Federal Direct PLUS Loans

 

Parent Loans for Undergraduate Students (Direct Parent PLUS)

PLUS loans are for parents of dependent students. Parents who do not have adverse credit history may borrow from the U.S. Department of Education, and may borrow an amount equal to the cost of education minus estimated financial assistance for each dependent student who is enrolled at least half time.

Repayment of PLUS loans begins immediately and are repaid over a period of 10 years, excluding periods of deferment/forbearance.

Borrower should contact the U.S. Department of Education to obtain information regarding possible deferment/ forbearance options.

To receive a Direct Graduate PLUS Loan, you must

  • be the parent (biological, adoptive, or in some cases, stepparent) of an undergraduate, dependent student (NOTE: The student must be enrolled at least half-time at an eligible school in a program leading to a bachelor degree);
  • not have an adverse credit history; and
  • meet the general eligibility requirements for federal student aid.

 

Direct PLUS Loans for Graduate Students (Direct Graduate PLUS)

To receive a Direct Graduate PLUS Loan, you must

  • be a graduate or professional student enrolled at least half-time at an eligible school in a program leading to a graduate or professional degree or certificate, or be the parent (biological, adoptive, or in some cases, stepparent) of a dependent undergraduate student enrolled at least half-time at an eligible school;
  • not have an adverse credit history; and
  • meet the general eligibility requirements for federal student aid.

 

Can I still receive a Direct PLUS Loan if I have an adverse credit history?

A credit check will be performed during the application process for both the Direct Parent PLUS and Direct Graduate PLUS loans. If you have an adverse credit history, you may still receive a Direct PLUS Loan through one of these two options:

  1. Obtaining an endorser who does not have an adverse credit history. An endorser is someone who agrees to repay the Direct PLUS Loan if you do not repay it. If you are a parent borrower, the endorser cannot be the child on whose behalf you are borrowing.
  2. Documenting to the satisfaction of the U.S. Department of Education that there are extenuating circumstances relating to your adverse credit history.

With either option 1 or option 2, you also must complete credit counseling for PLUS loan borrowers on the StudentLoans.gov website.

How much can I borrow?

The maximum PLUS loan amount you can borrow is the cost of attendance (determined by the school) minus any other financial assistance received.

 

What is the current interest rate?

For Direct PLUS Loans first disbursed on or after July 1, 2017, and before July 1, 2018, the interest rate is 7%.

These are fixed interest rates for the life of the loan.

 

Other than interest, is there a charge for this loan?

Yes, there is a loan fee on all Direct PLUS Loans. The loan fee is a percentage of the loan amount and is proportionately deducted from each loan disbursement. The percentage varies depending on when the loan is first disbursed, as shown in the chart below.

Loan Fees for Direct PLUS Loans

First Disbursement Date

Loan Fee

On or after Oct. 1, 2016, and before Oct. 1, 2017

4.276%

On or after Oct. 1, 2017, and before Oct. 1, 2018

4.264%

 

Loans first disbursed prior to Oct. 1, 2016, have different loan fees.

 

For more information regarding Federal Direct PLUS loans, visit Federal Student Aid.

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