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Direct Graduate PLUS Loan

How much am I eligible to borrow?

You may borrow up to the full cost of your education, less other financial aid including Federal Stafford Loans, scholarships, grants, and tuition remission. If you receive additional aid or if your cost of attendance is reduced through a change in residency, your Graduate Plus eligibility will be adjusted.

View the cost of attendance.

The Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan is a federal loan that enables graduate and professional students with good credit histories to help meet educational expenses.

Even though the Graduate PLUS Loan is available to all graduate and professional students regardless of financial need, you must still file the FASFA to be eligible.

The Graduate PLUS Loan has a higher interest rate than Federal Stafford Loans and students should exhaust their Federal Stafford Loan eligibility before applying for a Graduate PLUS Loan. A credit check is required, although credit requirements are less stringent than for alternative student loans.

For additional information concerning Federal Direct Loans including interest rates, fees, consolidation, deferments, and loan calculators, see the Federal Student Aid Direct Loan Site.

  • Enrollment Requirements

    To receive any federal student loan (including the Graduate PLUS Loan), you must be enrolled at least half-time. Half-time for fall and spring semesters is six (6) credits.  Half-time during the summer semester is three (3) credits for graduate, law and APD students.

    Undergraduate students do not qualify for the Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan.

  • Application Process

    The application for the Graduate PLUS Loan can be found online at  Sign in using your Social Security number and FAFSA PIN.  After you're signed in, choose "Request a Direct PLUS Loan" and follow the prompts.  Include the following on your application to ensure successful processing: 

    • Award Year: 2014-2015 (Summer 2015)
    • School Name: University of Baltimore
    • Loan Amount: Maximum amount (cost of attendance less any other aid) or specify your loan amount*
    • Loan Period: 05/2015-08/2015
    • Award Year 2015-2016 (for Fall 2015, Spring 2016, Summer 2016)
    • School Name: University of Baltimore
    • Loan Amount: Maximum amount (cost of attendance less any other aid) or specify your loan amount*
    • Loan Period: 08/2015-05/2016 (Fall 2015 and Spring 2016) 08/2015-12/2015 (Fall 2015 only) or 01/2016-05/2016 (Spring 2016 only)

    *Your loan will have two disbursements if you choose a full year loan period. Half of your loan will disburse in the fall and the other half in the spring. For example, a $10,000 Graduate PLUS Loan will have a $5,000 disbursement in September and a $5,000 disbursement in February, less the origination fee.

  • Credit Criteria

    Credit approval is based on federally mandated criteria and not your credit score. In order to qualify, you must not have any of the following items on your credit report:

    • Any current delinquency of 90 days or more
    • Default, bankruptcy, discharge, foreclosure, repossession, tax lien, wage garnishment, write-off of a Title IV debt, or open collection within the last 5 years

    Recent changes in the law that governs the terms and conditions of PLUS Loans establish a specific extenuating circumstance for certain PLUS Loan applicants who would otherwise be considered to have an adverse credit history. Specifically, a PLUS Loan applicant may qualify for a PLUS Loan based on extenuating circumstances if the applicant:

    • Has been or is delinquent for 180 days or less on mortgage loan payments or on medical bill payments for the applicant or the applicant’s family, and
    • Does not otherwise have an adverse credit history as determined in accordance with the federal regulations that apply to PLUS Loan applicants.
  • Credit Decisions

    Credit Approval

    Credit approval is valid for three months. Your credit is evaluated every time you request a new loan unless you have had a credit decision within the preceding three months.

    If you think you may have one or more of the items outlined in the credit requirements listed above you may want to obtain your credit report in advance. You may be able to fix an item such as the delinquency by simply making a payment and bringing your delinquency to less than 90 days. If you have had a situation with a discharge or collection item for example, you may be able to obtain a “settled in full” status if you work with the entity to reach a satisfactory arrangement. If you are able to fix an item, it is no longer considered in the credit evaluation and it may result in your credit being approved.

    Credit Denial Options

    Correspondence will be sent to Direct PLUS Loan applicants, by Direct Loans, who receive an adverse credit determination. Information will include instructions to appeal the denial of a Direct PLUS Loan application.  Such options include:

    • Apply with an endorser
    • Correct any invalid information on your credit report that may have led to the denial
    • Appeal the denial

    For additional information about these options, contact Applicant Services at 1-800-557-7394.

  • Interest Rate and Origination Fees

Last Published 7/21/15