Types of Loans for Graduate Students
Loans are types of financial assistance that must be repaid. Be sure that you understand the terms of any loans you borrow for your education. The repayment terms of student loans can vary. The terms of each loan type and estimated repayment schedules will be available through Direct Loan Servicing. For MSU Denver students, your Federal Direct Stafford and Federal Graduate PLUS Loan guarantor will be the Department of Education. Online Entrance Interviews are mandatory for all first-time Stafford Loan borrowers at MSU Denver to inform you of your rights and responsibilities as a student borrower. Loan type and loan eligibility amount is determined by the Office of Financial Aid, based on information from the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). If you have further questions about a loan, please contact the Office of Financial Aid and/or Direct Loan Servicing.
Types of Loans
Federal Direct Stafford Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans
- Federal Direct Stafford Loans are offered directly to students and funded by the Department of Education. You are automatically considered for a Direct Stafford Loan after submitting your FAFSA.
- Repayment of your Federal Direct Stafford Loans is deferred until 6 months after you graduate, stop attending school, or drop below half-time enrollment.
- There are two different types of Federal Direct Stafford Loans. A Subsidized Loan does not accrue interest until your loan goes into repayment status. An Unsubsidized Loan begins accruing interest at the time the loan is disbursed. You can choose to pay the interest on an Unsubsidized Loan monthly, or else have it accrue on to the principal balance of your loan, which will increase the amount you have to repay.
- Whether students are offered Subsidized or Unsubsidized Loans depends on their financial need as determined by the information submitted on their FAFSA. There are different borrowing limits and fees for Federal Direct Stafford Loans. Graduate students are eligible to borrow a total of $20,500, not exceeding the amount of $8,500 in Subsidized Stafford Loan.
- For more detailed information on Federal Direct Stafford Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans click here.
Federal Graduate PLUS Loan
- Graduate PLUS loans are available to graduate students who are enrolled at least half-time in an eligible degree program. Graduate PLUS loans are funded by the Department of Education as part of the Direct Lending program.
- Graduate PLUS loans are not need-based, but are dependant on a credit check. If you have an adverse credit history, it is possible to obtain a co-signer.
- Graduate PLUS Loans begin to accrue interest from the time the loan disburses. Repayment begins 60 days after the loan is fully disbursed. However, you have the option to request an in-school deferment that allows you to postpone payments until 6 months after you graduate, stop attending school, or drop below half-time enrollment.
- There are no annual limits on Graduate PLUS loans. Graduate students can borrow up to the difference between the school's determination of their cost of attendance and other financial aid received.
- Please note that Federal Direct Stafford Loans have certain advantages over Graduate PLUS Loans, such as lower interest rates, and an automatic 6 month grace period after leaving school before repayment begins. Students are advised to accept their offered Federal Direct Stafford Loans before choosing to take out a Graduate PLUS Loan.
- For more detailed information about Graduate PLUS Loans click here.
Federal Perkins Loans
- Federal Perkins Loans are low interest, need-based loans funded by the Federal Government. To qualify for a Perkins Loan, you must have financial need as determined by the information submitted on your FAFSA.
- Federal Perkins Loans do not accrue interest until they go into repayment status. Repayment begins 9 months after you graduate, stop attending school, or drop below half-time enrollment.
- Because MSU Denver acts as the lender, you will make your payments directly to the MSU Denver Bursar's Office, CN 107.
- Federal Perkins Loan Funding is extremely limited, so your actual award amount may be less than annual federal loan limits and may vary from year to year.
- For more detailed information on Federal Perkins Loans click here.
- Please note that Federal Direct Stafford Loans and Graduate PLUS Loans have certain advantages over Alternative Loans, such as more lenient repayment options and lower fixed interest rates. Students are advised to accept their offered Federal Direct Stafford Loans and Graduate PLUS Loans before considering Alternative Loans.
- Alternative Loans are available to students who are not eligible for federal loans or who need additional assistance beyond the financial aid that is offered to them. Alternative Loans are offered by private lenders who require the completion of their loan application process.
- Lenders typically require the Office of Financial Aid to certify the loan based on the student's enrollment information and their cost of attendance. Students can borrow up to the difference between the school's determination of their cost of attendance and other financial aid received.
- For more detailed information on Alternative Loans click here.