Difference Between Graduate And Undergraduate Student Loans – Complete Guide

Undergraduate Student Loans

Difference Between An Undergraduate Loan And A Graduate Loan

Obtaining a student loan is the best way for undergraduate and graduate students to fund their education abroad. But although they help you pay for your education, they should only be used as a last resort if all other options, including grants, scholarships, savings, and other sources, have been exhausted. It’s crucial to understand the fundamental distinctions between graduate and undergraduate student loans if you’re thinking about attending university. Prior to choosing private loans, experts advise obtaining government loans. Banks, credit unions, and other providers of financial services may offer private loans. They provide interest rates that are both fixed and variable. You have to start paying back private loans while you’re still in school. However, if you have good credit, you can be eligible for a private loan with a lower interest rate and larger borrowing capacity. Let’s take a look at the difference between the two types of loans.

Undergraduate Student Loans

Interest Rates

Grad students pay higher interest rates than undergrad students, which is a notable distinction. Undergraduate students currently pay a slightly lesser 4.53% while graduate students pay 6.08% or 7.08%. Although these figures vary year and are determined by Congress, graduate students can anticipate paying higher interest rates.

Unsubsidized Loans

You might obtain a subsidised loan while you are in an undergraduate programme. When you take out a subsidised loan, interest doesn’t accrue while you’re a full-time student. Graduate students cannot afford this convenience. Your graduate school loan will begin charging interest as soon as you get it. As a result, you will pay more interest on your loan the longer it takes you to complete graduate school.

Additional Funds

It can be advantageous and disadvantageous for graduate students to borrow more money than undergraduate students. Federal loan limits for undergraduate students range from $5,500 to $12,500 per year, while graduate students are permitted to borrow up to $20,500 annually (or, on a Grad PLUS Loan, the full cost of attendance). Additionally, the aggregate federal loan ceiling for undergraduate students is $57,500. Graduate students see an increase in this amount to $138,500.

Being able to borrow more money is advantageous, but it also increases the risk of graduate students having financial difficulties. Larger borrowing limits coupled with increased interest rates frequently lead to considerable debt. Since repayment of student loans is not monitored, some students may be persuaded to borrow additional funds to cover living expenses, leading to an increase in debt. Make sure to only borrow what you’ll need for school in order to keep your debt as low as feasible.

Need-Based Aid

When determining your family’s ability to pay for education in undergrad, your parent’s financial situation is typically taken into account alongside your own. You will probably be regarded as an independent student since you are a graduate student. Therefore, your eligibility for financial aid will not be influenced by your parents’ financial situation. At the graduate level, need-based awards are significantly less common. This doesn’t imply that they are nonexistent; rather, it just means that graduate students have far less access to them.

Loan Suspension

You have the option of deferring your undergraduate student loans while you are enrolled in graduate school. If your undergraduate student loans were subsidized, they will stop accruing interest while you are enrolled in graduate school. However, if they weren’t subsidized, they will keep accruing interest while you attend graduate school. In this situation, it’s wise to pay the interest while you’re still in graduate school, if at all possible. Otherwise, your debt for graduate and undergraduate student loans will keep rising.

Things In Common Between Graduate And Undergraduate Student Loans 

Several elements are constant when it comes to federal graduate and undergraduate student fiance –

  • Until you are no longer a full-time student, you are not required to begin loan repayment. You won’t have to make loan instalments until you decrease to half-time enrollment or graduate. (Remember, though, that interest will continue to accrue during this time.)
  • There is no credit check for unsecured loans. All you have to do is complete a FAFSA.
  • If your wage makes the required monthly payments too difficult for you, you might be qualified for income-driven repayment arrangements.
  • If you work in specific industries, you can also be qualified for government loan forgiveness programs. Graduate students typically do have to submit a few more qualifying payments than undergraduate students before they qualify.


Whatever the reason, taking out a loan is a serious decision. Graduate school loans can be riskier than loans for undergrad study. You can borrow more money at greater interest rates, and interest starts to accumulate right away. Grad students also have less access to need-based help. On the good side, all federal loans are eligible for loan forgiveness and income-driven repayment plans, and you can defer your undergraduate loans while you are in graduate school. While you’re a full-time student, you won’t have to make loan instalments. Prior to selecting graduate or undergraduate student loans, it is best to consider alternative choices. If a loan is required, choose wisely how much you borrow, make all of your payments on time, and view it as an investment in your future.

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Thank you for reading this blog on ‘Difference Between Graduate And Undergraduate Student Loans.’ If you’d like to read more, here are some blogs that may be of interest to you –

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Undergraduate Student Loans

Difference Between Graduate And Undergraduate Student Loans – Complete Guide

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