Loan Program Information
Direct PLUS and Grad PLUS Loans
Federal Direct PLUS Loans are available to graduate students and to parents of dependent undergraduate students. PLUS borrowers generally will need to pass a credit check to determine eligibility. Direct PLUS Loan eligibility is not based on need. The student must be enrolled at least half-time. If a parent is unable to borrow a Direct PLUS, their dependent student may be eligible to borrow additional funds under the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan Program.
The yearly limit on a Direct PLUS Loan is equal to the student's cost of attendance minus any other financial aid received.
Generally, repayment must begin within 60 days after the loan is fully disbursed. There is no grace period for these loans. This means interest begins to accumulate at the time the first disbursement is made. In school deferment and forbearance options may be available. For more information please visit www.studentaid.gov.
The loan funds are sent directly to the school from the lender. In most cases, the loan will be disbursed in at least two installments, and no installment will be greater than half the loan amount. The funds will first be applied to the student's tuition, fees, room and board, and other school charges. If any loan funds remain, the borrower will receive the amount as a refund check. Any remaining loan funds must be used for education expenses.
An alternative (private) loan is a nonfederal loan issued by a lender such as a bank or credit union. Private loans often have variable interest rates, require a credit check and do not provide the benefits of federal student loans. You should always exhaust federal loan options such as Federal Direct Loans and PLUS Loans first before considering a private loan. Students are encouraged to borrow only what they need to cover direct and indirect educational costs.
There are some factors to consider in selecting a lender for an alternative (private) loan:
- Good borrower benefits
- Good customer service
- Prior business dealings with a lender on other consumer loans
- Consumer complaints to the State Attorney Generals Office or to the Better Business Bureau
- Limits on the sale of loans if this is important to you as a borrower
Students are encouraged to compare options and have a thorough understanding of private loan programs before applying. Federal requirements improve the information provided to borrowers through "The Private Student Loan and Transparency Act." These new requirements request disclosure information and self-certification from borrowers. You should plan on 2-4 weeks of processing time on private loans in order for you, as the borrower, to comply with these new requirements.
A 3 year historical listing of all active alternative loans utilized by Mount Marty University students in random order is available for comparison at FASTChoice. This list is provided for your information only. You may choose to select any lender that participates in alternative loans if you are interested in this form of financial aid. You are encouraged to contact lenders and compare programs before selecting an alternative loan.