Graduate Plus Loan
Congress has recently passed legislation allowing graduate
students to borrow from the Federal PLUS loan program beginning
July 1, 2006. Unlike undergraduate PLUS loans, where the
borrower is the student’s parent, Graduate PLUS loans allow
only the student to be the borrower. Students must meet
federal credit criteria to qualify. The interest rate for
2006-07 will be fixed at 8.5%. The standard repayment period
is 10 years. Borrowers may be able to extend the repayment
period to as long as 30 years through federal student loan
consolidation. As more details become available, the Illinois
Institute of Technology Downtown Campus Office of Financial
Aid web site will be updated and students will be instructed
on how to apply for a Graduate PLUS loan.
In addition to the federal PLUS loan for graduate students,
there are several types of private, credit-based student
loan programs designed specifically for law students. These
private loan programs are similar to consumer loans and
require the borrower (and in some cases, the co-signer)
to be credit-worthy. Most lenders have telephone and web
application processes to inform the potential borrower if
they qualify for the private loan based on their credit-worthiness.
Interest rates for private loans are variable. Recipients
may defer payment up to 9 months after graduation. The maximum
repayment period varies from lender to lender, and may be
as long as 25 years.
Through the graduate student PLUS loan or private loans,
students may borrow up to the cost of attendance, less other
aid, each academic year. Interest on these loans begins
to accrue upon disbursement.
When applying for federal loans or private educational
loans, please anticipate what you will need to satisfy your
educational expenses for the entire nine month academic
year. Students are encouraged to apply for only one supplemental
loan (PLUS or private) per academic year. Applying for too
many new loans in a short period of time can damage your
credit (more than three inquiries in 12 months could lower
your credit score).
A complete list of preferred lenders who participate in
the Graduate PLUS loan and private educational loan programs
will be available soon.
The Pros and Cons of Federal Student Loan
Consolidation for In-School Students
- Low fixed interest rate
Unlike Federal Stafford Loans, which have a variable interest
rate, the rate on a Federal Consolidation Loan is fixed.
The fixed interest rate is calculated using the weighted
average of the loans that are being consolidated, rounded
up to the nearest 1/8%. Until June 30, 2006, the Federal
Stafford Loan rate for students who are in-school is 4.7%.
Therefore, the interest rate on your Federal Consolidation
Loan may be as low as 4.75%.
- Retain deferment benefits
In order to consolidate your loans while you are in-school,
the loans will be placed in repayment status. However,
you are still eligible for in-school deferment. Therefore,
when the consolidation process is complete, your Federal
Consolidation Loan will be placed in deferment status.
- Lower monthly payments
With a Federal Consolidation Loan, the loan repayment
period may be extended from the standard 10 years to a
maximum of 30 years, depending on the total loan amount.
This will result in a lower monthly payment amount.
- No prepayment penalties.
There is no penalty to pre-pay your loan at anytime.
No credit check
- Loss of grace period
In order to consolidate your Federal Stafford Loans while
you are in-school, your loan must be placed in repayment
status. When your loan is placed in repayment status your
6-month grace period will be waived. While you are in-school
your loans may be deferred, but once you graduate or cease
to be enrolled at least half-time your loans will go into
repayment immediately. Please keep in mind that although
you loose your grace period you still have the option
to postpone repayment through other deferments (i.e. economic
hardship, unemployment) or forbearance. Ask you consolidation
lender for details.
- Not all lenders offer in-school consolidation
Check with your lender to determine if they offer federal
loan consolidation for in-school students.
- Higher overall interest cost
By extending your repayment period you may incur higher
overall interest costs.
• Access Group
• Sallie Mae
*The IIT-Downtown Campus Office of Financial
Aid created this document to provide students with general
information about federal loan consolidation, based on our
research. Please confirm the loan terms with your lender
when you apply. The Office of Financial Aid does not recommend
one lender in particular.
In order to qualify for federal financial
aid for 2006-2007, you must complete a Free Application
for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or Renewal FAFSA for 2006-2007.
In order to complete the 2006-2007 FAFSA you will need to
provide 2005 income and tax information, so we recommend
that you complete your 2005 tax returns before filing your
FAFSA. However, we also recommend that you complete your
FAFSA as soon as possible to receive full consideration
for financial aid.
You can complete your FAFSA or Renewal FAFSA
online at www.fafsa.ed.gov
Applying for Private Loans
Whether you are applying for a private loan for the first
time this academic year or you are looking to borrow additional
funds, please keep the following in mind:
Borrowing for the first time this year:
Apply online with any of our preferred lenders here.
Remember to apply for the amount that you want to receive
for the full academic year (fall/spring for Kent students
and fall/winter/spring for Stuart students). Our office
will automatically certify your loan for the full academic
year and split the total loan between all terms.
Borrowing additional funds:
Students who have already borrowed a private loan with
Access Group for the 05-06 school year may complete a loan
amendment form to increase their loan amount. Please stop
by our office in Room 230 to complete this form.
Students who have already borrowed from any other private
lender must apply for an addtional loan. To do so online,
please visit our preferred lender list here.
Please keep in mind that all loans will be certified for
the full academic year, so plan accordingly when requesting
your loan amount.
Please be aware that our office will only certify additional
loan funds for you if you are eligible to receive additional
financial aid. Your total financial aid award for the 05-06
school year cannot exceed your cost of attendance, as calculated
by our office.
New Stafford Loan Rates
The new Federal Stafford Loan rates for the
period from July 1, 2005 to June 30, 2006 have been set.
The rates are as follows:
4.70% during in-school, grace, or deferment
5.30% during repayment
Free Credit Report
Did you know that you are now able to receive
a free credit report once every 12 months? We encourage
students to review their credit reports annually to check
for inaccuracies and identify any suspicious activity.
To receive your free credit report, please
visit the following link: www.annualcreditreport.com.
This central site allows you to request a free credit
file disclosure, commonly called a credit report, once
every 12 months from each of the nationwide consumer credit
reporting companies: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.
Please be aware that other sites may advertise
free credit reports, but this is the only site that is
sponsored by the federal government and the three nationwide
credit reporting agencies. Other sites may charge fees.
Refund checks are generated by the Bursar's Office
and are available to be picked up at their office
(Room 290) approximately 5-7 business days after a
credit has resulted in a student's account.
The Bursar's Office will send the student an email
when a refund check is available.
- Suite #230
Monday-Thursday ~ 8:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Friday ~ 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m
Phone: (312) 906-5180 -
Fax: (312) 906-5274