Professionals going back to school or students at the graduate level can take advantage of the Federal Graduate Plus Loan or Grad Plus Loan. This loan is one of the most widely used graduate student loans because of its low cost. The low, fixed interest rate is attractive and is set by the federal government. Students may borrow up to the total cost of tuition minus any other financial aid received
To quality for these graduate student loans, you must be enrolled at least half time. You must be a U.S. citizen or a national, a U.S. permanent resident or an eligible non-citizen to obtain the loan. The application process does require a credit check. Those with poor credit scores, such as delinquent notices on their credit file, foreclosures or bankruptcies may be unable to obtain the Grad Plus Loans. A co-signer may be helpful in these situations. To apply, you will need to submit an FAFSA.
Your lender will disburse the funds from this graduate student loan directly to your school. In most situations, there are two installments paid, with neither installment being greater than the other is. The disbursement occurs several weeks prior to the start of school. Your school applies these funds to your tuition costs, school fees and other fees. If there are additional funds left after this point, a check is written to you to use for other school costs. If you do not wish to accept these funds, send the un-endorsed check back to the lender
Repayment of Grad Plus Loans starts 60 days after the final disbursement of the loan. Those who are still in school may request a letter from their school that certifies they are enrolled at least half time. In this situation, students are automatically provided with in-school deferment, which will hold off repayment until after school ends
To obtain the Grad Plus Loan, you will work directly through the Direct Loan Program through the government or you can apply through private lenders. Your school's financial aid office will provide you with more information on whether the school participates in the Direct Loan Program or if the school participates in Federal Family Education Loan Program. If so, you can apply directly for graduate student loans from the federal government.
Grad Plus Loans are a good option for those who are looking for a way to pay for graduate school. However, parents and students should consider free money options such as scholarships and grants first, since these do not need to be repaid. These graduate school loans can be expensive since interest accrues on them. Repayment of Grad Plus Loans is a requirement; you cannot file bankruptcy for these debts. The repayment period can be as long as ten years, during which interest will build.
Students should consider other types of funding that might be less expensive, including private graduate student loans or the Graduate Stafford Loan