Loans for Graduate Students

View the Comparison Table

Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan

The Direct Unsubsidized Loan is a federal loan offered to students with eligibility as determined by the FAFSA.

No credit check is required on these loans, but you may not be in default on any previous student loans to qualify. These loans are unsubsidized, and interest will begin accruing while you are in school. You may defer repayment for up to 6 months after leaving school.

Learn more about the Direct Unsubsidized Loan for Graduate Students

Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan

The Direct Graduate PLUS Loan is a federal loan. A credit check is required.

While the interest rate on the Direct Graduate Plus Loan is higher than the Direct Unsubsidized Loan, it is typically lower than a private student loan. Interest will begin accruing as soon as the first disbursement of funds is made, but repayment may be deferred for 6 months after you leave school.

Learn more about the Direct Graduate PLUS Loan

Alternative/Private Loans

Alternative loans are offered by third-party, private lenders. A credit check is required and they are not based on financial need. Alternative loans have fixed and variable interest rates which depend on the borrower and co-signer's credit and the loan market. We generally recommend that a student exhaust all federal loan opportunities before using Alternative loans.

The amount you may borrow will be the amount that remains from your estimated Cost of Attendance after subtracting all other forms of financial aid you have accepted, such as scholarships, grants, work study and federal loans.

Learn more about Alternative/Private Loans

Dreamers Graduate Loan Program

The Dreamers Graduate Loan Program supports Dreamers with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) or Temporary Protected Status (TPS) status who want to pursue professional degrees to achieve their career aspirations but do not have access to affordable financing options. This loan program provides loans to individuals with DACA and TPS status with interest rates based on the annual percentage rate (APR) available via the federal government’s Direct PLUS loan program. This is a private loan program, with Funding U as the loan originator and Launch LLC as the loan servicer. Learn more at the Higher Ed Immigration Portal.

Graduate Loans 2023-24
Loan Interest Rate Year Max* Lifetime Max Credit Check? Subsidized? Repayment Grace/Deferment Period Fee?**
Direct Unsubsidized Loan 7.05% $20,500 $138,500 No No 6 months  Yes
Direct Graduate PLUS Loan 8.05% Up to COA None Yes No 6 months Yes
Alternative Loan Varies Up to COA None Yes No None No

*The total amount of financial aid, including loans, cannot exceed Cost of Attendance (COA). COA is set by Cal Lutheran and includes tuition, fees and a cost of living allowance.
**Fees are subtracted from the disbursed monies each term and are typically calculated as a % of the amount disbursed. Alternative loan fees may vary.