Graduate and professional degree students can borrow a Direct PLUS Loan to help cover education expenses. In order to qualify for a Direct PLUS students must not have an adverse credit history and have borrowed the annual loan maximum of $20,500 in Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan before applying. Students are required to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and the Direct PLUS Loan Application and
Master Promissory Note (MPN). The MPN is a legal document in which you
promise to repay the loan and any accrued interest and fees to the
Department. It also explains the terms and conditions of the loan. In
most cases one MPN can be used for loans received over several
years of study, although a separate Loan Request must be filed for each
The interest rate for Direct PLUS Loans is a fixed rate of 7.9%. If you
qualify under the Service Members Civil Relief Act, the interest rate on
loans you obtained before entering military service may be capped at 6%
during your military service. You must contact your loan servicer to
request this benefit. There is a fee of 4% of the loan amount, deducted
proportionately each time a loan disbursement is made.The maximum PLUS Loan amount you can borrow is your cost of attendance
(determined by the school) minus any other financial assistance you will
The repayment period for a Direct PLUS Loan begins when the loan is fully disbursed, and the first payment is due 60 days after the final disbursement. However, you may defer repayment while you are enrolled at least half-time. If your Direct PLUS Loan was first disbursed on or after July 1, 2008, you may also defer repayment for an additional six months after you cease to be enrolled at least half-time.
NEW PLUS LOAN COUNSELING FOR ADVERSE CREDIT
Effective March 29, 2015, the Department of Education has implemented a new PLUS Loan Counseling requirement for PLUS Loan applicants who have been denied due to adverse credit.
If the borrower is later approved for the loan due to an approved Endorser/Co-Signer or due to an appeal based on extenuating circumstances, the borrower will be required to complete the Direct PLUS Loan Counseling.
This new requirement applies to students applying for the Federal Direct Graduate PLUS loan. The PLUS Counseling requirement is in place for each initially denied, then later approved loan. This counseling is in addition to the Graduate PLUS Entrance requirement. Please be advised if the counseling has not been completed, the loan will not appear on the student's bill as a credit or pay to the account.