Federal Direct Graduate Plus Loan
Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loans are loans awarded to graduate and professional students with good credit history. A student may borrow up to the total of the Estimated Cost of Attendance less resources and other financial aid. Graduate PLUS loans are not subsidized by the Federal government, and as a result, interest will be charged from the time the loan is disbursed. A credit check is required before the loan can be approved. Should the student’s credit rating not warrant approval, a credit worthy endorser (co-signed) can be obtained by the borrower.
The interest rate is a fixed interest rate of 7.079% and is charged on the loan from the time the loan funds are disbursed until it is paid in full. Fees of up to 4.236% will be charged for Federal Direct Grad PLUS Loans, and deducted proportionately from each loan disbursement to the student's account.
To Apply for a Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan
To apply for a Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan, the student must complete and submit a FAFSA. A student is eligible to be considered for the Federal Direct Grad PLUS Loan if they:
- have a valid EFC on file in the Financial Aid Office.
- are a regular degree-seeking student enrolled in an eligible program on at least a half-time basis.
- have not been awarded other financial aid up to the cost of attendance.
- are making satisfactory academic progress.
- are not considered as a Unclassified graduate students.
Graduate Students can request a Federal Direct Grad PLUS loan by completing a SIU Graduate PLUS Loan Application electronically at studentloans.gov.
The first time a loan is accepted, the student must complete and sign an Electronic Grad PLUS Master Promissory Note and complete Entrance Counseling session.The loan will then be credited to the student's SIUC account, divided into two payments for the academic year. All or part of the loan can be canceled within 90 days of the date the school notifies the student that the loan has been credited to their account. Loan funds will first be used to pay for tuition, fees, room and board. If funds remain after these charges have been paid, the student will receive the remaining funds by check.
Repayment of Federal Direct Grad PLUS Loans
Repayment begins within 60 days of the final loan disbursement during the academic year. Principal and interest payments may be deferred if the student meets the deferment requirements. The Federal Direct Grad PLUS Loan will be automatically deferred if the student is enrolled at least half-time in a degree seeking program.
To learn more about available deferments and how to apply for deferment status, please contact the U.S. Department of Education’s processing center at 800-848-0979.
We encourage students to research the interest rates, credit check requirements, conditions, terms, and repayment of Grad PLUS Loans with that of private alternative loans. General differences:
- The credit check for the Grad PLUS Loan will not be as stringent as that of most private loans, which often look at debt to income ratio.
- Grad PLUS Loans can be consolidated with other Federal Direct Loans (subsidized/unsubsidized), which allows students to have only one payment after graduation (private loans cannot be consolidated with federal loans).
- Interest rates tend to be lower than many private loans.
- The Grad PLUS has different requirements regarding deferment during in-school and summer terms.