Federal Grad PLUS Loans

As a graduate student, you may also participate in the federal Grad PLUS Loan program. You must first use your maximum Federal Unsubsidized Direct Loan eligibility before using Grad PLUS (Direct Loans have more favorable benefits). Under this federally-guaranteed loan program,  you may borrow up to the total amount of education costs less any financial aid. Grad PLUS borrowers will be subject to credit approval. The Federal Student Loan Support phone line is 800-557-7394.

PLUS Loan Applications are completed online through https://studentloans.gov Grad PLUS Loan borrowers may begin applying for a 2019-20 Grad PLUS Loan after May 1st. Fall student account balances will be available through eBill and SIS the first week of July.

Please note: In order to use the Grad PLUS Loan to pay your Tufts bill, the loan application should be completed via the process below at least 3 weeks in advance of the billing due date. The federal government will email your credit decision. Once the application process is complete and the loan approved, the funds will be credited (minus fees) to the student account.

Grad PLUS Loan Program Information

When considering a Grad PLUS loan, keep the following points in mind:

  • You must file a FAFSA.

  • The interest rate for the 2018-19 year is fixed at 7.6%.

  • Origination/Guarantee fee for the 2018-19 year is 4.264% for loans first disbursed before October 1, 2018. Loan fees change to 4.248% on October 1, 2018.

  • You must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident to borrow funds.

  • Your student must also be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, and must be making satisfactory academic progress towards a degree.

  • You must be credit-worthy, as determined by the absence of adverse credit on credit history.

  • You may borrow up to the cost of attendance less other financial aid.

  • Most Grad PLUS loans are made to cover fall and spring semester costs. The loan funds are disbursed (minus fees) in two equal payments, 1/2 for the fall semester and 1/2 for the spring semester.

  • The maximum repayment term is 10 years.

  • Repayment begins 60 days after the loan is fully disbursed, but may be deferred while the student is enrolled at least half time.

  • If you borrow a Grad PLUS Loan and are subsequently totally, permanently disabled, or deceased, the loan is forgiven.

Grad PLUS Loan Application Process
  • You must complete a 2017-2018 FAFSA before you can apply for a PLUS Loan.
  • You will need to log in with your FSA ID in order to start the application.
  • First time borrowers must also complete the Master Promissory Note (MPN). You will need your FSA ID to complete the MPN.
  • Repayment is deferred while you are enrolled at least half-time, and for an additional six months after you drop below half-time enrollment. Interest will accrue during deferment.
  • When prompted, we recommend that you request a specific loan amount or choose “maximum amount.” Leaving the amount blank or choosing “I do not know” will delay the processing of your application.
  • Due to the 4.264% loan fee, the amount credited to the student account will be less than the amount requested. To account for the loan fee in your loan amount, divide the desired net amount by .957. For example: To net $10,000 to the bill, divide $10,000 by .957 and request $10,449 as the loan amount.
  • When prompted, we encourage you to borrow enough to cover full academic year costs (fall and spring) rather than one semester at a time.
  • You will be given a credit decision at the end of the application. If you are denied, you will be presented with the options described in the tab below.

If your PLUS Loan request is approved, a pending credit for the semester's loan will be automatically posted to your student’s account. The actual funds will disburse when classes begin.

Grad PLUS Loan Denied Credit Decision

If you are denied a Grad PLUS loan due to adverse credit, you can choose one of two options:

  1. Apply to borrow the loan with an endorser: An endorser is a credit-worthy cosigner who agrees to repay your Grad PLUS Loan if you do not repay the loan. After you designate an endorser, they must create their own FSA ID and complete an Electronic Endorser Addendum. In addition, you will be required to complete PLUS Credit Counseling once your endorser is accepted. 
  2. Appeal the credit decision: If you feel you have extenuating circumstances or the information in your credit report is incorrect, you can provide documentation to the U.S Department of Education. You must also complete PLUS Credit Counseling as part of the appeal.

The U.S. Department of Education provides  a list of conditions they consider as adverse credit history. They use this criteria to make their credit decision for Parent PLUS Loan applicants.