Graduate PLUS Loan Basics

Click here to apply for a Graduate PLUS Loan

Before beginning the application process, please read the important information below.

Before processing an application for a Federal Direct Grad PLUS Loan, The University of Alabama must receive the results of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) submitted by the student. The student is not required to accept Federal Direct Subsidized and/or Direct Unsubsidized Loans offered on the basis of the FAFSA results.

All loans are subject to Cost of Attendance limitations. No awards may be made to a student who has reached the limit of his/her financial aid budget. If additional resources are received by the student after loans have been awarded, the loans may be reduced and funds returned to the U.S. Department of Education.

If approved for the Federal Direct Grad PLUS Loan, the student borrower must:

  • Sign a Federal Direct Grad PLUS Master Promissory Note (MPN), if he or she has not already done so, using his or her own Federal Student Aid ID. This MPN is a different document from the MPN signed by the student for Direct Loans;
  • AND complete entrance counseling for the Federal Direct Grad PLUS Loan, if he or she has not already done so. This entrance counseling is NOT the same entrance counseling completed by the student for Federal Direct Subsidized and/or Unsubsidized Loans.

If credit for the Federal Direct Grad PLUS Loan is denied, the student borrower may seek an override of the credit decision either through an appeal, or obtain paperwork for an eligible endorser, by contacting Federal Student Aid directly at 1-800-557-7394. Alternatively, an endorser may obtain the loan reference number from Student Financial Aid and complete the Endorser Addendum using his or her own state federal FSA ID (not the student’s). Each time an endorser is used to obtain a reversal of credit denial, a new Master Promissory Note (MPN) must be signed by the student borrower.

If informed that a credit override will be sought, Student Financial Aid will originate a Grad PLUS Loan in order to expedite the process of obtaining a credit override. This loan origination does not guarantee the eventual acceptance and disbursement of the loan.

A student may not be awarded for all semesters for which he or she has applied. In this case, the PLUS application will be reviewed again for subsequent semesters, which may require another credit check.

For additional details, including interest rates and repayment information, please visit the Federal Student Aid website for the most complete information.

Other Graduate PLUS loan information


  • A Grad PLUS applicant must complete and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) before applying for a Direct Grad PLUS Loan.
  • A Grad PLUS applicant is not required to receive Direct Subsidized Loan and/or Direct Unsubsidized Loan funds as a condition for receiving a Direct Grad PLUS Loan.
  • A Grad PLUS applicant is required to be enrolled at The University of Alabama at least half time.
  • A Grad PLUS applicant must meet The University of Alabama’s Satisfactory Academic Progress Standard as defined in the Graduate Catalog.
  • A Grad PLUS application decision of approval or denial is based on credit score standards determined by the U.S. Department of Education.

Credit Worthiness

To be eligible for the Federal Direct Grad PLUS Loan, the applicant cannot have adverse credit, which can include: (1) 90 days or more delinquency on the repayment of any debt; or (2) the subject of a default determination, bankruptcy discharge, foreclosure, repossession, tax lien, wage garnishment or write-off of a Title IV debt during the last five years.

Credit Check

  • The Department of Education performs a credit check and notifies our office with a loan approval or denial. The University of Alabama will not see any information contained in your credit report.
  • Any previous credit decision (approval or denial) has no bearing on the credit decision made this year.
  • If you request a loan for more than one loan period, your credit record may be accessed more than one time.

Interest Rates

For current information on Grad PLUS interest rates, visit Federal Interest Rates and Fees.

Approved Loans

If the Grad PLUS Loan is approved, your information will be updated on your myBama account indicating the amount awarded each term. Complete the Federal Direct Grad PLUS Master Promissory Note (MPN), if you have not already done so.

  • An approval notification will be sent to the borrower from the Federal Student Aid office.
  • You must complete entrance counseling for the Grad PLUS loan online at


Repayment of the Federal Direct Grad PLUS Loan begins within 60 days after the final loan disbursement, unless the student is enrolled at least half time and has requested, and received, a deferment. For information about repayment terms/rates, deferment, and other terms of the Grad PLUS Loan, contact: Borrower Services, Higher Education Loan Service Center at 1-800-848-0979, or at

Denied Loans

If denied, you will be notified by the Federal Direct Loans office. If you appeal your credit denial or seek an endorser, you may also be required to complete federal PLUS loan counseling. Direct Loans will notify you if you need to complete the counseling requirement. By contacting Federal Student Aid directly at 1-800-557-7394, you may: (1) dispute your credit report; (2) clear up “adverse” items; and/or (3) obtain paperwork for an eligible endorser. Alternatively, an endorser may complete an Endorser Addendum.


The information on this application may be disclosed to third parties as authorized under routine uses in the Privacy Act notices called “Title IV Program Files” (originally published on April 12, 1994, Federal Register, Vol. 59, p. 17351) and “National Student Loan Data System” (originally published on December 20, 1994, Federal Register, Vol. 59, p. 65532). Thus, this information may be disclosed to parties that The U.S. Department of Education authorizes to assist them in administering the Federal Student Aid programs, including contractors that are required to maintain safeguards under the Privacy Act. Disclosures may also be made for verification of information, determination of eligibility, enforcement of conditions of the loan or grant, debt collection, and the prevention of fraud, waste, and abuse and these disclosures may be made through computer matching programs with other Federal agencies.

Annual Loan Limit

A borrower may borrow a maximum of the cost of attendance minus all other aid.