Federal Graduate PLUS Loan

This loan program is a credit-based loan for student's working on a master's or doctorate program. Students must have applied and utilized their federal loan eligibility first before applying for additional funds. For more information about the Federal Graduate PLUS loan review these frequently asked questions.

Who may borrow?

Federal Graduate PLUS loan is available to graduate students who:

  • Are enrolled at least half time (4.5 credits minimum) in a degree-granting program
  • File the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
  • Pass a credit check

How much may I borrow?

The loan limit for each year is the annual cost of attendance (the "budget") minus other financial assistance.

What is the interest rate?

Interest Rates & Processing Fees:

  • 8.05% (fixed) interest rate for graduate loans disbursed between July 1, 2023 and June 30, 2024
  • 9.08% (fixed) interest rate for graduate loans disbursed between July 1, 2024 and June 30, 2025
  • 4.228% of the amount borrowed is assessed as a processing fee by the federal government for loans disbursed between October 1, 2020 and October 1, 2025

As with unsubsidized direct loan program and private loans, interest begins to accrue at the time the first disbursement is made.

How do I apply?

  • Contact the Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships to request the loan
  • We will then offer the loan to you on your myBanner account.  Once you accept the loan on myBanner, we will submit a credit check to the Department of Education on your behalf. Note: Your acceptance of the Federal Graduate PLUS Loan on myBanner authorizes the Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships to submit a credit application on your behalf.
  • If your credit is approved, your loan will remain in an accepted status on myBanner.  If your credit is denied, your loan will be cancelled on myBanner.
  • Complete Entrance Loan Counseling and a Master Promissory Note (MPN) for the Federal Graduate PLUS loan at Federal Student Aid

What can I do if my credit check is denied?

A credit check will be performed once you accept the Federal Grad PLUS loan on myBanner. If you have an adverse credit history, you may still receive a Federal Grad PLUS Loan through one of these two options:

  1. Obtain an endorser who does not have an adverse credit history. An endorser is someone who agrees to repay the Direct PLUS Loan if you do not repay it. 
  2. Document to the satisfaction of the U.S. Department of Education that there are extenuating circumstances related to your adverse credit history.

For more information and to appeal a credit decision please log in to the Federal Student Aid site using your FSA ID & password. With either option 1 or option 2, you also must complete credit counseling for PLUS loan borrowers at Federal Student Aid

What is the difference between a Federal Direct Loan and the Federal Graduate PLUS loan?

  • The interest rates and origination fees are different between the two types of loans.
  • The Federal Graduate PLUS requires a credit check and the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan does not.
  • The Federal Graduate PLUS loan is limited to a student's cost of attendance, while the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan is limited to $20,500 for the academic year.
  • The Federal Graduate PLUS loan does not have a lifetime borrowing limit, while the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan is limited to $138,500 for Graduate level students.

How is the Federal Graduate PLUS Loan repaid?

Repayment of a Federal Graduate PLUS loan begins six months after you graduate, leave school, or drop below half-time enrollment. During any period when you are not required to make payments, interest will accrue on your loan. You may choose to pay the accrued interest or allow the interest to be capitalized (added to your loan principal balance) when you have to start making payments. Your loan servicer will notify you when your first payment is due. To determine who your loan servicer is please visit Federal Student Aid.  

Page last modified May 15, 2024