Graduate PLUS Loans
Federal Direct Graduate PLUS loans are federal loans which supplement Stafford loans for most students. The maximum amount available to borrow is equal to the student budget minus all other financial aid.
Grad PLUS loans have a fixed interest rate of 7.9% which accumulates while the student is enrolled. However, the lender will allow the interest to accrue separately until the time the student enters repayment, at which point the interest will capitalize (i.e., become part of the principal). Repayment on the loans generally begins six months after graduation, or six months after the borrower ceases to be enrolled at least on a half-time basis. There is a 4% origination fee on Grad PLUS loans, which may increase to 4.204% due to the federal budget sequestration.
Grad PLUS loans, unlike Stafford loans, require a minimal credit check. This check, however, does not evaluate borrowers' credit scores, only their current standing on required payments, the existence of charged-off debt, and significant past events, such as bankruptcy. Contact the Financial Aid Office for more information if you have concerns about your credit.
Grad PLUS loans are generally disbursed in two installments, half at the beginning of each semester (but different allocations may be requested in some circumstances). Funds arrive electronically and are posted to the student's account no sooner than just prior to the start of classes. If the student owes Georgetown Law, funds will be applied first to the outstanding account balance (tuition, housing, and other authorized charges) and the excess may be transferred to the student's bank account.
Repayments are made over a 10-year period, unless the borrower extends the repayment period to up to 25 years (based on total loan volume borrowed). Grad PLUS loans may be included in a Federal Direct Consolidation Loan (which have a repayment period of up to 30 years) and are eligible for Income-Based Repayment and Public Service Loan Forgiveness.
The Financial Aid Office expects that the majority of students, including all students potentially interested in participating in Georgetown Law's Loan Repayment Assistance Program or who may seek Public Service Loan Forgiveness, will select Grad PLUS loans over the alternative commercial loan options, if a supplement to Stafford loans is necessary.