Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan
Graduate students are eligible to borrow under the Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan program, pending a credit check approved by the U.S. Department of Education. Students in professional degree programs must be enrolled at least 6 credit hours, and students in the Graduate College or School of Public Health must be enrolled at least 5 credit hours to receive the Federal Direct Graduate PLUS loan. The maximum amount that can be borrowed is the Cost of Attendance minus any other financial aid. The Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan is an unsubsidized loan, meaning the borrower will be charged interest from the time the loan is disbursed until it is paid in full. Repayment begins six months after falling below half-time enrollment. The interest rate is fixed at 7.21%. There are origination fees of roughly 4%.
Master Promissory Note (MPN)
Borrowers of Federal Direct Graduate PLUS loans must sign a Master Promissory Note (MPN) agreeing to pay back the loan to the federal government, with interest, according to the terms of the program. This MPN is separate from the Federal Direct Stafford loan MPN. You must complete the MPN online here.
The graduate/professional student borrower must not have an adverse credit history (a credit check will be done by Direct Loans). If the student does not pass the credit check, they may still receive a loan if someone (such as a relative or friend who is able to pass the credit check) agrees to endorse the loan. The endorser promises to repay the loan if the student fails to do so. In order to endorse the loan, the endorser must complete all requirements. The student may also still receive a loan if he or she can demonstrate extenuating circumstances. For more information please contact Applicant Services at 1-800-557-7394.
Direct Loan Entrance Counseling
Direct Loan Entrance Counseling is REQUIRED for first-time Federal Direct Loan (except Parent PLUS) borrowers. This counseling session and quiz helps students understand their loan responsibilities. Entrance counseling must be completed prior to any Federal Direct Loan (except Parent PLUS) funds being disbursed to your student account. In order to ensure funds are disbursed by the start of school, this should be completed two weeks prior to the start of the semester in which you plan on borrowing your first Federal Direct Loan at UIC.
Direct Loan Exit Counseling
When you leave school, you will be required to complete Direct Loan Exit Counseling which will give you additional information regarding loan repayment.
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