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Important Updates

News of Note

Explore affordable repayment plans, including the new Saving on a Valuable Education (SAVE) Plan (formerly the REPAYE plan). To learn more about the SAVE plan and other student loan benefits, use the Loan Simulator Tool at StudentAid.gov.

Be on the Lookout for Updates

In Spring 2024, you will see improvements to your experience in managing your federal student loans. Beginning March 11, 2024, we will release updates to the look and feel of our website and you will then need to visit us at our new web address, Edfinancial.StudentAid.gov. Additionally, our emails will now come from .gov email addresses. 

PLUS Loans for Graduate and Professional Students

A PLUS loan option is available to help graduate students and professional students pay for college. As of July 1, 2006, a graduate student or professional student may borrow a Federal PLUS loan to help with educational expenses. With benefits similar to the traditional PLUS loan for parents, the graduate student PLUS loan program (GradPLUS) allows graduate students or professional students to borrow up to the cost of education at a particular institution minus any other financial aid. The GradPLUS loan is meant to fill the gap between your financial aid package and the cost of education - your school must determine your federal loan eligibility before you apply for a GradPLUS loan. With the GradPLUS loan, the student is the borrower, not the parent.

There are credit requirements for the GradPLUS loan, but no debt-to-income ratios or credit scoring are used. If you are denied based on adverse credit, you may apply with a credit-worthy endorser who is secondarily responsible for the loan. The endorser must be a credit-worthy U.S. citizen, permanent resident, or other eligible non-citizen.

The GradPLUS loan interest rate is a fixed rate of 8.5 percent, and some discounts on the rate may be available. With high approval rates and a low, fixed student loan interest rate, this federal loan option gives graduate students and professional students an alternative to private student loans. Since private student loans often have variable interest rates, the fixed rate of the GradPLUS loan allows for better debt management and can result in significant savings.

  GradPLUS Loan Private loan
with co-signer
Private loan
without co-signer
Amount borrowed $10,000 $10,000 $10,000
Interest rate 8.5% 9.5% 14.5%
Total interest paid* $4,878 $5,528 $8,632

Deferment Options for GradPLUS Loans

Federal legislative action made important changes to PLUS Loans, effective for loans first disbursed on or after July 1, 2008. Parent borrowers may request deferment during any period when they themselves are enrolled at least half time or when the student on whose behalf the loan was borrowed is enrolled at least half time and during the six-month period that begins the day after the date the student ceases at least half-time enrollment. PLUS Loans made to graduate and professional student borrowers may be deferred during the six-month period that begins the day after the end date of a deferment during which the borrower was enrolled at least half time. Interest will continue to accrue on the loan during these periods. Parent borrowers are responsible for requesting each of these deferment options.

To request this deferment, please contact us.

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