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Loans

A graduate degree is an investment in your future, and one way many students choose to fund that investment is through carefully considered borrowing. When managed correctly, an educational loan can be an invaluable tool in financing your DU education, as many educational loans offer more favorable terms than other consumer loans. Of course, since all loans must be repaid, you should explore all of your options and only borrow what you absolutely need.

 

Federal Loan Options

  • Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan

    The Federal Direct Unsubsidized loan is the most widely used loan for graduate students. Almost all students who submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) will have this loan offered as a part of their financial aid package.

    Eligibility Requirements: Available to students enrolled at least half time (4 credits or more) in a degree-seeking program who submitted a FAFSA, regardless of financial need.

    Maximum Loan Amount: $20,500 per academic year. The lifetime borrowing limit is $138,500.

    Interest Rate:

    • For loans borrowed during the 2018-19 academic year: 6.60%
    • For loans borrowed during the 2017-18 academic year: 6.00%
    • For loans borrowed during the 2016-17 academic year: 5.31%


    These interest rates are fixed for the life of the loan.

    Interest begins accruing when the loan is first disbursed and continues to accrue throughout the life of the loan. You can pay the interest directly to your servicer as it accrues, if you wish. If not paid, interest will be capitalized when repayment begins.

    Origination Fee: A loan origination fee is proportionately deducted at disbursement of each installment of the loan. The percentage varies depending on when the loan is first disbursed. For loans first disbursed on or after Oct. 1, 2017, and before Oct. 1, 2018, the rate is 1.066%.

    Requirements to Receive Loan: You must complete both a Master Promissory Note and entrance counseling online at www.StudentLoans.gov, and remain enrolled at least half time (4 credits or more) to receive funds.

    Repayment Terms: No payments are required while you're in school, and repayment begins six months after you graduate or drop below half-time enrollment. Payments are made to your Direct Loan servicer each month. Your monthly payment amount will depend on your total borrowing and chosen repayment plan.

    Repayment Options: The standard repayment period is 10 years but can be as long as 25 years depending on total borrowing and chosen repayment plan. These loans can also be consolidated with other federal loans.

    Learn More

  • Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan

    The Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan (commonly referred to as a Grad PLUS loan) is a fixed-interest, federally guaranteed loan available to credit-worthy graduate students. This loan is automatically offered to law students in their financial aid package; all other graduate students will need to complete a separate application.

    Eligibility Requirements: The Grad PLUS Loan is available to all credit-worthy students who submitted a FAFSA, regardless of financial need. To be approved, you must not have an adverse credit history. If you are denied a Graduate PLUS loan because of adverse credit, you may reapply with a credit-worthy cosigner. If there are documented extenuating circumstances related to your credit history, you may also appeal the denial.

    Conditions that result in an adverse credit history include:

    • One or more debts with a total combined outstanding balance greater than $2,085 that are 90 or more days delinquent, or that have been placed in collection or charged off (written off) during the two years preceding the date of the credit report.
    • Having been subject to any of the following conditions during the five years preceding the date of the credit report:
      • Default determination
      • Discharge of debts in bankruptcy
      • Foreclosure
      • Repossession
      • Tax lien
      • Wage garnishment
      • Write-off of a federal student aid debt


    Maximum Loan Amount: Up to your total cost of attendance, minus all other financial aid.

    Interest Rate:

    • For loans borrowed during the 2018-19 academic year: 7.60%
    • For loans borrowed during the 2017-18 academic year: 7.00%
    • For loans borrowed during the 2016-17 academic year: 6.31%


    These interest rates are fixed for the life of the loan.

    Interest begins accruing when the loan is first disbursed and continues to accrue throughout the life of the loan. You can pay the interest directly to your servicer as it accrues, if you wish. If not paid, interest will be capitalized when repayment begins.

    Origination Fee:

    A loan origination fee is proportionately deducted at disbursement of each installment of the loan. The percentage varies depending on when the loan is first disbursed. For loans with a first disbursement on or after Oct. 1, 2017, and before Oct. 1, 2018, the rate is 4.264%.

    Steps to Apply:

    For graduate students:

    1. Sign into www.StudentLoans.gov.
    2. Request a PLUS Loan.
    3. Complete a Master Promissory Note, or MPN.
      (Links to both of these items are on the homepage after you log in.)


    For law students:

    1. Accept the loan through PioneerWeb.
    2. Sign into www.StudentLoans.gov.
    3. Complete a Master Promissory Note, or MPN.
      (The link is on the homepage after you log in.)


    A credit check will be conducted once you have accepted the loan or begin the loan application process. If you are initially denied the Graduate PLUS loan, but have since qualified by obtaining an endorser or documenting extenuating circumstances, you will also be required to complete PLUS Counseling. This can be completed through www.StudentLoans.gov as well.

    Once you're approved, the Department of Education will send us confirmation of your loan approval and the details of the requested amount. For graduate students, the loan will be added to your financial aid award after processing.

    Requirements to Receive Loan: You must pass a credit check, complete a Master Promissory Note online at www.StudentLoans.gov and remain enrolled at least half time (4 credits or more) to receive funds.

    Repayment Terms: No payments are required while you're in school, and repayment begins six months after you graduate or drop below half-time enrollment. Payments are made to your Direct Loan servicer each month. Your monthly payment amount will depend on your total borrowing and chosen repayment plan.

    Repayment Options: The standard repayment period is 10 years but can be as long as 25 years depending on total borrowing and chosen repayment plan. The Grad PLUS loan can be consolidated with other federal loans.

    Learn More

Estimate your loan payments.

Compare your future monthly payment amounts under different repayment plans.

Repayment Estimator

Private Education Loans

Many financial institutions offer private student loans, sometimes called alternative loans. These programs may offer interest rates and terms that are competitive with those of federal loans. However, federal student loans are legally required to provide a range of repayment options, including income-based repayment plans and loan forgiveness benefits. Private loans are not required to offer any such flexibility. Since Federal Direct loans are available to all students regardless of financial need, they often represent a preferable funding option.

Federal vs. Private Loans

  • Details and Preferred Lenders

    Interest rates, origination fees and repayment information all vary widely from lender to lender. If you choose to pursue a private education loan, you will need to apply directly through the lender of your choice. Apply early, as processing may take several weeks. As part of the application process, you will be required to complete the Private Education Loan Applicant Self-Certification Form, which is also available through each lender's website. Information needed to complete this form, such as cost of attendance, can be obtained from either your award letter or via PioneerWeb.

    Eligibility: Private Education Loans are available to all credit-worthy students, and no FAFSA is required. Eligibility for private loans varies among lenders, but a credit check and/or debt-to-income ratio is usually required. A co-borrower may also be required. This type of loan must be applied for separately.

    Maximum Loan Amount: Up to your total cost of attendance, less all other financial aid.

    Preferred Lenders: We maintain a list of our preferred private loan lenders. You can view this list through FastChoice, which allows you to compare lenders by overall cost, interest rate and repayment benefits.

    Our preferred lenders are chosen because of their:

    • Demonstrated history and ongoing commitment to student lending
    • Borrower benefits, such as repayment and graduation incentives
    • Broad student eligibility requirements, which provide options to students who may not be eligible for federal student aid
    • Zero origination or repayment fees
    • Competitive variable and fixed interest rate offerings
    • Options for forbearance and death or permanent disability discharge
    • Transparency regarding the effects of capitalizing interest
    • Options for in-school repayment
    • Willingness to provide co-signer release when the student borrower has demonstrated their ability to repay the loan on their own
    • Strong commitment to customer service for both borrowers and University of Denver staff


    We will certify loan requests from all lenders, including those that do not appear on our private loan lender list. Loans will first pay toward your charges, and if you have borrowed an amount greater than your bill, the Bursar's Office will generate a refund to you for the difference.

Compare your private loan options.

Preferred Lender List
student studying

The Loan Process

If you borrow from the Federal Direct Loan program, information regarding your loans will be submitted to the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) and will be accessible by guarantee agencies, lenders and institutions determined to be authorized users of the data system. All loan funds are first disbursed to the University of Denver — any excess funds may be sent to you in the form of a refund.

Your Bill & Receiving Your Aid

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