The Stafford Plus Loan or the Graduate Plus Loan or Grad PLUS is a low and fixed interest student loan which is guaranteed by the U.S. Government. The Graduate Plus Loan is not loan/aid like other Federal aid but it is a credit based loan which is similar to a private student loan and has the benefit of having a fixed interest rate and federal guarantee.
The Stafford Plus loan or the Graduate Plus loan allows graduate students to borrow the total cost for their school/educational needs including tuition, room and board, lab expenses, supplies, travel and any other financial aid.
Key Benefits of Stafford Plus Loans
- Cosigner is not required.
- Stafford Plus loans can be deferred while the student is still in school.
- Interest rate on Stafford Plus Loans is fixed at 7.9%.
- The interest is tax-deductible for most of the grad students.
Other Features of Stafford Plus Loans
The loan eligibility and the total loan amount is not based on the household income level or the personal income level, personal assets or financial need. Grad-plus borrowers will have to pass a credit check and thus it is important to have a good credit rating for past loan payments.
The lender of such a loan (Direct Loan servicing) will send the loan funds to the school directly. Thus the school might require you to endorse a disbursement check and send it to the school. Then in most of the cases the loan will be disbursed in two installments at least and the installments will not be greater than half the loan amount. The loan amount will be given to the school in account for educational purposes and if any loan funds remain it will be given to the borrower in cash which must be used for educational expenses.
To get qualified for the Stafford Plus Loan the borrower needs to have a good credit history with no default of payments on loans taken before.
Is a cosigner needed?
A cosigner might be needed in a Stafford Plus Loan if his/her credit is insufficient. Graduate students with good credit do not need to have a cosigner to apply for the loan. But if you get denied you can also re-apply with a cosigner.
How much can I borrow with a Stafford Plus Loan?
The yearly limit on a Stafford Plus Loan or a Graduate Plus Loan is equal to the cost of attendance minus any other financial aid the borrower may receive. For example if the cost of attendance is $60,000 and you have received $30,000 in other financial aid you can borrow up to no more than $30,000. Thus $30,000 would be the maximum you can borrow from Stafford Plus Loan in this case.
Thus we see that the Stafford plus Loan is a federal student Loan which is credit based and awarded by the U.S Government. The interest rate is fixed at 7.9%. There are also other types of student loans as alternatives to Stafford Plus loans which are federal student loans. The official website for Stafford Plus Loans and other loans is Stafford Loans.