2 Best Federal Student Loans for Graduate Students

Many people don’t realize that federal student loans are available for Graduate students as well. Most students wouldn’t be able to afford to further their education with loan options. The loans may be slightly different than undergraduate programs, but they are still dispersed by the same agencies that handle all student loans. Most students will need to do a combination of federal and private monies, but the federal options can provide a large portion of the money needed. Here are the 2 best programs available to anyone.

Grad School and Federal Student Loans

PLUS Loan Options

The PLUS loan was originally set up to help parents put their children through the first few years of college. In 2006 when the federal student loans programs were revamped, the PLUS loans became available to graduate students as well. These loans have a fixed interest rate of 7.9 percent or 8.5 percent, depending on which option the loan is distributed through. These aren’t guaranteed for everyone, and you will need to have decent credit to qualify. If your credit history shows any account more than 90 days past due, any repossessions, foreclosures, or tax liens you won’t be eligible. If you are still in an undergraduate program you can start working on getting your credit in order. You need 3 years of clean credit to qualify, so start early.

Stafford Loan Options

Stafford loans remain the most popular form of student loan help. These federal student loans are granted based on financial need and not credit reporting. The interest rates are variable, but are still much lower than private loans. There are 2 types of Stafford loans- subsidized and unsubsidized. The subsidized loans will have the interest paid by the government while you are in grad school. Once you graduate you start repaying the loans at a low interest rate. Unsubsidized loans will require that you pay the interest. Most students will set up an interest only payment plan while they are in school. In most cases the monthly payments will be under $20 a month and allow you to stay in good standing without dealing with a balloon payment of interest when you graduate.

All in all, there are several federal student loans available for grad school.