I'm in the US, and I'm trying to make a decision about my educational strategy. I have a basic idea of what I can do for unsecured undergrad bank loan, and what credit rating I would need. How can I find out the requirements for a grad school loan? I would like to look at both government and private loans, but I'm close to my government loan limit.

  • @Brythan, I understand that most students are funded but I need to cover all my bases. I Have edited my questions to address your concerns.
    – jamesson
    May 23, 2018 at 21:44
  • Be sure your plan takes into account the interest you will pay and how long it will take to pay off the loan. Borrowing $100k on a graduate degree that increases your income by $20k and delays your earnings by 3 years may not be a wise investment versus paying for the degree either by working through grad school or saving while working with a bachelor's degree..
    – D Stanley
    May 23, 2018 at 21:47
  • 2
    If you're close to the government loan limits then you're borrowing too much money. Either use your own income to pay for college or find a cheaper school.
    – D Stanley
    May 23, 2018 at 21:49
  • 1
    @DStanley Understood, but nonetheless I would greatly appreciate the info I requested
    – jamesson
    May 23, 2018 at 22:10
  • @Brythan - it depends on the industry. For example, generally Law, Business, Music, and Medical schools are among those that do not pay you to attend. Also, those that do pay you oftentimes do so for PHD but not Masters.
    – TTT
    May 23, 2018 at 22:32

2 Answers 2


Private loans have the following criteria:

Most private student loans require a credit score of at least 650 on an 850 scale, though some lenders have much higher minimum credit scores. Borrowers with excellent credit scores may still be denied a private student loan because of secondary criteria, such as a high debt-service-to-income ratio (e.g., insufficient income or excessive debt), volatile annual income and self-employment.

Grad PLUS uses this:

The PLUS loan is the only federal education loan that considers the borrower's credit history. Eligibility does not depend on credit scores, but rather on whether the borrower has an adverse credit history. An adverse credit history is defined as having a derogatory event within the last 5 years (e.g., tax lien, bankruptcy, foreclosure, repossession, wage garnishment or default determination) or a current delinquency on any debt of 90 or more days.



You could go to the bank that you're planning to borrow from and ask. There are two ways of checking loan eligibility: One is quick and does not affect your credit history, but the result is only approximate. The other is to do an actual loan application which will go on your history, but also produce an offer you can actually take. Depending on what you want, ask them to do one of these and see if you qualify. You can also go to a few different banks.

There is usually not a single cutoff for credit score, loan applications are evaluated based on many factors. For student loans, academic factors may also be considered. Exact details will vary with every loan, so you're better off asking either the bank, or the university's financial aid office.

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