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Parent PLUS Loans

Government Guaranteed, Fixed Rate Parent Loan
that covers up to 100% of your dependent child's cost of education, less any financial aid awarded the child. Designed to pay for education-related expenses as certified by the institution
(you can learn more - links scroll to information below)
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Federal Parent PLUS Loans:

Summary Overview

summary information
  • loan amounts:
    up to the total cost of education minus any student financial aid given awarded

  • interest rates:
    fixed for the life of the PLUS loan

  • no restrictions:
    does not require collateral; no prepayment penalities

  • PLUS loan processing:
    pre-approval within minutes; funding can be made within 30 days or less

  • PLUS loan eligibility:
    student must be enrolled at least half-time in an undergraduate degree or certificate program at an approved school. Borrower must have a satisfactory credit history.

  • PLUS loan terms:
    repayment begins 60 days after disbursement
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Federal Parent PLUS Loans:

Advantages and Disadvantages

  • Pays the Entire Cost
    parents can borrow up to the total cost of education minus any financial aid received by the student

  • Low Interest
    federal PLUS loans are fixed rate loans that remain fixed for the entire term of the loan; current PLUS loan rates are about the same as most other financing options: view interest rates

  • Flexible Repayment Plans
    The federal government offers flexible repayment plans that can fit your budget. Loan payments begin 60 days after disbursements have been made to the school.
  • Loan Must be Repaid by the Borrower
    the loan is underwritten for the parent or graduate; the parent or graduate is responsible for repaying the loan

  • Requires Federal Filings
    you must file the FAFSA form with the federal government in order to apply for PLUS loans: see FAFSA file

  • Credit Check Required
    in order to qualify for the loan, you must pass a credit check as set by the federal government

  • Multiple Borrowings
    you have to file and apply for a loan each academic year.
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Federal Parent PLUS Loans:

Detail Information

PLUS loans are available to the parents of dependent undergraduate students enrolled at least half time in an eligible program at an eligible school

The student must meet certain criteria in order qualify for financial student loan assistance:

view student eligibility requirements


The school's Financial Aid Office will determine the student's dependent or independent status.

General guidelines state that students who are "independent" from their parents or guardians for basic living expenses will be eligible for Independent student loan limits. Students who are "dependent" upon their parents or guardians for basic living expenses will be eligible for Dependent student loan limits:

link to view student dependency status


Parents may borrow up to the cost of attendance minus the amount of any financial aid received

(including received Stafford student loan amounts)

Borrowed funds will be paid directly to the school from the lender or by the Federal Government under FDSLP.

  • The school will first use the money to pay your child's tuition and fees. Any remaining PLUS loan money is credited to your child's account or paid to the parents directly. The school must notify the parent of all credited funds.


PLUS loans are fixed rate loans with an upper limit,

Meaning that the rate will remain fixed for term of the loan. Fixed rates are applicable for all loans disbursed after July 01, 2007.


You may be required to pay up to 4% processing fees to the lender upon loan disbursement.

Portion of these fees go the Federal Government and another portion to a guaranty agency to help reduce the cost of issuing the loans.

Generally these fees are deducted proportionately from each PLUS loan disbursement.

  • You may cancel the loan within 14 days after you receive written notification that funds have been credited to your child's account. Contact the school's financial aid office for cancellation terms.


PLUS loan repayment begins 60 days after loan funds have been disbursed to the school

deferments may be available for parents (the adult students) who are attending school at least half-time.

The repayment period is 10 years under one of the following plans:

  • Standard Repayment Plan:
    you pay a fixed amount per month

  • Graduated Repayment Plan:
    you begin payments that are low (equal to the interest accrued) and then increase over time until full repayment

  • Income-Sensitive Repayment Plan:
    the monthly payments change based upon annual income

  • Extended Repayment Plan:
    allows new borrowers on or after 10/7/98 with a total FFELP debt of at least $30,000 (FDSLP loans offer other repayment terms) to repay their loan (either fixed or graduated) for up to 25 years.

    You can consolidate your loans with extended repayment terms if you qualify. See our affiliated student loan consolidation site.


The PLUS loan is available only to parents who can pass a credit check;

If the parents fail to pass the credit check, they may receive the loan if someone with a good credit history co-signs for the loan or if the parent can show extenuating circumstances.


Interest paid on PLUS loans qualify a tax reduction

Borrowers who file tax returns can deduct some of the interest paid on their student loans. Taxpayers who have taken out loans to pay for the cost of attending an accredited college for themselves, a spouse, or a dependent may be eligible for this deduction.


For more PLUS loan information:

financial aid steps in the application process: reviews the steps required when applying for federal financial aid.

link to the U.S. Department of Education to download the latest version of the Student Guide


start your PLUS loan application

SayStudent Stafford Student Loans


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Student Loan Application


Disbursement Period:
07/01/06 to present
Stafford Student
(fixed rate)
PLUS Loans
(fixed rate)
Private Student
(variable rate)
see rates
Other Disbursements:
see rate chart
Private Student Loans