The Federal Direct PLUS Loan for Graduate and Professional Students, also called the Graduate PLUS Loan, can help pay for your educational expenses up to the cost of attendance minus any other financial aid you receive.
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What is the Graduate Plus Loan?
The Graduate PLUS Loan is a federal student loan that helps graduate or professional degree students pay for their educational expenses up to the cost of attendance minus any other financial aid they receive. This loan is available to both full- and part-time students. PLUS loans can be used to pay for tuition and fees, books and supplies, and room and board.
How do I qualify for the Graduate Plus Loan?
To qualify for the Graduate PLUS Loan, you must:
-Be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen
-Have filed a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
-Not have an adverse credit history
If you have an adverse credit history, you may still be able to receive a Graduate PLUS Loan if you obtain an endorser who does not have an adverse credit history or if you can document extenuating circumstances related to your adverse credit history.
How much can I borrow with the Graduate Plus Loan?
The maximum amount you can borrow each academic year is the cost of attendance (COA) minus any other financial aid you receive. Your school determines your COA. The amount you can borrow also depends on your credit history. If you have an adverse credit history, you may still receive a Direct PLUS Loan if you get an endorser who does not have an adverse credit history or if youdocument to the satisfaction of the U.S. Department of Education that there are extenuating circumstances relating to your adverse credit history.
What is the interest rate for the Graduate Plus Loan?
The interest rate is set by the federal government and may change annually. For 2018-2019, the interest rate is 7.60%.
How do I repay the Graduate Plus Loan?
You will repay your loan through the same process as you do your other federal student loans:
-Log in to StudentLoans.gov with your FSA ID.
-Select “Manage Loans.”
-Click on the loan you want to view, then select “Repay My Loan” from the drop-down menu.
-Choose from one of the repayment plans offered.
-Make a payment or set up autopay.
If you have trouble making payments on your student loans, there are several options available to help you:
-Deferment: A deferment is a temporary suspension of loan payments for certain specified periods of time under certain conditions. Interest continues to accrue during deferment on all types of federal student loans except for Direct Subsidized Loans and Direct Subsidized Consolidation Loans; borrowers are responsible for paying this interest during deferment or it may be capitalized (added to the principal balance of the loan).
-Forbearance: If you are unable to make your scheduled loan payments, but do not qualify for a deferment, your lender may agreement to forbear your loans, which allows you to temporarily stop making payments or reduce your monthly payment amount for up to 12 months. Interest continues to accrue during forbearance on all types of federal student loans; borrowers are responsible for paying this interest during forbearance or it may be capitalized (added to the principal balance of the loan).
What are the consequences of defaulting on the Graduate Plus Loan?
The consequences of defaulting on the Graduate Plus Loan are severe. If you default on this loan, you will be unable to obtain another federal student loan and you will lose your eligibility for deferment, forbearance, and repayment plans. In addition, the entire unpaid balance of your loan and any interest will become immediately due and payable. Your loan holder can also assign your debt to a collection agency or sue you for the full amount of the loan. If you default on this loan, it will negatively impact your credit score and make it difficult to obtain financing in the future.