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.


You must be enrolled in at least six (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 $2,085.

2019-20 Timeline

  • Applications accepted beginning May 1, 2019.
  • Approvals will be viewable via BU BRAIN beginning early July 2019.
  • The Loan Agreement for a PLUS Loan (MPN) and Entrance Counseling completed online will be viewable via BU BRAIN beginning early July 2019. Note: No money will be disbursed until all requirements are satisfied. Your credit check will be valid for 180 days.

Apply for a Graduate PLUS Loan

  1. You must first complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and receive a financial aid offer. It's recommended that you accept all Direct Unsubsidized Student Loans offered before considering Graduate PLUS loan funding.
  2. Start your PLUS application process.   
  3. Sign in with your FSA ID and password. 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.


If the application is approved, first-time borrowers must complete a Loan Agreement for a PLUS Loan (MPN) and Entrance Counseling

  • Notification of your approval will be sent to Binghamton University electronically within 2-3 business days during the academic year. 
  • Note: No money will be disbursed until all requirements are complete.


If the application is denied, there are two options 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. 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:" 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 an appeal you will need to complete online credit counseling (in some cases in addition to entrance counseling).

Terms and repayment information

For 2018-19, the interest rate is fixed at 7.60%, effective July 1, 2018. This means the interest rate will not change throughout the life of the loan.

The Department of Education charges an origination fee on the principal amount of each Graduate Direct PLUS Loan. The fee is deducted proportionately from each disbursement of your loan.

  • Loans disbursed between Oct. 1 2018 and Oct. 1 2019 have an origination fee of 4.248%

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.