UNM Graduate Loan Programs
UNM participates in the Federal William D. Ford Direct Loan program (known as Direct or Stafford Loans). The lender is the U.S. Department of Education rather than a bank or other financial institution. UNM also participates in the Federal Direct PLUS Loan Program. The Federal Graduate PLUS Loan is available to students enrolled at least half-time (5 credit hours) in a graduate or professional program and who meet all of the other general eligibility requirements for the federal student aid programs. Below are the types of loans you are considered for and possibly offered upon completing your FAFSA and your Financial Aid file.
- Are not based on financial need.
- Loan origination fee varies by year, usually around 1%.
- Interest accrues while you are in school or in deferment, unlike the subsidized loan.
- Repayment begins 6 months after you graduate, drop below half time, or withdraw. Learn more about managing repayment of your student loans.
Graduate PLUS Loans
- This loan requires a credit check. If it is determined that you have an adverse credit history there is a way to appeal the decision, please read the ‘Options for PLUS Denial’ in the How to Apply section below.
- Interest does accrue while you are in school or in deferment.
- Repayment begins 6 months after you graduate, drop below ½ time (5 credit hours), or withdraw.
- You may borrow up to the full Cost of Attendance, less other financial aid received.
Interest Rates and Fees
- Interest rates are fixed and locked in at the date of the first disbursement of the loan
- Click here for current interest rates and fees for each type of Federal Direct Loan
Independent Students borrowing Subsidized or Unsubsidized
Student Grade Level
Annual loan limit
$9,500 (Maximum of $3,500 can be subsidized)
$10,500 (Maximum of $4,500 can be subsidized)
Independent Junior or Senior
$12,500 (Maximum of $5,500 can be subsidized)
Graduate or Professional
Note: Annual Loan Eligibility is your Federal Determined Loan limit for the year. Many factors are used in determining the actual amount of your loan award, such as Cost of Attendance, Financial Need and Other Anticipated Aid. UNM will attempt to only offer you loans after all other types of aid (Scholarships, Grants, and Work Study) have been considered.
Lifetime Loan Limits for Federal Direct Loans (Subsidized and Unsubsidized)
Lifetime Loan Limits
$31,000 (up to $23,000 may be subsidized)
$57,500 (up to $23,000 may be subsidized)
Graduate or Professional
$138,500 (includes undergraduate borrowing)
Direct PLUS Lifetime Aggregates
How much can I borrow in Direct PLUS Loans?
There are no set annual or aggregate lifetime limits. You may borrow up to your full cost of attendance, minus any other financial aid you receive (including Direct Subsidized Loans, Direct Unsubsidized Loans, scholarships, and certain fellowships).
Do Direct PLUS Loan amounts count toward the $138,500 Direct Subsidized/Unsubsidized Loan aggregate loan limit for graduate/professional students?
No. Only Direct Subsidized/Unsubsidized Loans and Federal Stafford Loans (subsidized and unsubsidized) made through the Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program count toward the $138,500 aggregate.
How To Apply
Unsubsidized Loan Borrowers
Graduate PLUS Borrowers
- Complete Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
- Complete your Financial Aid File
- Accept the Graduate PLUS loan online (view instructions)
- If you have not been offered a Graduate PLUS loan and would like to be considered for one please submit the ‘Federal Graduate/Professional PLUS Loan Request’ form from our forms page, please choose the corresponding aid year.
- First time borrowers will need to complete the Federal Direct Grad PLUS Loan Master Promissory Note and Entrance Counseling at www.studentloans.gov.
+Options for PLUS Denial
If you have received an adverse credit decision, you may still be eligible to receive a Direct PLUS Loan. To become eligible, you may take one of the following actions:
- Obtain an endorser and complete PLUS Counseling.
- An endorser is someone who does not have an adverse credit history and agrees to repay the loan if you do not repay it.
- Document to the satisfaction of the U.S. Department of Education that:
- The information causing the adverse credit decision is incorrect.
- There are extenuating circumstances relating to the adverse credit history. (Note: Endorsers aren't eligible for this option.)
- Complete PLUS Counseling