GradPLUS Loans have the following program features, as set by federal regulations.
- Maximum loan limit is the difference between your student financial aid budget and all other aid. For example, if you have a student budget of $92,200 and Stafford loans of $20,500, you can borrow a maximum amount of $71,700 (plus loan fees).
- You must pass a credit check and not have adverse credit. You are considered to have an adverse credit history if you are 90 or more days delinquent on any debt or if, within 5 years of the date of the credit report, you have been the subject of a default determination, bankruptcy discharge, foreclosure, repossession, tax lien, wage garnishment, write-off of a federal student aid debt (for example, a Federal Direct Loan), or an open collection account.
- Interest rate is fixed for the life of the loan. Interest rate for new loans is set annually. The rate for the 2017-18 academic year is 7%
- Loan fee rate is 4.276% and it is deducted from the loan amount prior to disbursement. You most likely will want to increase your loan amount by the deducted fees in order to net the exact amount you need. We will increase your budget for the fee amount and process the loan at the higher amount. Additionally, the fee will be eligible for LIPP. For example if you decide you’d like to borrow $10,000 you will need to increase your loan by the fee amount. To do this take $10,000 and divide it by 0.95724. The gross loan amount would be $10,447 and the fee would equal $447 and the loan will disburse in two equal installments of $5,000: one each semester.
- Loan Fee changes for new loans disbursed on or after October 1, 2017 (TBD)
- You will have a six month post enrollment deferment and your first payment will be due in the seventh month after the last day of class in the year you graduate or withdraw from Harvard Law School.
- You must complete a Direct GradPLUS Loan application at the federal student loan site via our application page.
- The following federal benefits apply to this loan program:
- Deferment is a postponement of payment on a loan that is allowed under certain conditions such as enrollment in a degree seeking program. No payment would be required while in deferment.
- Forbearance is a postponement of payment on a loan, typically if the borrower doesn’t qualify for a deferment and is unable to make payments for a reason such as poor health or unemployment. Interest continues to accrue during forbearance and using forbearance does not adversely affect your credit history. Your loan will remain in “good standing” and avoid default by using this benefit. You are eligible for up to 36 months of forbearance.
- Consolidation is program by which you rewrite the terms of your federal loans to a new and fixed interest rate based on the weighted average of the loans you wish to consolidate.
- Death and Disability is a discharge from the obligation to repay a student loan
Additional Application Requirements: Once you are approved for the GradPLUS loan you must sign an electronic master promissory note. A master promissory note generally only needs to be signed once during your time at HLS, and future Direct GradPLUS loans can be disbursed based on the original promissory note.