About Federal Direct PLUS Loan

If you have a dependent in college, you may be eligible for college loans through the Federal Direct Parent PLUS Program (PLUS). Before you apply for PLUS, examine your child’s eligibility for grants, work-study programs or loans with competitive interest rates.

You don’t have to demonstrate financial need to take out a PLUS loan, but a credit check is required.  If you are denied a PLUS loan due to poor credit, the student may be eligible for additional Unsubsidized Federal Direct loan funds.  If a PLUS loan is denied, contact the college’s financial aid office and ask about additional unsubsidized funds for the student.

How Much Can You Borrow?
Up to the student's cost of attendance, minus any other financial aid. There is no limit on the aggregate amount.
What Do These Loans Cost?
The interest rate on PLUS Loans:
  • 7.9% for loans first disbursed between 6/1/06 - 6/30/13 
  • 6.4% for loans first disbursed between 6/1/13 - 6/30/14
 Each loan also carries an origination fee of up to 4%.

Who Is Eligible?
All parents and some stepparents are eligible to apply for a PLUS Loan regardless of income, as long as they have a good credit history. Additionally:
  • Your child must qualify as your dependent.
  • You and your child must be U.S. citizens, nationals, permanent resident aliens, or other eligible non-citizens.
  • You or your child cannot be in default on any Title IV student loan or owe a refund on any Title IV grant unless satisfactory repayment arrangements have been made with the holder of the defaulted loan.
  • Your child must be accepted or enrolled (at least half time) in an undergraduate program leading to a degree, certificate, or diploma at an eligible college or school.
  • Your child must maintain satisfactory academic progress.
  • Your child must comply with applicable Selective Service requirements.
How Do I Apply?
Apply for the PLUS loan through the school your dependent is attending.
How Are the Funds Disbursed?
Your dependent's school normally draws the funds from the U.S. Treasury and applies them to your child’s account for education expenses (tuition, room and board, etc.). Then the college sends any remaining funds directly to you — or, with your permission, adds them to your child’s school account.
When Do I Start Repayment?
The first payment is due within 60 days from when the loan is fully disbursed (when the school makes the final disbursement). Interest, however, begins accruing on the day of the first disbursement. While you can capitalize the interest — that is, add it to the principal — you should pay it whenever possible. Parents can choose to defer repayment until six months after the student ceases to be enrolled at least half time. You can also include PLUS Loans in the Federal Consolidation Loan Program. Discuss loan consolidation with your lender.

Deferments to delay repayment are available to eligible borrowers through the U.S. Department of Education's Direct Loan Servicing Center or their loan servicer.