Grad PLUS Loan Summary

grad PLUS loan notes

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.

  • 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:
  • Interest Rates:
    fixed for the life of the PLUS loan
  • No Restrictions:
    does not require collateral; no prepayment penalties
  • Requires Credit Check:
    pre-approval within minutes; funding can be made within 30 days or less
  • Loan Eligibility:
    student must be enrolled at least half-time in an undergraduate degree or certificate program at an approved school. Borrower must have a satisfactory credit history.
  • Loan Repayment Terms:
    option to defer payments until after graduation or when the student leaves school

Pro and Cons of Grad PLUS Loans

grad PLUS loan notes

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Advantages (Pros):

  • 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
  • Flexible Repayment Plans:
    the federal government offers flexible repayment plans that can fit your budget for graduates. Loan payments are deferred until after graduation.

Disadantages (Cons):

  • Loan Must be Repaid by the Borrower:
    the loan is underwritten for the graduate; the 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. The FAFSA filing is used by colleges to determine your financial aid award
  • 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.

Grad PLUS Loan Amounts

grad PLUS loan notes

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Graduates may borrow up to the cost of attendance (determined by the school) minus the amount of any financial aid received (including received 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 Federal Government. The school will first use the money to pay tuition and fees. Any remaining PLUS loan money is credited to your account for paying other educational expenses.

PLUS Loan Rates

grad PLUS loan notes

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Loan Disbursement Rates

for Parents Borrowers

Fixed rate loans. Rate will not change for the life of the loan.

Rate in effect from after: 07/01/2020
to before: 07/01/2021


Please Note:

all federal loans are at 0% interest due to the COVID-19 student loan assistance program. No payments and no interest will accrue on qualifying federal student loans until September 30, 2020.

for Graduate and Professional Borrowers

Rate will not change for the life of the loan.

Rate in effect from after: 07/01/2020
to before: 07/01/2021

Loan Fees
On or after Oct. 1, 2019 and before Oct. 1, 2020 4.236%
On or after Oct. 1, 2018 and before Oct. 1, 2019 4.248%

Loan Information

grad PLUS loan notes

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Graduates and professional students may borrow up to the cost of attendance minus the amount of any financial aid received (including received Stafford student loan amounts).

PLUS loans are fixed rate loans with an upper limit, meaning that the rate will remain fixed for term of the loan.

You may be required to pay processing fees 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 PLUS loan disbursement.

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

More Information About PLUS Loans

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 for 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.

see IRS tax publication for more information:
tax benefits of higher education


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 these loans go into in-school deferment status, which can last as long as the borrower is enrolled at least half time.

About Repayment Options

The stardard repayment options are as follows:

Standard Repayment Plan:

  • time to repay: 10 years (120 months)
  • Your payments will be a fixed amount of at least $50 per month
  • You'll pay less interest for your loan over time under this plan than you would under the other plans


Graduated Repayment Plan:

  • time to repay: 10 years (120 months)
  • you begin payments that are low (equal to the interest accrued) and then increase over time until full repayment
  • perfect for graduates whose income will increase over time allowing for higher repayment amounts
  • you will pay more interest than using the standard repayment plan


Extended Repayment Plan:

  • time to repay: up to 25 years
  • must have $30,000 or more in student loan debt (consolidated)
  • your payments will be at the amount that ensures your your loan will be paid in full in 25 years.
  • you can choose the standard or graduated plans.


Income-Sensitive Repayment Plan:

  • the monthly payments change based upon annual income.
  • many plans have up to 20 years to replay
  • download the student aid booklet for more information about these income sensitive plans.

Who Qualifies

grad PLUS loan notes

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The Grad PLUS program is available for students in graduate levels programs only. You must first accept all Stafford Student Loans you are eligible for before you may borrow under the Graduate PLUS program. form

Students who display at least one of the following requirements are classified as independent students:

  • you were at least 24 years of age on January 1 of the academic year you begin school
  • you are married
  • you are enrolled in a graduate or professional program (beyond the bachelor's degree)
  • you have legal dependents other than a spouse
  • you are an orphan or ward of the court (or were a ward of the court until age 18)
  • you are veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces ("veteran" includes a student who attended a U.S. military academy who was released under a condition other than dishonorable)

How to Qualify for Grad PLUS Loans

To qualify for federal student loans, the student must meet the following criteria:

  • display a need for financial aid (except for unsubsidized Stafford and PLUS loans).
  • complete high school and have been awarded a high school diploma or a General Education Development (GED) Certificate.
  • pass a college entrance exam approved by the U.S. Department of Education, and/or meet other standards your state may establish.
  • be enrolled or accepted for enrollment as a regular student working at least half-time toward a degree or certificate in an eligible program.
  • be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen.
  • have a valid Social Security number, link to obtain SSN:
  • make satisfactory academic progress.
  • sign a statement on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) certifying that you will use federal student aid only for educational purposes
  • sign a statement on the FAFSA certifying that you are not in default on a federal student loan and that you do not owe money back on a federal student grant.
  • register with the Selective Service (for young men age 18 and over).
    you can register online:

Apply GradPLUS Loans

grad PLUS loan application

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All Grad PLUS loan applications must be processed through your college


Return: Aid Options

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