Direct Parent PLUS
Direct PLUS Loans (Parent Loans for Undergraduate Students) are part of the federal Direct Loan Program, offering low-interest loans to students and parents to help pay for a student’s college education. The loans are called Direct Loans because they are made directly from the U.S. Department of Education, without going through a bank or other lender.
Unlike other federal student loans, Parent PLUS Loans are not awarded to students. Instead, parents of dependent undergraduates apply for these loans separately if additional funds are needed to cover the student’s educational costs.
The Direct PLUS Loan may be of particular interest to students and parents who:
- are not eligible for other types of financial aid,
- have unusual costs above the standard student expense budgets,
- have remaining financial need after other forms of financial aid have been awarded, or
- wish to borrow all of part of the student’s EFC (Expected Family Contribution) to help pay the cost of the student's education
- You need to be the biological or adoptive parent of the student for whom the Federal PLUS Loan is being borrowed. The spouse of a parent who has remarried (i.e., the student’s stepparent) is also eligible to borrow a PLUS on the student’s behalf, if his/her income and assets have been included on the student’s FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). Both parents may get a PLUS loan providing the total aid package does not exceed the student’s cost of attendance.
- The student needs to have a current official FAFSA on file and have received an award notification from our office.
- You and the student must meet the basic eligibility requirements for federal student aid, including:
- be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen.
- not be in default on a federal student loan and do not owe money on a federal student grant.
- The student needs to be an eligible dependent undergraduate student who is enrolled at least half time (six credit hours) in a program leading to a degree or certificate at the University of Louisville.
- You must not have an adverse credit history (a credit check will be performed). If parents are denied a PLUS loan due to adverse credit, the student may become eligible to apply for additional unsubsidized Direct Stafford loans. Amounts vary depending on the student's academic level. Please see application procedures below.
Borrowing Limits for PLUS Loans
The parent borrower may borrow an amount up to the cost of attendance minus other financial assistance received. If you request a loan amount greater than your eligibility, the loan will automatically be reduced to the maximum amount eligible. If the student’s award package changes after the PLUS is awarded, the PLUS loan and/or aid in the student’s name are subject to adjustment.
Repayment, Interest, and Fees
A Parent PLUS Loan is borrowed by the parent, not the student. Responsibility for repayment rests with the parent. Interest is charged on the loan from the date the first disbursement is made until the loan is paid in full. Repayment begins within 60 days after the final loan disbursement. However, a parent may apply for an in-school deferment by contacting the Direct Loan Servicing Center at 800-848- 0979 while the student is attending at least half-time in a degree program. For more information regarding Direct Parent PLUS loans, such as interest rates, repayment, and more please visit http://studentaid.ed.gov.
How Parents Apply
- The student must have a current official FAFSA on file and have received an award notification from our office. Do not complete the next steps if this step is not complete!
- To apply, go to StudentLoans.gov. (Note: This is the U.S. Department of Education’s official student loan website, which has a .gov extension. Do not use StudentLoans.com, which is a commercial website.)
Please make the following selections when completing the PLUS Request Process:
- For the academic year 2013-2014, choose Award Year = 2013-2014, Loan Period Requested = 08/2013 – 05/2014. Please allow 10-14 days processing time. After the last day of enrollment in the current term, our office cannot certify a PLUS Loan Request.
- The deadline to
apply for Summer 2013 has passed. Late inquiries must contact the Student
Financial Aid Office for assistance. After the last day of enrollment in
the current term, our office cannot certify a PLUS Loan Request.
- Credit checks are only valid for 90 days, therefore it is best not to complete your PLUS Loan Request until 90 days or less, prior to the student’s planned start date of enrollment! We begin processing PLUS Loan Requests approximately 2 months prior to the start of enrollment, but after the student has received their financial aid notification and/or their federal eligibility has been assessed. We continue to process PLUS Loan Requests until our office’s published deadlines, but never beyond the end of the student’s enrollment period.
- If your credit is approved, you will be given two options:
- Not continue with the application, or
- Continue and complete a PLUS Loan Master Promissory Note, if you have not already completed one
- If your credit is not approved, you will be given these options:
- Not pursue the loan,
- Obtain an endorser, or
- Appeal the credit decision
After the Parent Applies
- After applying for and being approved for a Direct PLUS Loan, it will appear on the student's financial aid award notice.
- After school begins and we confirm eligibility, the funds will be posted to the students account at the Bursar's Office. Parent PLUS funds are always applied/re-applied towards the student's charges. If the Parent PLUS proceeds exceed the student's charges, the university's Bursar's Office will mail a check to the parents' mailing address (as listed on the Federal Parent PLUS Request form).
Direct PLUS Denial Exemption
Dependent students may be eligible for additional unsubsidized loan amounts if the student can document exceptional circumstances which prevent a parent from borrowing a PLUS loan. Exceptional circumstance may include:
- The parent is incarcerated.
- The parent has filed for bankruptcy and has provided a letter from the bankruptcy court stating that as a condition of the bankruptcy filing, the parent may not incur any additional debt.
- The parent's income is limited to public assistance or disability benefits and you have documented that the parent would not be able to repay the PLUS loan.
- The parent of a dependent student is not a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, or is not able to provide evidence from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service that he or she is in the United States for other than a temporary purpose with the intention of becoming a citizen or permanent resident.
- If a student's parent cannot process a PLUS loan due to one of these exceptional circumstances, please complete the Direct PLUS Denial Exemption Form (adobe pdf).
For More Information
U.S. Department of Education, Office of Federal Student Aid, PLUS Loans
U.S. Department of Education, Federal Student Aid, Learn About PLUS Loans, Information for Parents
U.S. Department of Education, Federal Student Aid, Site for Managing Student Loans, StudentLoans.gov