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 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.

2020-21 Timeline

  • Applications accepted beginning May 15, 2020.
  • Approvals will be viewable via BU BRAIN beginning late July 2020.
  • PLUS Master Promissory Note (MPN) and Entrance Counseling completed online will be viewable via BU BRAIN beginning late July 2020. 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.

Approved

If the application is approved, first-time borrowers must complete a PLUS MPN for Graduate/Professional Students 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.

Denied

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 Endorser Addendum . 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 Oline credit counseling (in some cases in addition to entrance counseling).

Terms and repayment information

The interest rate is fixed at 5.30%, effective July 1, 2020. 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 2019 and Oct. 1 2020 have an origination fee of 4.236%
  • Loans disbursed between Oct. 1 2020 and Oct. 1 2021 have an origination fee of 4.228%

You don't have to start making payments until six months after you graduate, leave school, or drop below half-time enrollment.

During any period when you’re not required to make payments, interest will accrue on your loan. You may choose to pay the accrued interest or allow the interest to be capitalized (added to your loan principal balance) when you have to start making payments. Your loan servicer will notify you when your first payment is due.