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Loans

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The University of Chicago administers several loan programs to assist students in covering educational costs. See below the different options that are available to you. 

Federal Loan Programs

For most student borrowers, Federal programs provide the most appealing choice for loan options. Federal programs offer:

  • Cancellation/forgiveness options
  • Low interest rates with fixed interest caps
  • Deferment options

Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans

The Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan provides a fixed rate, low-interest loan. First-time borrowers must complete and sign a new Master Promissory Note (MPN) and entrance loan counseling in order to receive this loan. Continuing borrowers who have completed an MPN within the last ten years do not have to complete a new note. If you have completed entrance loan counseling at any time in the past, you do not need to complete it again. Please be aware that the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan is subject to fees. Fees are deducted upfront from each disbursement.

Federal Direct PLUS (Grad PLUS) Loan

The Federal Direct PLUS loan program offers a federal loan for graduate students. Approval for this loan is contingent upon your credit rating. Graduate students may borrow up to the cost of attendance minus financial aid. A Grad PLUS application must be completed every year at studentloans.gov both for each award year you wish to borrow the loan and for subsequent requests for the Grad PLUS loan within an award year.

First-time borrowers must complete and sign a new Master Promissory Note (MPN) and entrance loan counseling in order to receive this loan. Continuing borrowers who have completed an MPN within the last 10 years do not have to complete a new note. If you have completed entrance loan counseling at any time in the past, you do not have to complete it again. The Grad PLUS loan is subject to fees. Fees are deducted up front from each disbursement.

The credit check for a Grad PLUS loan applicant will be valid for 180 days from the date of application. A loan request may be denied if there’s an adverse credit rating. If this happens, it’s recommended that you contact the Direct Loan Servicing Center at 1-800-557-7394 or visit their website to confirm why the loan was denied and explore the appeal process. Otherwise, there is the option to reapply for the loan with an eligible endorser (cosigner).

Students who obtain a Grad PLUS loan after documenting extenuating circumstances or obtaining an eligible endorser (cosigner) will be required to complete special PLUS loan counseling. This additional loan counseling is in addition to the Grad PLUS loan entrance counseling.

Federal Loan Types Loan Fees (Origination) Interest Rate Maximum Annual Loan Amount Repayment
Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan

1.069% (10/1/16-9/30/17)

1.066% (10/1/17-9/30/18)

Fixed 6.00% $20,500 Begins 6 months after graduation/leave school/drop below half-time
Federal Direct PLUS (GradPLUS) Loan

4.276% (10/1/16-9/30/17)

4.264% (10/1/17-9/30/18)

Fixed 7.00% May borrow up to the cost of attendance Begins after loan has disbursed. Students may be eligible for a deferment. Please contact your loan servicer for more information.

*funds dispersed to student account

Alternative Loans

Alternative loans are non-Federal loans and should be used as a last resort. Approval for an alternative loan is contingent upon your credit rating. A loan request may be denied if there’s an adverse credit rating. If this happens, it’s recommended that you to contact the lender to appeal the decision or reapply with a cosigner. Learn more about alternative loan options.

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