Why Pick a Graduate PLUS Loan? | 09.21.10

Posted in Graduate Loans, PLUS Loans, Student Loans By Student Loan Network Staff

As a graduate student, the pressure is higher than ever and of course, your classes are likely more expensive than your undergraduate career. The majority of loan products available to you are graduate Stafford loans, graduate PLUS loans and private student loans.

Getting back to the primary question, why pick a graduate PLUS loan?

There are some differing schools of thought on this, but I’ll break down the benefits and differences so you can decide which makes more sense for your financial information.

Graduate PLUS Loans vs. Private Student Loans

Interest Rate

  • Grad PLUS = 7.9% fixed
  • Private = variable, based on the Prime or LIBOR + X%; can be very low with good credit or a creditworthy cosigner

Repayment Terms

  • Grad PLUS = several repayment options including: Standard, Graduated, Income Based Repayment, Income Contingent Repayment and Extended Repayment
  • Private = Generally 1 or 2 standard repayment plans; often 15 years

Incentives / Benefits

  • Grad PLUS = interest rebate for one year’s worth if you make every payment on time during the first year; 0.25% APR reduction for auto-debit payments
  • Private = a variety of different options depending on the lender such as: APR reductions, graduation rewards, co-signer release and more

To learn more about the differences between graduate PLUS loans and private student loans, check out GradLoans.com’s “Comparing Graduate PLUS and Graduate Private Loans” page.

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