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MD Loans

Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans

MD students that complete the FAFSA and meet student eligibility requirements are eligible to receive a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan. The maximum that an MD student in the first three years may borrow per academic year is $47,167, and the maximum that an MD student in the fourth year may borrow per academic year is $42,723. For loans first disbursed on or after July 1, 2020, but before July 1, 2021, the interest rate for Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans is 4.30%, and is fixed for the life of the loan. For loans first disbursed on or after July 1, 2021, but before July 1, 2022, the interest rate for Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans is 5.28%, and is fixed for the life of the loan. Interest will accrue during the in-school, grace, and deferment periods. A loan origination fee of 1.059% will be deducted at each disbursement. New loans disbursed on or after October 1, 2020, have a loan origination fee of 1.057%. Repayment begins 6 months after the last date of attendance. The maximum aggregate loan limit is $224,000. The aggregate loan limit includes undergraduate loans.

Students borrowing Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans at Vanderbilt for the first time must complete Entrance Counseling and the Master Promissory Note. Both of these steps need only be completed one time, and students should use the Federal Student Aid ID and password from the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Vanderbilt will receive notice when these steps have been completed.

Students are encouraged to borrow as little as possible.  Students that want to decrease offered loan amounts should email medfinaid@vanderbilt.edu for assistance.

Federal Direct GRADUATE PLUS Loans

Students utilizing all of their Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan eligibility may need to borrow additional funds for educational expenses. The Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan is available to students who pass a credit check and meet student eligibility requirements. The maximum amount that a student may borrow per academic year is the cost of attendance less any other financial aid. For loans first disbursed on or after July 1, 2020, but before July 1, 2021, the interest rate for Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loans is 5.30%, and is fixed for the life of the loan. For loans first disbursed on or after July 1, 2021, but before July 1, 2022, the interest rate for Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loans is 6.28%, and is fixed for the life of the loan. Interest accrues from the time the funds are disbursed. Repayment begins six months after the last date of attendance. A loan origination fee of 4.236% will be deducted at each disbursement. New loans disbursed on or after October 1, 2020, have a loan origination fee of 4.228%. If you have an adverse credit history, the loan may be denied. If you are denied, you may reapply with a credit-worthy co-signer.

Students borrowing Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loans at Vanderbilt for the first time must complete the Master Promissory Note. Students show use the Federal Student Aid ID and password from the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Vanderbilt will receive notice when this step has been completed. The credit check process is required every year the student wants a loan.

Students are encouraged to borrow as little as possible.  Students that want to decrease offered loan amounts should email medfinaid@vanderbilt.edu for assistance.

Private Alternative Loans

Examine all other options, including the federal student loans, before pursuing private loan options, as these loans may be more expensive than other options. The interest rates listed for private loans are either variable or fixed, and monthly payments are extended over several years. Interest will accrue from the time the funds are disbursed. Private loans are credit-based and may require a cosigner.  Vanderbilt University provides a historical list of previous private lenders, FASTChoice, which is a tool for comparing private loan lenders through which our students have borrowed during the past three award years. The lenders are listed in random order, and the information provided is accurate to the best of our knowledge. You may choose to borrow through any lender, including lenders not on this list. If you choose to borrow through a lender that is not on this list, we will process your application and certify your eligibility with that lender. If you are an international student, please review the list; some lenders allow international students to borrow with a U.S. co-signer. International students in their last two years of medical school can apply for a loan without a co-signer.

The AAMC offers unbiased guidance on Federal vs. Private Loans to help you make an informed decision. The maximum amount a student may borrow is the cost of attendance less any other financial aid.

Residency and Relocation Loans

Fourth year students may find it necessary to borrow additional loans for residency relocation and travel expenses. Residency Relocation loans are available to fourth year medical students to borrow 180 days before or up to 180 days after graduation and do not have to be certified by the financial aid office.

There are many different loan programs and options from which to choose. You should, however, pay close attention to the terms of each loan, as some loans have variable interest rates and different repayment terms. Contact medfinaid@vanderbilt.edu for more information.