You may borrow up to $20,500 per academic year (Fall through Summer) in Federal Direct Unsubsidized loans, with a lifetime limit of $138,500 (subsidized and unsubsidized). The interest rate for these loans, as of July 1, 2018, is 6.6 percent annually, and a 1.062 origination fee is deducted at disbursement as of October 1, 2018. As of July 1, 2012, there are no longer any Federal Direct Subsidized loans available to graduate or law students: as soon as your loan is disbursed, interest begins to accrue.
After you drop below half-time status, these loans have a six-month grace period before repayment begins. A Federal Direct Unsubsidized loan has forbearance and deferment options, may be consolidated, may be paid back under several different repayment plans, and may be eligible for forgiveness under the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program.
If you do not have adverse credit, you may secure the additional amount of aid for which you are eligible by applying for a Graduate PLUS loan. See this website for an application. A Graduate PLUS loan is federally guaranteed, and interest accrues while you are in school. The interest rate is fixed at 7.6 percent, as of July 1, 2018 and a 4.248 percent origination fee is deducted from the disbursement as of October 1, 2018.
After you drop below half-time status, you must immediately begin paying back these loans. A Graduate PLUS loan has forbearance and deferment options, may be consolidated, may be paid back under several different repayment plans, and may be eligible for forgiveness under the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program.
If your application for a Graduate PLUS loan is denied, you have several options for reapplication, including obtaining the signature of a cosigner.
If you are a Texas resident, you may also choose to secure the additional amount of aid for which you are eligible by applying for College Access loans, funded by the State of Texas. Click here to apply or for more information. Residency requirements can be viewed here.
You or a cosigner must have favorable credit (including a credit score of 650 or higher), must not have public records such as tax liens or bankruptcy proceedings, must have a minimum of 4 credit trade lines, and must not have defaulted on any federal or private education loans. There is no origination fee. The interest rate is fixed at 5.3 percent. You may not take out these loans if you have not already used your Federal Direct Unsubsidized loan eligibility.
You have a six-month grace period after you drop below half-time status before you must start paying back your loans. These loans may not be consolidated and may not be forgiven under the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program, but they do have several repayment options.
Some private lenders offer loans. However, we strongly advise you to check on repayment plans and interest rates, and please note that these loans probably have credit requirements and are not eligible for consolidation, income-based repayment, or federal loan forgiveness programs. To explore these types of loans, please visit here.