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A student-friendly loan program for Dreamers with DACA or TPS status provides graduate school loans with interest rates based on those available to U.S. citizens. There are no fees to take out a loan, no cosigner or minimum credit score requirement, and no prepayment penalty, and borrowers have access to free 1:1 financial coaching.

ABOUT THE LOAN PROGRAM

The Dreamers Graduate Loan Program supports Dreamers with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) or Temporary Protected Status (TPS) status who want to pursue professional degrees to achieve their career aspirations but do not have access to affordable financing options. This loan program provides loans to individuals with DACA and TPS status with interest rates based on the annual percentage rate (APR) available via the federal government’s Direct PLUS loan program. This loan program is a private loan program, with Funding U as the loan originator and Launch LLC as the loan servicer.

The program takes a student-centric approach—there are no cosigner requirements, no minimum credit score requirements, and no additional fees to take out a loan. In addition, students accepted into the loan program will have access to free 1:1 financial coaching and support throughout the life cycle of the loan from application through to repayment. Student repayments to this loan program help finance additional loans for Dreamers in the future.

The eligibility criteria for this program have been designed to identify institutions and graduate degree programs that prepare students for in-demand jobs with starting salaries high enough to support the debt burden.

WHO’S ELIGIBLE

This program is available to students who meet the following criteria:

  • DACA or TPS immigration status
  • Have a Social Security Number
  • Resident of an eligible state
    • For the 2023-24 Academic Year, the following states are ineligible since Funding U does not hold a lending license in these states: Alaska, Idaho, Maine, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Wyoming, and Washington DC. Residents of all other states are eligible.
  • Enrolled at least half-time in an eligible degree program at an eligible institution, including co-terminal or 4+1 degree programs
  • While no credit scores are required, students must pass a credit history check
    • Credit knockout criteria for the 2023-24 Academic Year include a student projected debt-to-income (DTI) ratio greater than 30%. (Projected DTI is calculated by dividing the student’s debt payments for all graduate and undergraduate student loans by projected earnings for the degree the student is pursuing).

LOAN AND REPAYMENT TERMS

Simple, straightforward loan terms help students understand what to expect as borrowers, while flexible repayment options and no prepayment penalties make it easier for students to successfully repay their loans.

Representative loan terms:

  • No fees
  • No cosigner required
  • Interest rate/APR: 9.0% (2023-24 academic year)
    • The APR is reset each year, as with the federal Grad PLUS loan program; the APR for loans taken out in subsequent years may differ.
  • Minimum loan size: $5,000 (may vary by state)
  • Maximum loan size: Annual and aggregate loan caps apply based on the student’s degree program
  • Grace period: No payments required until 6 months after graduation
  • No prepayment penalty

Representative repayment terms:

  • Repayment periods: 10 or 20 years
  • Enroll in autopay for 0.25% interest rate reduction
  • In-school repayment: $25/month or full deferment
  • Repayment options: Equal principal and interest (P&I) payments. Additional alternative payment plans available.
  • Medical school forbearance for residency period (up to 48 months)
  • Forbearance for temporary hardship, active military duty, and disasters

Students also receive:

  • Free access to culturally sensitive 1:1 financial coaching sessions provided by the national nonprofit UnidosUS
  • Free access to financial education to understand the loan terms and evaluate the return on investment of graduate school
  • A Student Bill of Rights to explain what students are entitled to as borrowers

You can find additional detail on key loan terms, a glossary of loan terminology, and frequently asked questions on Social Finance’s website.

HOW TO APPLY:

To apply, visit Funding U’s website at: https://www.funding-u.com/graduate_loan_applications/new

APPLICATION QUESTIONS?

Is the Dreamers Graduate Loan Program right for you? We’re here to support you as you explore financing options for graduate school. For questions on the eligibility of the loan program, please email Social Finance at dreamersgradloan@socialfinance.org. For questions about the application process, please email Funding U at dreamers@funding-u.com.

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The Dreamers Graduate Loan Program is a private loan program managed by the national nonprofit Social Finance, in partnership with Funding U as the loan originator managing the application process and Launch LLC as the loan servicer managing student repayments.

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