Parent loans for undergraduate students are federal loans parents may borrow to help pay the educational expenses of a dependent undergraduate student enrolled in at least 6 credit hours a semester.
Borrowing & Interest Rates
To be eligible for a PLUS Loan, the student must have a completed FAFSA on file and an amount accepted on their Award Letter, and the parent must be able to pass a credit check that indicates that they don’t have adverse credit history. The borrower can’t be 90 days or more delinquent on the repayment of any debt or the subject of a default determination, bankruptcy discharge, foreclosure, repossession, tax lien, wage garnishment, or write-off of a Title IV debt during the last 5 years.
A parent may borrow up to the total of the estimated Cost of Attendance minus resources and all other financial aid received by the student. The interest rate on loans borrowed between July 1, 2020 and June 30, 2021 is 5.30%. Interest is charged on the loan from the time the loan funds are disbursed until it’s paid in full. The loan origination fee for loans borrowed between October 1, 2019 and September 30, 2020 is 4.236%, and is deducted from your loan at the time of disbursement. The loan origination fee for loans borrowed after October 1, 2020 and before September 30, 2021 will be 4.228%, and will be deducted from your loan at time of disbursement.
How to Apply
- File a FAFSA and submit any documents requested by our office to finalize the application process. A Financial Aid Notification listing all financial aid available to the student will be created and made available electronically. Parent PLUS Loan eligibility is calculated by subtracting the total amount of a student’s grant, scholarship, Work-Study, and loan funding from the overall cost of attendance.
- The student must electronically accept the Parent PLUS Loan offer on their Award Notification before the borrower submits a PLUS Loan application. If the full amount of the offer isn’t necessary, enter the desired amount in the Partial Amount box within the Aid Notification.
- The parent borrower should go to the Department of Education website and sign in using their FSAID and password.
- Once logged in, find the link in the center of the page that reads “Apply for a Direct PLUS Loan.”
- Click on “Start” to begin the Parent PLUS Loan application.
- Select an Award Year.
2020-2021 Academic Year:
- If you would like your PLUS Loan applied to the 2020-2021 academic year, select “2020-2021” when asked for the award year.
- If you would like your PLUS Loan applied to Summer 2020, select “2019-2020” when asked for the award year.
2019-2020 Academic Year:
- If you would like your PLUS Loan applied to the 2019-2020 academic year, select “2019-2020” when asked for the award year.
7. Enter the student information for the student on whose behalf you are borrowing the loan.
8. Select if you would like for the Direct PLUS Loan to be deferred while the student is in school.
If you select Yes, you will not have to begin repayment for the loan until after the student drops below half-time status or graduates.
Please keep in mind that the interest will continue to accrue on the loan even if you opt for deferment. You have the option to pay on the interest immediately or allow for it to be capitalized to the principal amount of the loan.
If you select No, you will need to make the first payment on your Direct PLUS Loan within 60 days of the final loan disbursement for the academic year.
9. Select if you would like a 6-Month Post-Enrollment Deferment of the Direct PLUS Loan.
If you select Yes, you will not have to begin repayment for the loan until 6 months after the student drops below half-time status or graduates.
If you select No here, but you requested a deferment while the student was enrolled in school (Step #8), you will need to make the first payment on your Direct PLUS Loan within 60 days after the date the student drops below half-time status or graduates.
Please note that if you later change your mind and wish to defer payments for an additional six months after the student drops below half-time status or graduates, you can request to do so at any time. You will need to contact your Direct PLUS Loan servicer to request this change.
10. Select a loan amount and loan period option. For requested loan period, use the following information.
2020-2021 Academic Year:
- 2020-2021 Fall/Spring Academic Year: 08/2020-05/2021 (The deadline to apply for this loan is May 5, 2021)
- Fall 2020: 08/2020-12/2021 (The deadline to apply for this loan is December 9, 2020
- Spring 2021: 01/2021-05/202 (The deadline to apply for this loan is May 5, 2021)
2019-2020 Academic Year:
- 2019-2020 Fall/Spring Academic Year: 08/2019-05/2020 (The deadline to apply for this loan is May 6, 2020)
- Fall 2019: 08/2019-12/2019 (The deadline to apply for this loan was December 11, 2019)
- Spring 2020: 01/2020-05/2020 (The deadline to apply for this loan is May 6, 2020)
- Summer 2020: 05/2020-08/2020 (The deadline to apply for this loan is June 19, 2020)
11. Complete each page of the application process until you come to a Congratulations page indicating that you’ve completed the loan request and whether or not the credit has been approved.
12. If the loan is approved and you would like to continue with the process, click the “Complete Loan Agreement (Master Promissory Note)” link in the center of your Dashboard. If you have completed an MPN for this same student and did not have an endorser on the previous MPN, you do not need to complete this step.
13. Make sure to enter all required information and click “Submit” at the end of the MPN to ensure the information is electronically sent to the Direct Loan Servicing Center.
14. The Office of Student Financial Aid will then certify borrower eligibility with the Direct Loan Servicer. This certification process begins around June 1 each year.
15. If the PLUS loan was denied, you have 3 options.
- You may get an endorser for the loan
- You may appeal the decision
- The student can seek an additional unsubsidized loan for the academic year. The student will make this request on their Award Notification via the “Request Changes” option at the bottom of their notification.
Receipt of Funds & Refunds
If credit is approved and an MPN has been completed, loan funds will begin to be disbursed one week before classes begin. The funds will be applied to tuition, fees, and other university charges, and any extra money will be refunded to either the student or parent, depending on what was indicated on the application. If the PLUS Loan process isn’t completed by the first disbursement, subsequent disbursements are scheduled twice a week up until the last week of each semester.
If a Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan application is denied, the borrower may obtain a qualified endorser or it may be possible for a student to borrow an additional amount of unsubsidized loan. In this case, the dependent student’s annual maximum allowable loan limit will be replaced by the independent student maximum allowable loan limit at the same class level. If the application is denied, the student should access their Financial Aid Award Letter, select “Request Changes,” and ask to be re-packaged for additional unsubsidized loan funds.
Repayment begins within 60 days of the final loan disbursement during the academic year. Principal and interest payments may be deferred if the borrower meets deferment requirements. In-school deferments may be requested by parent borrowers provided the student is enrolled at least half time in a degree-seeking program.
To learn more about available deferments and how to apply for deferment status, please contact your loan servicer. To find out which lender is servicing your loan, visit the National Student Loan Data System, log in using the parent borrower’s information, and select the number next to each loan for contact information.