About Federal Direct Parent 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:
- 7.08% for loans first disbursed between 7/1/19 - 6/30/20
- 7.60% for loans first disbursed between 7/1/18 - 6/30/19
- 7.00% for loans first disbursed between 7/1/17 - 6/30/18
- Who Is Eligible?
- To receive a parent PLUS loan, you must:
- Be the biological or adoptive parent (or in some cases, the sepparent) of a depedent undergraduate student enrolled at least half-time at an eligible school;
- Not have adverse credit history (unless you meet certain additional requirements);
- Meet the general eligible requirements for federal student aid. (Your child must also meet the requirements.)
- How Do I Apply?
- Go to the online Direct PLUS Loan Application for Parents on StudentLoans.gov.
- Note: Most schools require you to apply for a Direct PLUS Loan online at StudentLoans.gov, but some schools have different application processes. The StudentLoans.gov site has a list of schools that participate in the Direct Loan Program. When you select your child's school from the list, the site will tell you if the school has a different application process. In that case, check with the school's financial aid office to find out how to request a parent PLUS loan.
- Please make sure that your child has filled out the FAFSA before applying for the parent PLUS loan.
- How Do I Receive my loan?
- The school will first apply parent PLUS loan funds to the student's school account to pay for tuition, fees, room and board, and other school charges. If any loan funds remain, you child's school will give them to you to help pay other education expenses for the student. With your authorization, the school can pay the remaining loan funds directly to the student.
- 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.
- Parent PLUS borrowers are eligible for the following repayment plans:
- 1. Standard Repayment Plan
- 2. Graduated Repayment Plan
- 3. Extended Repayment Plan
- 4. Income Contingent Repayment Plan (if loans are consolidated into a Direct Consolidation loan)
- You can also include PLUS Loans in the Federal Consolidation Loan Program. Discuss loan consolidation with your loan servicer.
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.
- To learn more about the Direct Parent PLUS loan, check with the financial aid office at your college.