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Graduate Federal PLUS Loans

About the Loan
Eligibility
How to Apply
Interest Rate and Fees
Origination Fees
Disbursement of Loans
Maintaining the Loan
Repayment

About the Loan

The Federal Direct Graduate PLUS loan is an affordable, low-interest loan for graduate and professional students. You can borrow up to the total cost of attendance (minus any other financial aid awarded). If you are denied the Graduate PLUS loan due to an adverse credit history, you will not be eligible for any additional Unsubsidized Direct Loan.

Eligibility

How to Apply

The Federal Direct Graduate PLUS loan application can be accessed on the Studentloans.gov website and is normally made available mid-April, prior to the start of a new academic year.

Federal Graduate PLUS loans are based on credit; to apply:

  • Log in to the StudentLoans.gov website,
  • Sign in using your FSA ID,
  • Click on "Apply for a Direct PLUS Loan,"
  • Select "Direct PLUS Loan Application for Graduate/Professional Students," and
  • Follow all steps of the application and submit.
    • If you are approved for the PLUS based on credit, please complete the Master Promissory Note (MPN) for the corresponding loan.
    • If you are approved with an endorser or after appealing, you are required to complete the PLUS Counseling.
  • You can borrow up to the cost of attendance minus any other financial aid awarded.
  • Your loan will appear on your UH account within 15 business days of approval
  • Funds will not disburse until all required documents are completed.

Interest Rate and Fees

Interest is money paid to the lender in exchange for borrowing money. Interest is calculated as a percentage of the unpaid principal amount (loan amount) borrowed. The interest rate varies depending on the loan type and (for most types of federal student loans) the first disbursement date of the loan. Please click here to view the current interest rates, or click here to view historical Direct Loan interest rate information.

Origination Fees

Most federal student loans have loan fees that are a percentage of the total loan amount. The loan fee is deducted proportionately from each loan disbursement you receive. This means the money you receive will be less than the amount you actually borrow. You're responsible for repaying the entire amount you borrowed and not just the amount you received.

Please click here to view the current loan fees for Direct PLUS Loans.

Disbursement of Loans

Disbursement will begin the first week of classes as long as the student has completed their MPN requirement at Studentloans.gov.

Once the loan has been disbursed, the funds will be applied to the student's account to cover charges. If a credit balance is created, funds will be refunded according to the student's established refund preference. For more information on refunds, please click here.

Maintaining the Loan

In order to maintain eligibility, a student must be enrolled at least half-time (6 hours for professional students, and 5 hours for graduate students) at the time of disbursement and meet all Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements.

Repayment

Loans enter into repayment once the funds are fully disbursed (paid out). However, since you are a graduate or professional student, your loan will be placed into deferment while you are enrolled at least half-time (6 hours for professional students, and 5 hours for graduate students) and for an additional six months after you cease to be enrolled at least half-time.

During the deferment period interest will accrue. You may choose to pay the accrued interest or allow the interest to capitalize when the deferment period ends. Your loan servicer will notify you when your first payment is due.