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The U.S. Department of Education makes Direct PLUS Loans to eligible borrowers through schools participating in the Direct Loan Program.
A credit check will be performed during the application process. If you have an adverse credit history, you may still receive a Direct PLUS Loan through one of these two options:
- 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.
- 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.
If a parent borrower is unable to obtain a PLUS loan, the undergraduate dependent student may be eligible for additional unsubsidized loans. The student should contact the school’s financial aid office for more information.
How do I apply for a Direct PLUS Loan
To receive a Direct PLUS Loan, you (or your child, if you are a parent PLUS borrower) must complete the FAFSA® form. The school's financial aid office will provide instructions about their process for requesting a Direct PLUS Loan. Many schools require that you request a Direct PLUS Loan at StudentLoans.gov. The request form has a list of schools that participate in the Direct PLUS Loan Program; if you select your (or your child’s) school from the list, the site will notify you if your school does not use the StudentLoans.gov process. If that is the case, check with the school to find out how to request a PLUS loan.
What additional steps must I take to receive my loan
If you are eligible for a Direct PLUS Loan, you will be required to sign a Direct PLUS Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN), agreeing to the terms of the loan. Graduate or professional students who haven't previously received a PLUS loan will also be required to complete entrance counseling. Contact the financial aid office at the school you (or your child, if you are a parent borrower) are planning to attend for details regarding the process at that school.
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, 2018, and before July 1, 2019, the interest rate is 7.6%.
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.
Loans first disbursed prior to Oct. 1, 2017, have different loan fees.
How will I receive my loan
The school will first apply Direct PLUS Loan funds to the school account to pay for tuition, fees, room and board, and other school charges. If any loan funds remain, your school will give them to you to help pay other education expenses. Get more information about receiving aid.
What happens after I receive my loan
When you receive your Direct PLUS Loan, you will be contacted by your loan servicer (you will repay your loan to the loan servicer). Your loan servicer will provide regular updates on the status of your Direct PLUS Loan, and any additional Direct Loans that you receive.
When do I begin repaying my loan
If you receive a Direct PLUS Loan as a graduate or professional student, you don't have to make any payments while you're enrolled in school at least half-time, and for an additional six months after you graduate, leave school, or drop below half-time enrollment.
If you are a parent borrower, you’ll generally be expected to start making payments on your Direct PLUS Loan once your loan is fully disbursed (paid out). However, you may request a deferment while your child is enrolled at least half-time and for an additional six months after your child graduates, leaves school, or drops below half-time enrollment. You don't have to make any payments while your loan is deferred. If the school your child is attending requires you to submit your request for a Direct PLUS Loan at StudentLoans.gov, you’ll have the option of requesting a deferment as part of the loan request process. You can also contact your servicer to request a deferment.
During any period when you're not required to make payments, interest will accrue on your loan. You may choose to pay the accrued interest or allow the interest to be capitalized (added to your loan principal balance) when you have to start making payments. Your loan servicer will notify you when your first payment is due.
What types of loan repayment plans are available
There are several repayment options available that are designed to meet the individual needs of borrowers. Some repayment plans are not available to parent PLUS borrowers. Your loan servicer can help you understand which repayment options are available to you. Generally, you'll have 10 to 25 years to repay your loan, depending on the repayment plan that you choose. Learn about your repayment options.
What if I have trouble repaying my loan
If you are unable to make your scheduled loan payments, contact your loan servicer immediately. Your servicer can help you understand your options for keeping your loan in good standing. For example, you may wish to change your repayment plan to lower your monthly payment or request a deferment or forbearance that allows you to temporarily stop or lower the payments on your loan. Learn more about deferment or forbearance options.
As a parent Direct PLUS Loan borrower, can I transfer responsibility for repaying the loan to my child
No, a Direct PLUS Loan made to a parent cannot be transferred to the child. You, the parent borrower, are legally responsible for repaying the loan.
Can I cancel a loan if I decide that I don’t need it or if I need less than the amount offered
Yes. Before your loan money is disbursed, you may cancel all or part of your loan at any time by notifying the school. After your loan is disbursed, you may cancel all or part of the loan within certain time frames. Your promissory note and additional information you receive from the school will explain the procedures and time frames for canceling your loan.
Can my loan ever be forgiven (canceled) or discharged
Under certain conditions, you may be eligible to have all or part of your loan forgiven (canceled) or discharged. Find out about loan forgiveness, cancellation, or discharge.
Where can I find information about the student loans I’ve received
Visit "My Federal Student Aid" to view information about all of the federal student loans and other financial aid you have received and to get contact information for your loan servicer fed direct loan
Applying for a Federal Graduate PLUS Loan
- Complete a Graduate PLUS Loan application at www.studentloans.gov.
- When you complete the Graduate Plus Loan Application with the Department of Education please indicate the amount that you wish to borrow. The financial aid office will not be able to process Graduate Plus Loan requests for MAX or UNKNOWN amounts. Request without the amount indicated will require follow-up from the borrower.
- First-time borrowers, complete a Master Promissory Note for your loan at www.studentloans.gov.
- If you are a first time Graduate PLUS loan borrower complete entrance loan counseling at www.studentloans.gov federal student loan servicing
Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan — Penn State Office of .
If you’re a parent of a dependent undergraduate student or if you’re someone planning to attend graduate school, you’ve probably heard of the PLUS loan. The Direct PLUS Loan is a federal loan program that’s available specifically for these two groups of people to help cover the remaining cost of attending school after all other financial aid has been applied. Below we’ll explain the requirements, application process, and some tips if you’re considering getting a PLUS loan.
Requirements to Receive a PLUS Loan
No Adverse Credit History
A credit history is a summary of your financial strength, including your history of paying bills and your ability to repay future loans. To qualify for a PLUS loan, you cannot have an adverse credit history.
FAFSA Completion and PLUS loan Application
The student going to college (the child of the parent requesting the loan or the graduate/professional student) has to submit a FAFSA before beginning the PLUS loan application process.
Requirements for Parents:
You must be the biological, adoptive, or in some cases, stepparent of the dependent undergraduate student going to college. Your child must also be enrolled at least half-time at a school that participates in the Direct Loan Program. Unlike Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans; you, the parent, are responsible for repaying the PLUS loan.
Requirements for Graduate or Professional Students:
You must be enrolled at least half-time at a school that participates in the Direct Loan Program.
TIP for graduate and professional students:
If you’re eligible for Direct Unsubsidized Loans, you should borrow those loans before applying for PLUS. The interest rate is lower for Direct Loans.
How Much Money Can I Borrow
The maximum PLUS loan amount is the cost of attendance (determined by the school) minus any other financial aid received. If you aren’t sure what your school’s cost of attendance is, contact your school’s financial aid office. If you want to see the average annual cost of a school, look it up on our College Scorecard.
In most cases, you’ll apply for a PLUS loan on StudentLoans.gov.
1. Go to StudentLoans.gov
2. Log in using your FSA ID.
3. Select the type of PLUS loan you’re requesting, graduate student or parent.
Before making your selection, you should know the following:
7. Credit Check and Adverse Credit History
PLUS loans are the only type of federal student loan that require a credit check. If you are found to have adverse credit history during the application process, you still have options.
Even with adverse credit history, there are two ways you may still be able to quality for a PLUS loan:
8. Sign a Master Promissory Note (MPN)
After finding out that you’re eligible for the PLUS loan, you’ll be required to sign an MPN and agree to the terms of the loan. Make sure you read your MPN carefully because it’s a binding legal document that lists all the conditions of your loan.
Graduate students: If it’s your first time receiving a PLUS loan, you’ll be required to complete entrance counseling. Confirm with your school to make sure.
Note: If you have previously received a PLUS loan you may not have to complete another MPN. Check with your school to confirm.
How do I find out how much I can borrow
After your PLUS loan request is complete, the school will inform you of how much you’re eligible to receive.
How and when will I get my loan
The school will apply funds to the student’s school account to cover tuition, fees, room and board, and other school charges. If there is a remaining balance, the school will give it to the student to help pay for other education expenses. Parents who have been approved for a PLUS loan have the option of asking the school to pay the remaining funds directly to the student.
Each school has a different schedule for disbursing PLUS loans, so check with the school to find out when you should expect the funds.
Sandra Vuong is a Digital Engagement Strategist at Federal Student Aid 20 year student loan forgiveness
Apply for graduate plus loan
Please note that students MUST exhaust all federal eligibility through the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan program before applying for a Graduate PLUS loan. The yearly limit on a Graduate PLUS Loan is equal to your cost of attendance (determined by school) minus any other financial aid you receive. For example, if your cost of attendance is $60,000 and you receive $40,000 in other financial aid (scholarships, fellowships, Unsubsidized loan) you could borrow up to, but no more than $20,000 hdfc home loan eligibility calculator
Applying for a Direct Graduate PLUS Loan - Emory University
Graduate PLUS loans are part of the Federal Direct Loan Program.
For: Graduate students enrolled at least half time and who do not have an adverse credit history.
Loan Amounts: Students may borrow up to the cost of attendance minus any other financial aid received. The total education cost may include tuition, living allowance, books and supplies, and transportation. Graduate students must use their Federal Direct Unsubsidized loan eligibility prior to applying for a Federal Direct Graduate PLUS loan.
Federal Graduate PLUS loans first disbursed on or after July 1, 2017 through June 30, 2018 have an interest rate fixed at 7.00%, with interest beginning to accrue upon disbursement.
Federal Graduate PLUS loans first disbursed on or after July 1, 2018 through June 30, 2019 have an interest rate fixed at 7.60%, with interest beginning to accrue upon disbursement.
Federal Graduate PLUS loans first disbursed on or after October 1, 2017 and before October 1, 2018 have a 4.264% loan fee.
Federal Graduate PLUS loans first disbursed on or after October 1, 2018 and before October 1, 2019 have a 4.248% loan fee.
Loan fees are retained by the federal government to reduce the cost of supporting these low interest loans.
Students will receive an immediate response of an approved or denied application upon electronic completion as well as the loan reference number, which is needed if the student wishes to pursue an endorser. The Walden University Office of Financial Aid will be notified electronically of the credit decision only if the application was completed electronically. Applications are not approved or denied based on the dollar amount requested; therefore, students should NOT complete additional applications once a denied decision is rendered by the Department of Education. Approval for the Graduate Plus loan is specific to the individual loan. It is possible to be approved for one loan and denied at a later date for a new loan. Once the loan application is denied, the student must either find an endorser or appeal the credit decision by documenting extenuating circumstances.
The Office of Financial Aid has no control or influence on the credit decision rendered by the U.S. Department of Education. Any and all correspondence regarding credit appeals and endorsers must be sent to the U.S. Department of Education.
Denied students still have two options to obtain the Graduate PLUS Loan:
- Review their credit report (which can be done for free at for possible errors and correct them before appealing directly to the U.S. Department of Education.
- Find a creditworthy endorser to co-sign the loan. This endorser will then be responsible for the loan should the student default on the loan at any point during the life of the loan.
Endorsing a Graduate PLUS Loan
Steps to be taken by the endorser—These MUST be completed electronically; paper addendums will not be accepted:
- Create an FSA ID at Endorsers must log in using their own FSA ID to complete an endorser addendum.
- Sign onto This is the website where the endorser electronically co-signs for the loan.
- Click on ”Complete Endorser Addendum” (under $$Obtain Aid at bottom of the webpage).
- Enter the Endorser Code or an Award Identification Number (provided by student borrower) and follow the instructions.
- Accept or reduce the Direct Graduate PLUS loan amount. This will need to be done prior to the record being sent for certification.
Do you have questions about financial aid If you haven’t yet applied to Walden, please contact an enrollment advisor at 855-646-5286 in the United States. If you are a current student, please contact a financial aid advisor at [email protected] or call 1-800-WALDENU (1-800-925-3368) student loan servicing department
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