If paying for your undergraduate education wasn’t hard enough, finding ways to cover your graduate school expenses can be impossible. Often working while attending graduate school, most students would do just about anything to keep from having to take out more student loans.
Unfortunately, there are only so many things you can do, short of robbing a bank (not recommended), to come up with the cash to pay for school outright, so students have no choice but to take out graduate school loans.
The good news is there are loans specifically for graduate students that try to make the entire process as easy on the student as possible.
The Graduate PLUS Loan
The federal government has a loan specifically for graduate students called the Graduate PLUS Loan. It has a low, fixed interest rate, meaning it will stay the same until the loan is completely paid off. This is good because it prevents surprise due bills if the interest rate were to suddenly jump. Fixed rates will save you money and make it easy to budget your finances.
One of the nice things about the Graduate PLUS loan is the ability to defer payments until you are finished with school. This way you’re able to focus on your classes and worry about paying your loan back after you’ve graduated and are hopefully working a high paying job.
You won’t need a cosigner to help you get the loan, either, which makes things easier. All lenders require is a brief credit check to make sure you haven’t recently defaulted on any other loan payments. Once you clear that red tape you will be able to request a loan up to the total amount of tuition, room and board, minus any other financial aid you’ll be receiving.
It’s common to be in a situation where paying for school is difficult, but thanks to the Graduate PLUS Loan, many students are able to avoid taking out pricey private student loans that usually have much higher interest rates and are less flexible in their repayment structure.