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Graduate PLUS Loan Information

The Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan is an unsubsidized loan for students enrolled in a graduate degree or eligible certificate program. Graduate PLUS Loans help pay for education expenses up to the cost of attendance minus all other financial assistance. Interest is charged during all periods. The FAFSA application is required to be completed to be able to process a Graduate PLUS Loan. The lender is the U.S. Department of Education and you can learn more about this loan, the current interest rate and loan fee through the Federal Direct PLUS Loan Program.

Approval for the Graduate PLUS Loan is based on a student's credit check for adverse credit history and the student being enrolled at least half-time in a graduate degree program. A student can complete a PLUS Request on the Department of Education's website to apply for the Graduate PLUS Loan.

If a student is denied for a Graduate PLUS loan, then the student may:

  • Appeal by documenting to the Department of Education that there are extenuating circumstances related to the student's adverse credit history; or
  • Obtain an endorser who does not have an adverse credit history. An endorser is someone who agrees to repay the Direct PLUS Loan if you do not repay it; or
  • Take no action on the PLUS application.

There are a number of advantages in considering the Graduate PLUS loan over a private educational loan. As a responsible borrower, you should decide which loan option best suits your needs. There is no obligation to accept this loan if approved.

Repayment

Repayment typically begins thirty days after full disbursement of the loan and the student will have ten years to repay the loan. The standard repayment term is ten years and the interest rate may vary depending on the disbursement date.

Please review this sample repayment schedule to provide insight into loan repayment under the standard repayment plan. This chart is for estimating purposes only.

Visit the Federal Student Aid Site to learn more about PLUS repayment plans, deferment, discretionary forbearance and mandatory forbearance options.

Responsible Borrowing

You should always borrow what you need to assist with the cost of education and not just the amount that you may be eligible to borrow. After you receive your award letter, if you find that you do not need all of the loan amount you qualify for to cover the current year's tuition and expenses, then make sure to reduce or cancel loan amount(s) not needed. This will reduce your overall student debt when you enter repayment. To revise a loan award, please follow the procedure outlined in your award letter notification.

Graduate PLUS Borrower Requirements

First time Direct Loan Graduate PLUS borrowers must complete the following requirements before a loan disbursement will be applied to his/her account.

  • Complete Entrance Counseling online which helps you learn about a Federal Direct PLUS Loan, how the process works, how to manage your education expenses, and understand your rights and responsibilities as a borrower. If you have not previously received a PLUS loan under the Direct Loan Program or the FFEL Program, then you'll be required to complete entrance counseling even if you previously completed it for a subsidized or unsubsidized loan.
  • Complete the PLUS Master Promissory Note (MPN) which is a legal document in which you promise to repay the amount borrowed and any accrued interest to the U.S. Department of Education. It also explains the terms and conditions of your loan(s). SNHU uses the multi-year MPN which means students can borrow additional Direct PLUS Loans on a single MPN for up to ten years except for students who obtain an endorser. Students who obtain an endorser when borrowing a Direct PLUS Loan must complete a new MPN for each loan attached to an endorser.

Direct Graduate PLUS Loan Instructions

Step 1: To apply for a Graduate PLUS Loan:

  • Go to StudentLoans.gov
  • Log in to your account (or create a new account) using your FSA ID.*
  • Select "Graduate/Professional Students" dropdown
  • Choose 'Apply for a PLUS Loan'
  • Follow the instructions to apply for a PLUS Loan

If you are a first-time borrower, then you will need to complete the following:

Step 2: Complete Entrance Counseling

  • Go to StudentLoans.gov
  • Log in to your account (or create a new account) using your FSA ID.*
  • Select "Graduate/Professional Students" dropdown
  • Choose 'Complete Entrance Counseling'
  • Follow the instructions to complete entrance counseling

Step 3: Complete a Graduate PLUS MPN

  • Go to StudentLoans.gov
  • Log in to your account (or create a new account) using your FSA ID.*
  • Select "Graduate/Professional Students" dropdown
  • Choose 'Complete Loan Agreement for a PLUS Loan (MPN)'
  • Follow the instructions to complete the Master Promissory Note.

If a student successfully appeals or obtains an endorser, the student borrower is required to additionally complete online credit counseling for PLUS Loan borrowers. The PLUS Credit Counseling will help students understand the obligations associated with borrowing a PLUS loan and assist them in making careful decisions about taking on student loan debt.

Complete Online Credit Counseling Only for an Appeal or Endorsed PLUS Loan

  • Go to StudentLoans.gov
  • Log in to your account (or create a new account) using your FSA ID.*
  • Select "Graduate/Professional Students" dropdown
  • Choose 'Complete PLUS Credit Counseling'
  • Follow the instructions to complete the PLUS Credit Counseling

*If you do not remember your FSA ID, you can access it online at fsaid.ed.gov

Exit Counseling

After you graduate, drop to a less than half time status, or are no longer enrolled, you are required to complete exit counseling. Exit counseling prepares a borrower for repayment by reviewing borrowing history, identifying loan servicers, forecasting monthly payment schedules, identifying repayment plans, and provides strategies for successful repayment. You can complete this counseling requirement online by:

  • Going to StudentLoans.gov
  • Log in to your account using your FSA ID.*
  • Select "Graduate/Professional Students" dropdown
  • Choose 'Complete Exit Counseling'
  • Follow the instructions to complete Exit Counseling

National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS)

The National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) is the U.S. Department of Education's online database for federal student loan borrowers. NSLDS receives data from schools, loan guarantee agencies, the Direct Loan program and other Department of Education programs. This online resource allows you to be an educated borrower by providing loan types, loan amounts, loan servicers, and disbursement dates. These details are the first steps in determining the repayment plans that is right for you to successfully manage your debt.