Federal Direct
Graduate PLUS Loan

Graduate PLUS Loans are available to eligible graduate and professional students up to the cost of attendance minus other financial assistance offered each academic year.

Eligibility

You must be enrolled in at least 6 credits as a matriculated graduate student in a graduate or professional program, and you must meet all of the other general eligibility requirements for the Federal Student Aid programs. In addition, you must not have an adverse credit history.

Adverse credit history can include bankruptcy, foreclosure, tax liens, default determination or one or more debts which are 90 days or more delinquent, in collection or charged off during the previous two years and the total combined outstanding balance of those debts is greater than $2085.

Apply for a Graduate PLUS Loan (beginning May 1st for 2015-2016)

STEP 1: You must first complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and receive a financial aid offer. It is recommended that you accept all Direct Unsubsidized Student Loans offered before considering Graduate PLUS loan funding.

STEP 2: Go to http://studentloans.gov to start your PLUS application Process.   

STEP 3: Sign in with your Federal PIN. Once signed in, go to "Start PLUS Application Process," then select "Graduate PLUS."

Once the form is completed, you will receive an instant credit check.

Adverse credit history may cause your credit check to be denied. This can include bankruptcy, foreclosure, tax liens, default determination or one or more debts which are 90 days or more delinquent, in collection or charged off during the previous two years and the total combined outstanding balance of those debts is greater than $2085.

If approved

If the application is approved, first-time borrowers must complete an online Master Promissory Note (MPN) and Entrance Counseling at http://studentloans.gov

  • Notification of your approval will be sent to Binghamton University electronically within 2-3 business days during the academic year. See the following timeline for 2015-16 Graduate PLUS loan processing. 
    • For the 2015-16 aid year, approvals will be viewable via BU BRAIN beginning mid-July 2015. 
    • For the 2015-16 aid year, eMPNs and Entrance Counseling completed online will be viewable via BU BRAIN beginning mid-July 2015.  Note: No money will be disbursed until all requirements are satisfied.
    • Your credit check will be valid for 180 days.

Note: No money will be disbursed until all requirements are complete.

If denied

If the application is denied, there are two options, explained in the following messages that will be displayed after completing the online application:

1. Provide an endorser: The endorser must pass a credit check and sign a promissory note. An email with the Loan Reference ID and an endorser packet will be mailed to the borrower. The endorser will need the Loan Reference ID to complete the paper packet or complete the Endorser Addendum online at http://studentloans.gov. The endorser must create a Federal PIN to sign in and go to "Endorse a PLUS Loan."

2. Credit Appeal -- I want to provide documentation of extenuating Circumstances" option: A package of additional information will be automatically sent to the borrower who will be prompted to send an email with contact information to applicant services.

*If you obtain a loan with an endorser or through appeal you will need to complete online credit counseling (in some cases in addition to entrance counseling) at http://studentloans.gov/.

Terms and Repayment Information

Interest rates for 15-16 aid year will be available in July.  14-15 interest rate is a fixed 7.21% effective July 1, 2014. This means the interest rate will not change throughout the life of the loan. The Department of Education charges an origination fee of 4.292% (first disbursed on or after October 1, 2014 and before October 1, 2015) on the principal amount of each Graduate Direct PLUS Loan. The fee is deducted proportionately from each disbursement of your loan. 

Your first payment will be due within 60 days after the loan is fully disbursed. This will generally be while you are still in school. There is no grace period. However, while you are enrolled in school on at least a half-time (6 credits) basis, you are eligible for an in-school deferment that allows you to postpone payments on your loan until you graduate or drop below half-time (6 credits) status. You must apply for the in-school deferment; it is not granted automatically. Interest does accrue during periods of deferment. 

Last Updated: 4/20/15