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

  • You must be a graduate or professional student.
  • You must be enrolled at least half-time.
  • You must file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
  • You must be meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress

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; therefore, in order to apply:

  • Log in to the StudentLoans.gov website,
  • Sign in using your Personal Identification Number (PIN),
  • Click on "Request Direct Plus Loan,"
  • Select Graduate PLUS 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 you UH account within 15 business days of approval
  • Funds will not disburse until all required documents are completed.

Interest Rate and Fees

Effective for Graduate PLUS Loans disbursed on or after July 1, 2014, rates will be fixed for the life of the loan at the sum of the high yield of the 10-year Treasury note plus an additional percentage. No loans may be assessed an interest rate above interest rate cap indicated.

Graduate PLUS Loans disbursed prior to July 1, 2013, have a fixed interest rate of 7.9 percent.

Interest Rates for Direct Loans First Disbursed on or After July 1, 2013
Loan Type Loans  first disbursed on or
after 7/1/13 and before 7/1/14
Loans  first disbursed on or
after 7/1/14 and before 7/1/15
Loans first disbursed on or
after 7/1/15 and before 7/1/16
Direct PLUS Loans 6.41% 7.21% 6.849%

Origination Fees

There is a loan fee on all Direct PLUS Loans. The loan fee is a percentage of the loan amount and is proportionately deducted from each loan disbursement. The percentage varies depending on when the loan is first disbursed, as shown in the chart below.

Interest Rates for Direct Loans First Disbursed on or After July 1, 2013
First Disbursement Date
Loan Fee
On or after Oct. 1, 2014, and before Oct. 1, 2015 4.292%
On or after Oct. 1, 2015, and before Oct. 1, 2016 4.272%

Disbursement of Loans

Loans will begin disbursing after the first day of class. Once funds have been disbursed, they 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.

Maintaining the Loan

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.

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 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.