Graduate Federal PLUS Loans

About the Loan
Interest Rate and Fees
Loan Amount
Application for Loans
Offer of Loans
Disbursement of Loans
Maintenance of Loans
Repayment of Loans

About the Loan

Graduate Federal PLUS Loans are for graduate/professional students. Borrowers can use Graduate PLUS Loans to help meet the cost of attendance or cover a student's expected family contribution (the amount of money the government expects the parents and student to provide each year for the student's education).

Interest Rate and Fees

For loans with a first disbursement prior to July 1, 2013:

•  The interest rate is fixed at 7.9%.

For loans with a first disbursement prior to March 1, 2013:

•  The U.S. Department of Education charges a loan fee of 4% of the principal amount of each Direct PLUS Loan. This fee is deducted proportionately from each disbursement of your loan.

New Changes

Effective for loans with a first disbursement on or after July 1, 2013:

•  Direct PLUS loan interest rate is 6.41%, fixed.

Any loan that disburses after March 1, 2013 will have higher fees:

•  PLUS loan fee will increase by .204% (the old fee was 4% and is now 4.204%).

Because of the higher fees, disbursement amounts will be less.

•  Example: A PLUS loan fee for $10,000.00 will increase from $400.00 to $420.40. The disbursed amount will be $9,580.00.

Loan Amount

With a PLUS loan, you can borrow up to the cost of attendance minus any other financial aid awarded.

Application for Loans

Students may complete an application at studentloans.gov.

Eligibility Requirements

  • A student who has a valid FAFSA on file;
  • A student who has completed the Master Promissory note specifically for the Graduate Federal PLUS Loan. This can be done at https://studentloans.gov;
  • A student whose enrolled at least half time;
  • A student with good credit history;
    • Or a co-borrower with strong credit,
    • Or supporting documentation along with a statement on extenuating circumstances.

Offer of Loans

All students planning to receive a direct loan must be enrolled half-time and will need to complete a Master Promissory Note and complete Entrance Counseling at www.studentloans.gov.  To complete these requirements, students will need a Department of Education PIN (the same PIN used for the FAFSA) to e-sign their electronic MPN.  They will also need their social security number, date of birth, driver’s license number, and two personal references (full name, address, and telephone numbers) to complete their MPN. The University of Houston will electronically verify with the Department of Education that these steps have been completed before funds are released.  

Disbursement of Loans

Disbursement dates will begin after the first day of classes. Once the student has completed their MPN, the student may check back with our office regarding disbursement after the first day of classes.

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 to the student's Higher One account preference.

Maintenance of Loans

In order to maintain eligibility, a student must be enrolled at least half-time at the time of disbursement and meet all Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements.

Loan Repayment

  • Repayment begins after the loan has disbursed fully for that academic year.
    • A request for deferment can be submitted for payment to begin upon dropping below half time.
  • Borrower will have up to 10 years to repay the loan.
  • There is no grace period.

Please review the William D. Ford Direct Loan Program for additional information on Repayment Plans.