Direct PLUS Loans are unsubsidized loans for parents of dependent students. PLUS Loans help pay for education expenses up to the cost of attendance minus all other financial assistance. A valid FAFSA is required to apply for a Direct Parent PLUS Loan.
To apply for Direct Loans, students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) in order to assess the student’s financial need for student aid. Be sure to review the Federal Direct Loan Disclosure and Borrower’s Rights and Responsibilities provided with your Master Promissory Note.
You must be the student’s biological or adoptive parent or the student’s stepparent, if the biological or adoptive parent has remarried at the time of application. Your child must be a dependent student who is enrolled at least half-time.
Parent PLUS loan borrowers cannot have an adverse credit history as a credit check is required. In addition, parents and their dependent child must be U.S. citizens or eligible noncitizens, must not be in default on any federal education loans or owe an overpayment on a federal education grant, and must meet other general eligibility requirements for the Federal Student Aid programs.
Read more about Direct Parent PLUS loans.
Interest and Fees
The interest rate for Direct PLUS Loans is a fixed rate. Interest is charged on Direct PLUS Loans during all periods, beginning on the date of your loan’s first disbursement. There is also an origination fee that comes out of the amount you borrow. For current information about interest rates and fees please visit Federal Student aid – PLUS Loans.
If you’re a parent PLUS borrower, you can defer repayment of Direct PLUS Loans first disbursed on or after July 1, 2008, while the student for whom you obtained the loan is enrolled at least half time, and for an additional six months after the student graduates or drops below half-time enrollment (less than 4 credits). You must separately request each deferment period.
Generally, you’ll have from 10 to 25 years to repay your loan, depending on the repayment plan that you choose. You can choose to repay your PLUS loan using the Standard, Extended, or Graduated repayment plan. Read more about repayment plans.
1. To begin the Direct PLUS Loan application process, please go to StudentLoans.gov which requires the parent to sign in with his/her FSA ID that is also used to sign the FAFSA. If you have forgotten your FSA or do not have one, you may obtain one from the FSA ID site.
2. After signing in, select the Request PLUS Loan link from the menu on the left to begin the application process. The PLUS Loan Request will conduct a credit check and provide the Office of Financial Aid with your information that is required to create your PLUS Loan. Please contact the Office of Financial Aid if unsure of the amount you want to apply for.
3. You will be either approved or denied based on your credit history.
- If approved, then select the Complete MPN link from the menu on the left to complete the Master Promissory Note (MPN) for the Parent PLUS Loan. Credit decisions are good for 180 days. Please make sure to print a copy of the MPN for your records.
- If denied, you do have an option to obtain an endorser or appeal the decision with the Department of Education. An endorser is someone who agrees to repay the Direct PLUS Loan if you do not repay the loan. The endorser may not be the student on whose behalf a parent obtains a Direct PLUS Loan. In some cases, you may also be able to obtain a Direct PLUS Loan if you document to the Department of Education’s satisfaction that there are extenuating circumstances related to your adverse credit history. Both of these options are listed in the menu on the left and can be completed on the web. You will also be required to complete PLUS loan counseling on studentloans.gov. You may also decide to take no further action.
4. If you decide to take no further action upon denial, then your child may be awarded an additional unsubsidized loan (up to $4,000 for Freshman/Sophomore and $5,000 for Junior/Senior), not exceed the cost of attendance. You must notify the Office of Financial Aid in writing that you will not be appealing the credit decision or obtaining an endorser. The student must request, in writing, the additional loan funds.