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Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan

The Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan is a credit based unsubsidized loan for parents of dependent students. The Federal Direct PLUS loan is designed to assist with educational expenses up to the cost of attendance minus all other financial assistance.

When to Apply

  • The ideal time to apply for a Federal Direct PLUS loan is after April 1 of the current academic year.
  • It is recommended that borrowers apply for the Federal Direct Parent PLUS for the full academic year.

Who can Apply

  • A student's biological or adoptive parent or the student's stepparent, if the biological or adoptive parent had remarried at the time of the application.
  • A parent borrower cannot have adverse credit history.
  • Parent and student must be:
    1. U.S. citizens or eligible non-citizens.
    2. Student must be at least half-time.
    3. Must not be in default on any federal education loan or owe an overpayment on a federal education grant.
    4. Must meet other general eligibility requirements for Federal Student Aid programs.
  • A valid and complete Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) must be submitted.

How to Apply

  • To complete the Federal Direct Parent PLUS Request Process visit StudentLoans.gov
  • The parent borrower will be asked to "Sign In" using their FSA I.D.
  • Click on "Apply for a Direct Plus Loan"
  • Select the type of Direct PLUS Loan application you would like to complete and click the "start" button next to the Parent PLUS loan.
  • The parent borrower will authorize an immediate credit check. If the application is denied, please review the Credit Check Denial section below.
  • For those approved and are applying the first time for a Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan for a student, please complete all sections of the Federal Direct Parent PLUS Master Promissory Note (MPN).
  • PLUS Counseling is available to all Direct PLUS applicants but is required only for applicants with adverse credit history that were initially denied and subsequently approved by documenting extenuating circumstances or obtaining an endorser.
  • It is recommended that the borrower log on and log back to review "My Loan Documents" on the left toolbar to ensure that the PLUS Loan Application and MPN are both complete.

Interest and Fees

  • The interest rate for the Federal Direct Parent PLUS is fixed at 7.08%.
  • The Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan has a 4.236% loan fee.

Credit Check

  • The Federal Direct PLUS requires a credit check that is only valid for 180 days.
  • Changes made to the loan after the 180 day mark may result in additional credit check(s)

Credit Check Denial Options

If a parent borrower has received a Parent PLUS denial, there are options available to possibly overturn the denial by the applicant indicating one of the following action codes after receiving the credit denial, the Department of Education (DOE) will send a communication depending upon the code selected:

  • "A" - borrower indicates he/she wishes to appeal the PLUS denial. The borrower will need to document proof of extenuating circumstances to the satisfaction of the Department. For guidance on this process, please refer to the Federal Student Aid website, "Documenting Extenuating Circumstances (Appeal)" .
  • "E" - borrower opts to obtain an endorser to potentially get PLUS Loan approved.
  • "N" - borrower indicates no further action will be taken to obtain approval of PLUS. Additional Federal Direct Unsubsidized loan will be manually awarded based on eligibility. The student may qualify for up to an additional $4,000 for freshman and sophomore status or $5,000 for junior and/or senior status.
  • "U" - borrower indicates that they are undecided on what action to take regarding adverse credit decision. The student will be offered additional unsubsidized loan funds however the borrower may also elect to appeal or seek an endorser. In the event the credit decision is overturned the additional unsubsidized loan will be canceled and borrower will need to complete a PLUS Master Promissory Note and PLUS Counseling on studentloans.gov.

Applicants with adverse credit that qualify for the PLUS loan by documenting extenuating circumstances or by obtaining an endorser will be required to complete PLUS counseling. The PLUS counseling can be completed on the Department of Education website studentloans.gov.
*Note: The PLUS counseling is only valid for the duration of time that the credit is valid. If an additional credit check(s) is run it could necessitate the completion of an additional PLUS counseling.

In a recent change to the Federal Direct PLUS program, the Department of Education has implemented a "reconsideration" process for overturning PLUS denials. This process is limited to a select population as determined by the DOE. The DOE will communicate the likelihood of an approval if the borrower contacts their Department.

If a parent is later approved for the Federal Direct Parent PLUS loan and the student was awarded the additional Unsubsidized loan, the Unsubsidized loans will be cancelled and the student will be packaged with the Federal Direct Parent PLUS loan.

Federal Direct PLUS Loan Repayment

  • Repayment begins sixty (60) days after the last disbursement of the loan.
  • If you are a Federal Direct Parent PLUS borrower who is also a student, you can defer repayment while you're enrolled in school at least half-time and Federal Direct Parent PLUS loans first disbursed on or after July 1, 2008) for an additional 6 months after you graduate or drop below half-time enrollment.
  • You can defer repayment for Federal Direct Parent PLUS by contacting your loan servicer.
  • General repayment is 10 to 25 years, depending upon the repayment plan that you choose.
  • If you have multiple federal education loans, you can consolidate them into one single Direct Consolidation Loan.
  • You can pay by signing up for electronic debit account option.
  • Additional repayment information may be found by visiting www.studentaid.ed.gov/repay-loans

For more information: https://studentaid.ed.gov/types/loans/plus