Compare Graduate Student Loans

The chart below compares federal and private student loans for graduate students, including masters and doctoral candidates.

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Graduate Loan

Federal

Direct PLUS Loan

Borrower
Student
(may require a cosigner)
Student
Student
(may require an endorser)
Lender
Discover Bank
Government
Government
Annual Loan LimitLoan amounts are certified and disbursed through the school.Up to 100% of your cost of attendance1Disclaimer Text minus other financial aid.Up to $20,500 (certain health profession programs may be higher; contact your financial aid office for exact amounts).Up to 100% of your cost of attendance1Disclaimer Text minus other financial aid.
Interest Rate

Fixed

APR to APR

Variable

APR to APR
(3-Month LIBOR + to
3-Month LIBOR + )

View APR examplesOpen in new tab2Disclaimer Text
APRs reflect interest rates as of .
5.31% fixed
(for unsubsidized loans with a first disbursement between July 1, 2016 and June 30, 2017).
6.31% fixed
(for loans with a first disbursement between July 1, 2016 and June 30, 2017).
Origination FeesZero dollar1.069%
of loan amount for subsidized and unsubsidized loans with a first disbursement made between October 1, 2016 and September 30, 2017.
4.276%
of loan amount for loans with a first disbursement made between October 1, 2016 and September 30, 2017.
Rewards for Good GradesYesNoNo
0.25% Auto Debit RewardYesYesYes
Payment Deferment while in SchoolNo payments due until 6 months after graduation or enrollment in school less than half-time unless the borrower has elected, during the application process, to make $25 in-school fixed payments.No payments due until 6 months after graduation or enrollment in school less than half-time.No payments due until 6 months after graduation or enrollment in school less than half-time.
Eligible Academic ProgramsMust be enrolled at least half-timeGraduate degree programs.Degree, certificate, study-abroad or certain distance education programs. For more information, contact your school's financial aid office.Degree, certificate, study-abroad or certain distance education programs. For more information, contact your school's financial aid office.
Repayment Plans20
years standard repayment.
10 years standard with flexibility to extend up to
25 years. Multiple repayment options available.

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10 years standard with flexibility to extend up to
25 years. Multiple repayment options available.

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International Student EligibilityYes(with eligible cosigner)NoNo
FAFSA® RequiredNoYesYes
Credit Check RequiredYesNoYes
CosignerDepends on your credit evaluation. Applying with a creditworthy cosigner may improve your likelihood for loan approval and may lower your interest rate.NoBorrowers with adverse credit history may be required to apply with an endorser.

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  • Annual cost of attending a specific school, including tuition, fees, room and board, books and supplies, transportation and personal expenses. This amount is determined by your school.
  • The Annual Percentage Rate (APR) for a variable rate loan may increase during the life of the loan if the 3-Month LIBOR increases. This may result in higher monthly payments, an increase in the number of scheduled payments or both.

    FAFSA is a registered service mark of the U.S. Department of Education.