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Alternative and Grad PLUS Loans

Federal Graduate Plus Loan & Private Alternative Loan Information

The Federal Stafford Loan Program annual loan limits are typically less than a student’s financial aid budget for the year. However, there are now two types of credit based programs for you to consider. These loans provide the extra money the student needs to bridge the gap between the cost of education and the amount of financial aid awarded. They are a private alternative loan or a Federal Graduate Plus loan.

Private Alternative Loan

The alternative loan is a private loan designed for all students. Repayment of these loans typically begins 6 months after graduation (or separation) from your program. However, these loans are credit based and the student must meet certain credit criteria or apply with an eligible co-signer to be approved for these loans. Most of the lenders offer variable interest rates, and many set your interest rate based on your credit rating. If you were awarded an alternative loan, you must still apply with a lender to be approved and receive this loan.

Federal Graduate Plus Loan

The Federal Graduate Plus loan program is designed for Graduate/Professional Students only. The Grad/Plus loan is very similar to the private alternative loan. These loans are also credit based; however, the student must meet different credit criteria set by the Federal Government. The interest rate for this loan is a fixed rate of 8.5%. Repayment begins 60 days after the loan is fully disbursed; however you can request an in-school deferment on this loan (for each year/semester of enrollment) until graduation (or separation) from your program. Please note: dependent, undergraduate students interested in the Plus loan program, may request their parents apply for the Parent Plus Loan program.

Application Process

You must have loan eligibility listed in your student awards before you can apply for one of these loans. If you wish to apply for either loan, you may choose a lender from the lender list and apply at the lender’s website.

Many lenders offer you a pre-approval process so you can determine your eligibility for the loan. If you are approved for the loan, the lender will notify our office so we may provide the school certification portion. If you are not approved, you are encouraged to contact the lender to determine the reason for the denial. If denied, most lenders will work with you to offer possible alternatives, such as applying with a co-borrower.

Please contact us at: 806.743.3025, if you have any questions about your financial aid.