Federal Graduate Student PLUS Loans

Eligibility Requirements

Application Process

To apply for a PLUS Loan, you must complete all of these steps every academic year.

  1. Complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
  2. In March and April of each year, we start sending award notifications to FAFSA applicants.
  3. Your aid notification information will explain how to accept your aid.
  4. Before you can borrow a Graduate PLUS Loan, you must first borrow your maximum direct unsubsidized loan.
  5. After you accept your PLUS loan, you must complete additional PLUS Loan application steps.

Annual Loan Limits

Your maximum annual PLUS loan amount is determined by the following formula:

Your Cost of Education Budget
- Total Other Aid Received (including other student loans)
= Maximum Annual PLUS Loan

Borrowing Costs

Interest Rates

  • For 2016-17 PLUS loans, the interest rate is 6.31%. (These rates apply to loans first disbursed between 7/1/2016 & 6/30/2017.)
  • For 2015-16 PLUS loans, the interest rate is 6.84%. (These rates apply to loans first disbursed between 7/1/2015 & 6/30/2016.)

Processing fees

In addition to the interest costs, borrowers must also pay a federal loan origination fee that is deducted from each loan disbursement.

  • For loans first disbursed on or after October 1, 2017 and before October 1, 2018, the fee is 4.264% of each loan disbursement.
  • For loans first disbursed on or after October 1, 2016 and before October 1, 2017, the fee is 4.276% of each loan disbursement.

Loan Repayment Information

The repayment period for principal and interest begins the day after the loan has been fully disbursed.  For example, a loan covering the fall and spring terms will enter repayment after the disbursement for the spring term.  Unlike other Federal Direct Loans, PLUS loans do not have a payment free Grace Period.  The first loan payment is due within 60 days after the final loan disbursement of loan proceeds for an academic year. 

For additional information, visit these U.S. Department of Education web pages:

Repayment

  • Use the Repayment Estimator to estimate your monthly payments.
  • Compare the repayment plan options. The standard repayment plan offers the lowest total borrowing costs because it pays off your loan the fastest, but the other plans can be helpful if the monthly payments from the standard plan are too high.  If you want to pay off your loan faster, you can prepay all or a portion of your loan at any time without penalty.
  • If you have repayment problems or questions, contact your federal loan servicer.  To find your servicer, login to studentaid.ed.gov.  They can help you to avoid the consequences of delinquent payments and default. Many options are available including different repayment plans, deferments and forbearance.

Deferment and Forbearance

Learn about your Loan Deferment and Forbearance options. 

  • During qualified enrollment deferment periods, you may defer making payments on your PLUS loan, but interest will always continue to accrue during all deferment periods. 
  • If you don't qualify for a deferment, but are having trouble making your payments, you can request a forbearance. If your request is approved, you can temporarily postpone your loan payments, but interest will continue to accrue. 
  • You could also consider switching to a different repayment plan.

Loan Forgiveness, Cancellation and Discharge

  • PLUS Loans are also eligible for several Loan Forgiveness, Cancellation, and Discharge options including but not limited to total and permanent disability discharge and public services loan forgiveness. PLUS loans are not eligible for teacher loan forgiveness.

Direct Consolidation Loan

  • If you have borrowed from several different federal loan programs, you may want to use a Direct Consolidation Loan to simplify and reduce your payments by combining your loans into one loan with a single monthly payment.

Contact

Office of Financial Aid

Location
Enrollment Services
Room 339
All Contacts & Resources
Hours
Mon-Thurs, 8:30 am-5 pm; Fri, 8:30 am-4:30 pm (Call Center)

Mon-Thurs, 8 am-5 pm; Fri, 8 am-4:30 pm (Reception Desk)
Phone
410-704-4236
Fax
410-704-2584