Federal Student Loan Programs for Graduate and Professional Students

Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan Program

Under the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan program, you do not have to demonstrate financial need to borrow funds; furthermore, the interest is not subsidized by the federal government. Consequently, you will have to make interest payments or allow the bank to capitalize the interest accrued during the period of enrollment. You may borrow up to $20,500 annually.. The maximum aggregate debt (lifetime limit) is $138,500 minus any subsidized funds received, and including any debt incurred during undergraduate study. The interest rate is 6.21%, with an origination fee of 1.073%. Interest rates and fees are set by Congress, and are subject to change annually. Repayment begins six months after you graduate or drop below half-time enrollment.

Federal Direct PLUS Loan

If you are a graduate student who has borrowed the annual maximum in federal loans or you have exhausted your lifetime loan eligibility, you may be interested in the Federal Direct PLUS Loan. This loan allows you to borrow up to the full cost of attendance, minus any other financial aid you receive. You do not need to demonstrate financial need to qualify, but you must show that you are creditworthy. The interest rate is 7.21% with no lifetime borrowing limit. There is an origination fee of 4.292%. Interest rates and fees are set by Congress, and are subject to change annually. Repayment begins six months after you graduate or drop below half-time enrollment. After graduation, you may consolidate PLUS Loans with Direct Loans.

Note: You will not be denied a loan because you do not have a credit history. If you do have an adverse credit history, you may still receive a PLUS Loan if you obtain an endorser who does not have an adverse credit history.