Graduate PLUS loans are part of the Federal Direct Loan Program.

Federal Direct Graduate PLUS loans are available to graduate students enrolled at least half time who do not have an adverse credit history. Students may borrow up to the cost of attendance minus any other financial aid received. The total education costs may include tuition, living allowance, books and supplies, and transportation. Graduate students must use their Federal Direct Unsubsidized loan eligibility prior to applying for a Federal Direct Graduate PLUS loan.

Interest Rates:

  • Federal Direct Graduate PLUS loans first disbursed on or after July 1, 2019 and before July 1, 2020 have an interest rate fixed at 7.08%, with interest beginning to accrue upon disbursement.
  • Federal Direct Graduate PLUS loans first disbursed on or after July 1, 2020 and before July 1, 2021 have an interest rate fixed at 5.30%, with interest beginning to accrue upon disbursement.
    • The interest rate cap is 10.5%.

Loan Fees: 

  • Federal Direct Graduate PLUS loans first disbursed on or after October 1, 2018 and before October 1, 2019 have a 4.248% loan fee.
  • Federal Direct Graduate PLUS loans first disbursed on or after October 1, 2019 and before October 1, 2020 have a 4.236% loan fee.

Loan fees are retained by the federal government to reduce the cost of supporting these low interest loans.

Process

*Students who apply for a Federal Graduate PLUS loan with adverse credit will be required to complete PLUS Credit Counseling.

  • Student goes to myFinAid to accept, reduce, or decline the GPLUS award amount. This needs to be completed prior to being sent for certification.
  • If the student is registered, all required documents have been received, and all official transcripts are on file with the Office of Admissions, then the Office of Financial Aid sends a Direct Graduate PLUS MPN origination record to the U.S. Department of Education.

Decisions

The U.S. Department of Education is responsible for all Graduate PLUS loan credit decisions. Graduate PLUS Loan borrowers are required to pass a simplified credit check, meaning that the U.S. Department of Education is not looking for a certain credit score or for an extensive credit history, but simply the absence of an adverse credit history. Students can view their application status at StudentAid.gov or by calling Federal Direct Loans at 1-800-557-7394. Credit checks remain valid for 180 days.

The following may cause a Graduate PLUS Loan to be denied. Please refer to StudentAid.gov for more information.

  • Bankruptcy discharge
  • Charge off account, collection account and/or 90 or more days delinquent on any debt
  • Deed in lieu of foreclosure
  • Defaulted loan that is claim paid
  • Foreclosure process started
  • Foreclosure
  • Repossession/voluntary surrender
  • Tax lien
  • Wage garnishment

Students will receive an immediate response of an approved or denied application upon electronic completion as well as the loan reference number, which is needed if the student wishes to pursue an endorser. The Office of Financial Aid will be notified electronically of the credit decision only if the application was completed electronically. Applications are not approved or denied based on the dollar amount requested; therefore, students should NOT complete additional applications once a denied decision is rendered by the Department of Education. Approval for the Graduate PLUS loan is specific to the individual loan. It is possible to be approved for one loan and denied at a later date for a new loan. Once the loan application is denied, the student must either find an endorser or appeal the credit decision by documenting extenuating circumstances.

The Office of Financial Aid has no control or influence on the credit decision rendered by the U.S. Department of Education. All correspondence regarding credit appeals and endorsers must be sent to the U.S. Department of Education.

Denied students still have two options to obtain the Graduate PLUS Loan:

  1. Review their credit report (for free) at AnnualCreditReport.com for possible errors and correct them before appealing directly to the U.S. Department of Education.
  2. Obtain an endorser who does not have an adverse credit history. The endorser will be responsible for repaying the Direct Graduate PLUS Loan if the borrower does not.  

Endorsing a Graduate PLUS Loan

The steps below are to be taken by the endorser. These steps MUST be completed electronically and in a single session; paper addenda will not be accepted:

  1. Create an FSA ID. Endorsers must log in using their own FSA ID to complete an endorser addendum.
  2. Sign in to StudentAid.gov. This is the website where the endorser electronically co-signs for the loan.
  3. Enter the Borrower’s Last Name and the Endorser Code or Award Identification Number (provided by student borrower) and follow the instructions.
  4. Accept or reduce the Direct Graduate PLUS loan amount. This will need to be done prior to the record being sent for certification.

Do you have questions about financial aid? If you haven’t yet applied to Walden, please contact an enrollment specialist at 855-646-5286 in the United States. If you are a current student, please contact a financial aid advisor at [email protected] or call 1-800-WALDENU (1-800-925-3368).

Man sitting at latop
Questions about paying for your education or limited-time savings options?
Questions about paying for your education or limited-time savings options?
We're here to help. Talk to your personal enrollment specialist for more information today. Please use our International Form if you live outside of the U.S.
We're here to help. Talk to your personal enrollment specialist for more information today. Please use our Domestic Form if you live in the U.S.
*Required Field
Academic Interests
Required
Required
Are you or your spouse an active or retired U.S. military service member?
Contact Information
Required
Required
Invalid email address
Please provide a valid phone number
Required
Please provide a valid zipcode
Required
Additional Information
Required
Get Started

By submitting this form, I agree to receive emails, text messages, telephone calls, and prerecorded messages from or on behalf of Walden University and its affiliates as listed in the Privacy Policy regarding furthering my education. I understand that such calls, emails, and messages may be sent using automated technology. You may opt out at any time. Please view our Privacy Policy or Contact Us for more details.

Required

By checking this box, I agree to receive emails, text messages, telephone calls, and prerecorded messages from or on behalf of Walden University and its affiliates as listed in the Privacy Policy regarding furthering my education. I understand that such calls, emails, and messages may be sent using automated technology. You may opt out at any time. Please view our Privacy Policy or Contact Us for more details.