Features of MEFA Graduate Loans
Why choose MEFA for graduate loans?
MEFA graduate loans have fixed interest rates from 4.50% to 5.65% APR** with multiple repayment options. By borrowing a loan with a fixed interest rate, you'll ensure stable, predictable monthly payments for the life of the loan. There's no origination fee, application fee, or prepayment penalty. MEFA Loans are available to graduate students across the country, so there's no need for a Massachusetts connection.
Graduate Student Loan Interest Rates
|Interest-Only Repayment||Deferred Repayment|
|Interest Rate||Fixed interest rates 4.50% - 5.65%||Fixed interest rates 4.65% - 5.60%|
|APR**||4.50% - 5.65%||4.65% - 5.60%|
|Monthly Payment Per $10,000 Borrowed***||$37.78 - $47.53 in school, then payments step up to $90.68 - $96.69 at the end of the in-school period*||$0 in school, then payments step up to $104.12 - $112.49 at the end of the in-school period*|
*In-school period is the period as defined in the MEFA Graduate Loan Application and Solicitation Disclosure.
**The Annual Percentage Rate (APR) is designed to help consumers understand the relative cost of a loan and reflects the loan's interest rate, timing of payments, and fees. The lowest rates are only available to the most creditworthy applicants.
***Monthly payment is calculated based on a graduate student with three years until graduation.
Details About MEFA Grad School Loans
- You may apply for a graduate student loan for one academic year.
If you will need a loan for more than one year, you must reapply each year.
- Maximum graduate student loan amount:
Cost of attendance (tuition, fees, room, board, books, and miscellaneous expenses) minus financial aid.
- Minimum graduate student loan amount:
$1,500 for a public or private school.
- Student borrower and any co-borrowers are equally responsible for loan repayment
- No origination fee, application fee, or prepayment penalty
- Deferred loans are subject to a maximum deferral period of 36 months
Private Graduate Student Loan Eligibility
To be eligible for a MEFA graduate school loan, the student must:
- Be enrolled at least half time in an accredited degree-granting graduate program at an eligible non-profit college or university. If the student is enrolled or plans to be enrolled at least half time during the regular academic year, a student may borrow a MEFA Loan for enrollment that is less than half time during the summer.
- Maintain satisfactory academic progress as defined by the college or university.
- In addition, at least one borrower must meet MEFA's current credit approval standards.
All borrowers must be citizens or permanent residents of the United States
Repayment Options for MEFA Graduate Loans
- Interest-Only: Interest payment begins on the 28th day of the month following the month of the final disbursement and principal and interest repayment repayment of interest begins after the end of the graduate anticipated in-school period. Loan must be fully repaid within 15 years of final disbursement.
- Deferred: repayment of principal and interest is deferred until six months after the student graduates, leaves the program, or reduces hours to less than half-time. Loan must be fully repaid within 15 years of final disbursement. Deferred loans are subject to a maximum deferral period of 36 months.
There is no penalty for early repayment on student loans for graduate school.
How to Apply for a Graduate Student Loan
- Once you select your interest rate and repayment term, all borrowers will need to log in separately to e-sign the loan document.
- MEFA will ask the college to certify the loan. Some schools don't start certifying until close to the start of the semester, so keep this in mind if you apply early.
- Once the school certifies your loan, you will receive an email letting you know.
- Your loan funds will be sent to the college on the college's selected disbursement date (this date differs from school to school).
MEFA Graduate Loan Disclosures
Our Loan Disclosure and Self-Certification Form provide all the important details about our graduate student loans.
Frequently Asked Questions
Federal graduate student loans are funded by the federal government and have a fixed interest rate that is set for each year's loans. You can find the current interest rates here. Federal graduate student loans offer several repayment plans and other benefits, including deferment and forgiveness options. Students apply for graduate student loans by submitting the FAFSA. Private student loans are funded by state agencies, non-profits, and private lenders, including banks. They often offer both fixed and variable interest rates and multiple repayment options, but have less leniency during repayment. Typically, the interest rate is tied to the borrower's credit score. A higher credit score will result in a lower interest rate. Students apply for private student loans by submitting the lender's application.
You can apply for federal graduate school loans by submitting the FAFSA, and for private graduate school loans by submitting the lender's application. You can find the MEFA Graduate Loan application here. If you submit the FAFSA, you will be approved for a federal graduate school loan as long as you are eligible for federal financial aid. Your approval of a private graduate school loan will be based on the lender's criteria, which usually includes a review of your credit score. Once you are approved for the loan, the lender will send the loan funds directly to the graduate school on a date determined by the school, who will place those funds directly into your student account.
The maximum you can borrow in a federal graduate loan is $20,500 per year, with an total aggregate limit of $138,500 (which includes anything you borrowed during undergraduate study). In a private graduate loan, you can borrow up to the school's total cost of attendance minus any financial aid received. Most private loan lenders do not have an aggregate limit.
Yes, graduate student loans are used to pay for master's degree costs. Most private lenders, including MEFA, require you to be enrolled in a degree-seeking program at least half time to borrow a graduate school loan. Check with each lender for their specific requirements.
Subsidized loans (those on which interest does not accrue while the student is in school) are only available from the federal government for undergraduate students. Graduate school loans, regardless of whether they are federal or private, are not subsidized, which means the interest will accrue while the student is in school. The timing of interest repayment will be dictated by the terms of the loan. Some graduate school loans require immediate repayment of interest and/or the principal amount while the student is in school, while others defer all repayment until after the student leaves school.