Graduate students may borrow a Direct PLUS Loan for any year that they are enrolled at least half-time. Under the Federal Direct Student Loan program, the federal government serves as the lender and, as of July 1, 2014, the interest rate is fixed at 7.21%. Fees of 4.29% are subtracted from each disbursement to cover the loan origination fee.
The Direct PLUS Loan is a credit-based loan which allows you to borrow up to the cost of attendance, less any other financial aid already awarded. Cost of attendance includes the total cost of tuition, fees, and room and board billed by the university, plus a standard calculation for books, supplies, transportation, and personal expenses.
Applications for the Direct PLUS Loan are processed online through the U.S. Department of Education student loan website
Graduate students are automatically granted a deferral on monthly PLUS Loan payments. Payments are deferred until six months after you cease to be enrolled at least half time, although interest continues to accrue. Graduate PLUS borrowers have the option to begin repayment 60 days after the PLUS Loan is fully disbursed. The standard repayment period is 10 years.
You can expect to hear from your lender/lenders about 30-45 days before the first payment is due. If you don't hear from your lender, it is your responsibility to contact them.
If you have questions about what loans you have, you can review your federal loan history through the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS).
You will need your Federal Student Aid PIN. If you have forgotten your PIN you can have it reissued at the Federal Student Aid PIN website.