Beyond Stafford Loans
What loans for graduate students are out there?
Paying for their children’s education is often a dream for many parents; however, this is not always feasible because of increasing tuition rates. The PLUS Loans program offers parents an affordable opportunity to pay for their children’s higher education.
This program is a government-assisted program that provides parents and students with another way to pay for continued education. Stafford loans are available for students, but PLUS loans are only granted to parents who are held financially responsible for the debt. Many parents who don’t currently have a large amount of savings in the bank for college tuition are still financially able to make monthly payments for a college loan. This is a great option, because students are often swamped with loan bills they acquired from Stafford loans immediately after they graduate, and likely before they are able to find their first well-paying position at a company.
Besides the recipients of the loans, there are many differences between PLUS Loans and Stafford loans. PLUS Loans are only granted to parents who have good credit scores (if parents have bad credit scores, students might try for Stafford loans), and are limited to the amount of tuition after all other financial aid has been applied. On the other hand, these loans do not have the six-month grace period granted to students who receive Stafford loans, the minimum payment is $50 a month and must begin sixty days after the complete loan is applied, and any excess money from Stafford loans goes directly to students, but excess money from PLUS Loans goes directly to parents.