Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loans are available to students in graduate and professional degree programs with good credit histories. If the student is enrolled at least half-time, the student may borrow up to the total of the Estimated Cost of Attendance less Veterans Benefits and all other financial aid resources.
Applying for a Grad PLUS Loan
Online application is available. This new online application should streamline the PLUS Loan application process and offer faster student aid delivery.
- Refer to the Graduate PLUS loan amount offered in your MyCharleston account for the maximum PLUS loan amount you may apply for.
- PLUS Borrower Logs into http://www.studentloans.gov/ with their Federal PIN.
- Click 'Start PLUS Application Process.
- Next click the “Request a PLUS Loan” link and read the information provided.
- Then click the “Graduate PLUS” link to begin the application.
- Enter Borrower Information. Enter student and school information.
- Review Data Entered. Next verify the information that has been entered. Correct any information that was entered incorrectly.
- Credit Check. Federal Direct PLUS awards are based upon credit. To qualify for the loan, the PLUS borrower must first pass a credit check. The credit check will end in approval or denial.
- Begin the Master Promissory Note process. Read the information provided upon completion of a successful credit check. Click your student's name to begin the promissory note.
- Complete the MPN. Enter the required information then read and agree to the terms and conditions of the loan.
- Review and Sign the MPN. Review the information provided, complete the signature boxes and click 'Sign'.
To be eligible for a Grad PLUS Loan, students must:
- Be a U.S.Citizen or eligible non-citizen
- Be enrolled at least half-time in a graduate or professional program
- File a Free Application for Federal Aid (FAFSA) for the intended year
- Not be in default on any type of student loan
- Not owe a repayment on a student grant
- Pass a credit check
CofC electronically transmits PLUS information to Direct Loan Origination and Applicant Services. LOAS will process the loan and run a credit check on the student borrower. The credit decision is not based on credit score, but on negative items in your credit file, such as past due accounts, charged‐off accounts, liens, bankruptcies, repossessions, etc. A Grad PLUS loan approval does not insure future Grad PLUS loan approvals, as that will be based on the information in your credit file at the time of application. If your credit is denied LOAS will notify the applicant and identify the name & phone number of the agency that reported the adverse credit status. If the credit data is inaccurate, the loan denial decision may be appealed by contacting LOAS. Please note that CofC Financial Aid is not provided any information about the reason for the denial. All loan denial appeals are handled by LOAS. LOAS may be contacted at (800) 557-7394.
If the decision was based on accurate information, the applicant may exercise the option to obtain an endorser (similar to a co-signer) on the loan. The LOAS will include an endorser promissory note with the denial letter. The endorser can be the other parent or anyone who meets the above credit criteria and is willing to endorse the PLUS loan. The student may not endorse the parent's loan. The endorser note should be returned to LOAS.
When LOAS notifies our office of the loan denial, we will set the PLUS Loan Origination Rejection Form (PLORF) as a requirement on your financial aid account. An email will be sent to the student's College of Charleston Edisto email account with instructions to check the Student Requirements in the Financial Aid section of MyCharleston. The purpose of the PLORF is to provide options and for the borrower to officially communicate to the Office of Financial Aid exactly what (s)he plans to do about the GRAD PLUS denial.
Interest and Fees
- Interest Rates: 7.9% Direct Graduate PLUS Loan
- Origination Fee: 4.204% Assessed to Borrower
- Interest Rates: 7.9% Direct Graduate PLUS Loan
- Origination Fee: 4.0% Assessed to Borrower
Common Interest Questions
Q.When does interest accrue on my loan?
A. It depends on the type of loan and the status of the loan.
- On Direct Unsubsidized student loans, PLUS loans, and the unsubsidized portion of a Consolidation loan, interest accrues in all statuses beginning from the day it was disbursed until the date it is paid in full.
- Interest accrues on a daily basis. Factors such as the number of days between your last payment, the interest rate, and the amount of your loan balance determine the amount of interest that accrues each month.
Q. Is there a maximum amount the interest rate can be raised to?
A. Yes. All variable interest rate Direct Loans have a maximum interest rate. You can see the maximum rate for each loan type by reviewing the current interest rates found on Direct Loan's interest rate information table.
Repayment begins 60 days after the final disbursement of the loan. For example, if you apply for the loan for the full academic year, half of the loan will be disbursed in the Fall and half of the loan will be disbursed in the Spring. You will begin repayment 60 days after the Spring disbursement.
There is no grace period for Direct PLUS Loans. However, you can postpone payments on your Direct PLUS Loan while you are in school. While you are enrolled in school on at least a half-time basis, you are eligible for an in-school deferment that allows you to postpone payments on your Direct PLUS Loan until you graduate or drop below half-time status.
Direct Loan Servicing Center may automatically grant an in-school deferment on your Direct PLUS Loan based on information reported by your school to the U.S. Department of Education showing that you are enrolled at least half time. The Direct Loan Servicing Center will notify you of the deferment and of your option to cancel the deferment and begin making payments on your loan. Make sure you contact the Direct Loan Servicing Center to verify an in-school deferment was granted via https://www.myedaccount.com/ or (800) 848-0979.
- Direct Loan Repayment Calculator
Calculate your Federal Student Loan monthly payments.
- Visit StudentAid.gov for general information about paying for college, repaying federal student loans, and resolving disputes. Here are some helpful links within StudentAid.gov:
- Visit the National Student Loan Data System to access your federal student aid history.