Parents of dependent students may apply for a Federal Direct PLUS Loan to help pay their child's education expenses as long as certain eligibility requirements are met. To be eligible for a Direct PLUS Loan for Parents:
- The parent borrower must be the student's biological or adoptive parent. In some cases, the student's stepparent may be eligible.
- The student must be a dependent student who is enrolled at least half-time at a school that participates in the Direct Loan Program. Generally, a student is considered dependent if he or she is under 24 years of age, has no dependents, and is not married.
- The parent borrower must not have an adverse credit history (a credit check will be done). If the parent does not pass the credit check, the parent may still receive a loan if someone (such as a relative or friend who is able to pass the credit check) agrees to endorse the loan. The endorser promises to repay the loan if the parent fails to do so. The parent may also still receive a loan if he or she can demonstrate extenuating circumstances.
The student and parent must be U.S. citizens or eligible noncitizens, must not be in default on any federal education loans or owe an overpayment on a federal education grant, and must meet other general eligibility requirements for the federal student aid programs. For additional information on eligibility requirements, visit the Federal student aid eligibility
For a Direct PLUS Loan, the parent must complete a Direct PLUS Loan Application and Master Promissory Note (MPN). The MPN is a legal document in which the borrower promises to repay the loan and any accrued interest and fees to the Department. It also explains the terms and conditions of the loan. In most cases, one MPN can be used for loans that a parent receives over multiple academic years although a separate Loan Request must be filed for each school year. If the parent previously signed an MPN to receive an FFEL PLUS loan, he or she will need to sign a new MPN for a Direct PLUS Loan.
Complete the PLUS application and MPN online at www.studentaid.gov
The annual limit on a PLUS Loan is equal to the student's cost of attendance minus any other financial aid the student receives.
For example, if the cost of attendance is $6,000 and the student receives $4,000 in other financial aid, the student's parent can request up to $2,000.
Repayment Plans-The Direct PLUS Loan Program for parents offers three repayment plans-standard, extended, and graduated-that are designed to meet the different needs of individual borrowers. The terms differ between the repayment programs, but generally, borrowers will have 10 to 25 years to repay a loan. To read more about repayment plans, go to Repayment Information.