Parents may apply for a Direct PLUS Loan for any academic year that their student is enrolled at least half time as an undergraduate student. Under the Federal Direct Student Loan program, the federal government serves as the lender and the interest rate is fixed. Fees are subtracted from each disbursement to cover a loan origination fee. Click here for more information on interest rates and origination fees.
Students whose parents are borrowing a Direct PLUS Loan must complete the FAFSA before applying for the loan. The FAFSA is available at FAFSA.gov.
The Direct PLUS Loan is a credit-based loan which allows parents to borrow up to the cost of attendance, less any other financial aid already awarded. Cost of attendance includes the total cost of tuition, fees, room and board billed by the university, plus a standard calculation for books, supplies, transportation, and personal expenses.
Applications for the Direct PLUS Loan are processed online through the U.S. Department of Education student loan website. Detailed information on applying for the PLUS Loan is available here.
The repayment period for a Direct PLUS Loan begins at the time the loan is fully disbursed, and the first payment is due within 60 days after the final disbursement. Borrowers may request an in-school deferment by calling the Direct Loan Servicing Center at 800.848.0979. Payments under the deferment option are deferred until six months after the student ceases to be enrolled at least half time, although interest continues to accrue. Some families make interest-only payments while a student is enrolled and delay repayment of the principal until after the student graduates.
The Direct PLUS Loan Program for parents offers several repayment plans that are designed to meet the different needs of individual borrowers. The terms differ between the repayment plans, but generally the standard repayment period on a PLUS Loan is 10 years. More information can be found on studentloans.gov.