Federal Direct Grad PLUS Loan
Direct Grad PLUS loans are unsubsidized loans for graduate/professional students. PLUS loans help pay for education expenses up to the cost of attendance minus all other financial assistance. Interest is charged during all periods. These loans are awarded to graduate/professional students who meet the following criteria:
- Enrolled in an eligible degree-seeking program
- Enrolled at least half-time (4 credits for graduate students, 6 credits for professional students)
Credit check & endorser alternative:
When you apply for a Direct PLUS Loan, the Department will check your credit history. To be eligible for a PLUS Loan, you must not have an adverse credit history. If you are found to have an adverse credit history, you may still borrow a PLUS Loan if you get 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 the loan.
If you are appealing/endorsing the PLUS loan due to adverse credit, additional PLUS counseling must be completed by the Graduate/Med/Law student (for Grad PLUS loans) at studentloans.gov in addition to completing the credit appeal/endorse process (1-800-557-7394 for assistance). The government requires this additional PLUS counseling for anyone appealing/endorsing a PLUS loan with denied credit after March 29, 2015. You may complete PLUS counseling by selecting "Complete Counseling", and selecting the 3rd option "PLUS counseling"
Loan limits, interest rate, and loan charges:
There are no set limits for Direct PLUS Loans, but you may not borrow more than the cost of your education minus any other financial aid received, such as a Direct Unsubsidized Loan and/or grants and scholarships. The school will determine the actual amount you may borrow.
Student's Cost of Attendance
– Financial Aid Awarded
= Maximum PLUS loan amount
Beginning July 1, 2016, the interest rate for Direct PLUS Loans is a fixed rate of 6.31%. PLUS Loans disbursed prior to July 1, 2016, the interest rate is a fixed rate of 6.84%. Interest is charged on Direct PLUS Loans during all periods, beginning on the date of your loan's first disbursement. To find out more information on interest rates for Direct PLUS Loans, contact the Direct Loan Servicing Center at 1-800-848-0979.
In addition to interest, you pay a loan origination fee that is a percentage of the principal amount of each Direct PLUS Loan that you receive. This fee helps reduce the cost of making these low-interest loans. We deduct the fee before you receive any loan money, so the loan amount you actually receive will be less than the amount you have to repay.
Repayment begins immediately after you graduate, leave school, or drop below half-time enrollment (4 credits for graduate students, 6 credits for professional students) and lasts 10 years.
Applying for the Grad PLUS Loan
To take out a Direct Loan for the first time, go to www.studentloans.gov and you must complete a:
- Grad PLUS Application,
- Master Promissory Note (MPN) --First time PLUS borrowers only AND
- The MPN is a legal document in which you promise to repay your loan(s) and any accrued interest and fees to the Department. It also explains the terms and conditions of your loan(s).
- Grad PLUS Entrance Counseling --First time PLUS borrowers only
- If you haven't previously received a loan, you must complete entrance counseling before we can make the first disbursement of your loan. This helps you to understand your responsibilities regarding your loan.
How to apply:
- Go to www.studentloans.gov to complete a Grad PLUS Application
- The Grad PLUS borrower will be asked to "Sign In" using their FSA ID
- Click "Request a Direct PLUS Loan"
- On the next page, choose loan type "Graduate PLUS"
- The Grad PLUS borrower will authorize an immediate credit check
- If credit is approved and it is the first time that the Grad PLUS borrower is seeking the Grad PLUS loan at University of Hawaii at Manoa, then the borrower will be directed to complete the DL Grad PLUS MPN.
- Click on the link "Complete MPN" and choose "Graduate PLUS" to complete an MPN for the loan
The Grad PLUS loan and amount will be approved based on the student's credit from their PLUS application and a completed promissory note. Upon approval, the loan will be disbursed to the student's UH account along with the student's other aid approximately ten days before the start of the semester at earliest. There may be delays if there are unsatisifed requirements or if is enrollment less than full time (8 credits graduate/ 12 credits professional).
When the loan is disbursed, it will satisfy any charges that exist (e.g. Tuition, fees, housing). Any excess funds will be refunded via paper check or e-refund approximately one week after disbursement.
You'll receive a disclosure statement that gives you specific information about any loan that the school plans to disburse under your MPN, including the loan amount and loan fees, and the expected loan disbursement dates and amounts.