

Summary Overview

summary information
  • grad PLUS loan amounts:
    eligible to borrow in your own behalf up to 100% of the cost of attendance (tuition, room and board, books, and even travel) minus any financial aid received.

    You must apply for the annual loan maximum eligibility under the Federal Subsidized and Unsubsidized Stafford Loan Program before applying for a Graduate/Professional PLUS loan: see stafford loans

  • no restrictions:
    does not require collateral; no prepayment penalties

  • grad PLUS loan processing:
    pre-approval within minutes; funding can be made within 30 days or less

  • grad PLUS loan eligibility:
    student must be enrolled at least half-time in a graduate or professional degree or certificate program at an approved school. Satisfactory credit history required with or without a co-signer

  • grad PLUS loan terms:
    option to defer payments until after graduation or when the student leaves school
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Federal Grad PLUS Loans:

Advantages and Disadvantages

  • Available for Graduates and Professionals
    graduates and professional students can borrow on their own behalf up to the total cost of education minus any financial aid received

  • Low Interest
    federal PLUS loans are fixed rate loans that remain fixed for the entire term of the loan; current PLUS loan rates are about the same as most other financing options: view interest rates

  • Flexible Repayment Plans
    The federal government offers flexible repayment plans that can fit your budget

    for graduates: payments are deferred until after graduation.

  • Loan Must be Repaid by the Borrower
    the loan is underwritten for the parent or graduate; the parent or graduate is responsible for repaying the loan

  • Requires Federal Filings
    you must file the FAFSA form with the federal government in order to apply for PLUS loans: see FAFSA file

  • Credit Check Required
    in order to qualify for the loan, you must pass a credit check as set by the federal government

  • Multiple Borrowings
    you have to file and apply for a loan each academic year.

  • Graduates Must Use Stafford Loans First
    graduates and professional students must first apply for the annual loan maximum eligibility under the Federal Stafford Loan Program before applying for a Graduate/Professional PLUS loan.

    This will give you many different loans that you will need to manage: use our loan tracking sheet to manage both stafford, PLUS and other loans.

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Federal Grad PLUS Loans:

Detail Information

Available to the graduate and professional students regardless of financial need

The student must meet certain eligibility criteria in order qualify for financial student loan assistance:

view student eligibility requirements


This grad PLUS program is available for students in graduate levels programs only:

(undergraduate students must use the Parent PLUS program)

You must first accept all Stafford Student Loans you are eligible for before you may borrow under the Graduate PLUS program.

see stafford student loan program


Graduates may borrow up to the cost of attendance minus the amount of any financial aid received

(including all available Stafford student loan amounts)

Cost of attendance includes tuition, room and board, books, and even travel.

  • Borrowed funds will be paid directly to the school from the lender or by the Federal Government under FDSLP.

    The school will first use the money to pay your tuition and fees. Any remaining loan money is credited to your account or paid to the directly.


Grad PLUS loans are fixed rate loans with an upper rate limit,

Meaning that the rate will remain fixed for term of the loan. Fixed rates are applicable for all loans disbursed after July 01, 2007.


You may be required to pay up to 4% processing fees

To the lender upon loan disbursement. Portion of these fees go the Federal Government and another portion to a guaranty agency to help reduce the cost of issuing the loans.

  • Generally these fees are deducted proportionately from each loan disbursement.

  • You may cancel the loan within 14 days after you receive written notification that funds have been credited to your account. Contact the school's financial aid office for cancellation terms.


Graduate PLUS loan borrower may defer payment on their loans while in in-school status

there is no grace period; however.

Graduate PLUS loan borrowers qualify for the same deferment options as Stafford borrowers. This means that within 60 days after full disbursement when the first payment is typically due on a PLUS loan, these loans go into in-school deferment status, which can last as long as the borrower is enrolled at least half time.

The repayment period is 10 years under one of the following plans:

  • Standard Repayment Plan:
    you pay a fixed amount per month

  • Graduated Repayment Plan:
    you begin payments that are low (equal to the interest accrued) and then increase over time until full repayment

  • Income-Sensitive Repayment Plan:
    the monthly payments change based upon annual income

  • Extended Repayment Plan:
    allows new borrowers on or after 10/7/98 with a total FFELP debt of at least $30,000 (FDSLP loans offer other repayment terms) to repay their loan (either fixed or graduated) for up to 25 years.

    You can consolidate your loans with extended repayment terms if you qualify. See our affiliated student loan consolidation site.


The Grad PLUS loan is available only to graduates who can pass a credit check;

If you fail to pass the credit check, you may still receive the loan if someone with a good credit history co-signs for the loan or if you can show extenuating circumstances.


Interest paid on grad PLUS loans qualify a tax reduction

Borrowers who file tax returns can deduct some of the interest paid on their student loans. Taxpayers who have taken out loans to pay for the cost of attending an accredited college for themselves, a spouse, or a dependent may be eligible for this deduction.


For more grad PLUS loan information:

financial aid steps in the application process: reviews the steps required when applying for federal financial aid.

link to the U.S. Department of Education to download the latest version of the Student Guide

start your Grad PLUS loan application

SayStudent Stafford Student Loans


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Student Loan Application


Disbursement Period:
07/01/06 to present
Stafford Student
(fixed rate)
PLUS Loans
(fixed rate)
Private Student
(variable rate)
see rates
Other Disbursements:
see rate chart
Private Student Loans