The 4 Best Grad Student Loans

The cheapest student loans come from charities, colleges and the federal government.

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[Confused by financial aid terms? Check out our financial aid glossary.] 

4. Grad PLUS: Graduate students who need more money after maxing out their Perkins and Stafford loans can borrow the full remainder of their educational costs (after other financial aid), including basic living expenses such as transportation, child care, etc., from the PLUS program. Grad PLUS loans charge 7.9 percent in interest and 4 percentage points in fees, for an APR of about 8.8 percent. Because PLUS loans are made directly by the federal government, all students can get all the money they qualify for, no matter what college they attend. The PLUS application includes a credit check. So students with bad credit, including defaulted student loans, recent bankruptcies and the like, generally do not qualify for PLUS loans.