Parent (PLUS) Loan Q & A

FEDERAL DIRECT PARENT (PLUS) LOANS

The Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS) may be obtained by parents to cover costs not already covered by their student’s financial aid package, up to the full cost of attendance.

The U.S. Department of Education is the lender for Federal Direct PLUS Loans.

How much can I borrow?

There are no set limits for Direct PLUS Loans. The parent may not borrow more than the cost of the student’s education less any other financial aid received. The parent requests an amount on the Green River Direct PLUS Loan for Parents Worksheet and the Financial Aid Office will determine the actual amount that may be borrowed.

The Department of Education makes the PLUS loan credit decision after a review of the parent’s credit report.

The parent and the student must both 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.

The student must be a dependent student who is enrolled at least half-time (6 credits) at a school that participates in the Direct Loan Program. Generally, the student is considered dependent if he or she is under 24 years of age, has no dependents, and is not married, a veteran or a ward of the court.

Who is the lender and servicer for my Parent PLUS Loans?

There is no need to select a lender, as the U.S. Department of Education is the lender for your Parent PLUS Loans.

Your Parent PLUS Loan information can be viewed from the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS).

The National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) is the U.S. Department of Education's (ED's) central database for student aid. It receives data from schools, guaranty agencies, the Direct Loan program, and other Department of ED programs.

The NSLDS Student Access provides a centralized, integrated view of Title IV loans and grants so that recipients of Title IV Aid can access and inquire about their Title IV loans and/or grant data. The information is also accessible for guaranty agencies, lenders, and schools determined to be authorized users of the data system.

Visit My Federal Student Aid to view information about all of the Parent PLUS Loans your parents have received and to find contact information for the loan servicer for your Parent PLUS Loans. Your parent will need his/her FSA ID to access the information.

How does a parent apply for a Parent PLUS Loan?

STEP 1: The following application materials must be completed.

STEP 2: Parent must complete the electronic Direct PLUS Master Promissory Note (MPN) online at: www.studentloans.gov.

Select: Complete a MPN for Parent PLUS Loans

Step 3: A PLUS Counseling must be completed if the applicant (parent) is determined to have an adverse credit history but qualify for a Direct PLUS Loan by obtaining an endorser or by documenting extenuating circumstances. See detailed information from the office of Federal Student Aid.

While the completion of a PLUS Counseling is mandatory for certain Direct PLUS Loan applicants with an adverse credit history, the PLUS Counseling is also available for all Direct PLUS Loan applicants to complete on a voluntary basis.

PLUS applicants will be able to view PLUS Counseling without logging into the StudentLoans.gov Web site using the "PLUS Counseling Demo" link under the "Getting Loans" section.  However applicants who are required to complete the counseling as a condition for receiving a Direct PLUS Loan must complete the counseling after logging into the web site to fulfill the requirement.

Once an applicant has logged in to StudentLoans.gov, the PLUS Counseling module can be accessed from the following pages:

  • Complete Counseling
  • Request Direct PLUS Loan
  • Document Extenuating Circumstances
  • Complete PLUS MPN

PLUS Parent applicants will need to select that they are a parent (rather than a graduate student) so they will receive the counseling tailored specifically for a parent of a dependent undergraduate student.

If an applicant knows which school their undergraduate student will be attending, they can select to use the school's estimated expenses from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) to estimate how much they may need to borrow in the future for their student's continuing expenses.

What is the interest rate for a Direct PLUS Loan?

The interest rate for Direct PLUS Loans with the first disbursement date on or after July 1, 2017 and before July 1, 2018 is a fixed rate of 7%.  The interest rate for Direct PLUS Loans with the first disbursement date on or after July 1, 2018 and before July 1, 2019 is a fixed rate of 7.6 %. 

Interest is charged on Direct PLUS Loans beginning the date of the loan’s first disbursement. See detailed information from the office of Federal Student Aid.

Are there any fees for a Direct PLUS Loan?

In addition to the interest, 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.  See detailed information from the office of Federal Student Aid. 

How will I receive my PLUS loan funds?

PLUS funds are not available prior to the quarter. If the PLUS Loan request covers two or more quarters, the loan disbursements will be divided equally among the requested quarters. If the loan covers only one quarter, it will be disbursed in two payments. The first half will be disbursed and the remaining half will be disbursed after the midpoint of the quarter. If the midpoint has passed, the full loan will be disbursed.

Funds received by Green River would first be applied to the student’s account to pay off any remaining tuition and fees owed by the student. Any remaining balance would be ordered payable to the student or to the parent, depending on the selection made by the parent on the Direct PLUS for Parents Worksheet.

If the student is receiving the remainder of the PLUS funds, the student will receive the funds via the method they choose through BankMobile Disbursements.

Entrance counseling is not required for a student to receive Parent PLUS Loan funds.

The proceeds of the PLUS loan must be used for authorized educational expenses for the student. Any PLUS loan proceeds received must be repaid for any period that the student is not attending classes taking a minimum of six (6) eligible credits.

Can I transfer a Direct PLUS Loan to my child so that it becomes my child’s responsibility?

A Direct PLUS Loan made to a parent cannot be transferred to a student. The parent borrower maintains responsibility for repaying a Direct PLUS Loan.

When do I begin repaying my PLUS Loan?

Repayment of a Direct PLUS Loan begins 60 days after the full amount you’ve borrowed for an academic year has been disbursed. This means you would generally begin repayment while the student is still in school. If the Direct PLUS Loans had a first disbursement date on or after July 1, 2008, you may request that repayment be delayed until six (6) months after the student graduates or is no longer enrolled at least half-time

For more information about postponing payments, visit the website of the office of Federal Student Aid.

What will my payments be?

For more information about Parent PLUS Loans and estimating the monthly payment, how capitalizing interest affects repayment, and loan relief, visit the website of the office of Federal Student Aid.

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