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Home > Types of Aid > Loans > Federal Direct PLUS Loans

Federal Direct PLUS Loans

Federal Direct PLUS loans are credit-based federal loans that graduate or professional degree students and parents of dependent undergraduate students can use to help pay education expenses.

Eligibility Requirements

To receive a Direct PLUS loan, you must:

  • Be a graduate or professional degree student enrolled at least half-time (6 credit hours) in a program leading to a degree or eligible certificate program, or be the parent (biological, adoptive, or in some cases, a stepparent) of a dependent undergraduate student enrolled at least half-time (6 credit hours);
  • Not have adverse credit history (PDF); and
  • Meet the general eligibility requirements for federal student aid. If you are borrowing on behalf of your child, your child must also meet these requirements.
How to Apply

In order to receive a Direct PLUS loan, you (or your child, in the case of Parent PLUS loan borrowers) must complete the FAFSA.

Law and Pharmacy students will be awarded Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loans in your initial 2016-2017 financial aid award package. If you accept the full or a reduced PLUS loan amount through HUB Student Center, you will be authorizing a review of your credit to determine your eligibility for the loan. You DO NOT need to complete the application on StudentLoans.gov. Review the Additional Requirements and Credit Denial Options sections below for more information on steps that may apply to you.

Parents and Graduate or Professional (other than Law or Pharmacy) Students: Using your FSA ID (PDF), log in to StudentLoans.gov and select “Apply for a PLUS Loan” on the welcome screen. Complete the application process as prompted.

A credit check will be performed during the application process. The credit check will expire 180 days after the application date. If you apply for an additional loan after the expiration date, a new credit check will be required.

Application Tips:

  • Enter the loan amount you wish to borrow. Leaving the requested loan amount blank will result in an incomplete application that cannot be processed. If you are unsure of the loan amount you are eligible for, contact the Office of Financial Aid for guidance.
  • If you have adverse credit history (PDF), your loan will be denied; however you may still be eligible to receive the loan funds if you are able to obtain an endorser, or if you can satisfactorily document extenuating circumstances relating to your credit history. (Refer to the Credit Denial Options section below for more information.).
  • Select the correct loan period that corresponds to the term(s) you would like the loan funds to be applied.
Additional Requirements

Eligible Direct PLUS loan borrowers will be required to complete a Direct PLUS Master Promissory Note (MPN) (PDF) agreeing to the terms of the loan. If your loan application is approved, you will be prompted to complete the MPN from the confirmation screen.

Graduate or professional students will also be required to complete entrance counseling (PDF) before receiving a PLUS loan.

Applicants who are denied but choose either the endorser or appeal option will have to complete additional requirements before a loan can be obtained. (Refer to the Credit Denial Options section below for more information.).

Credit Denial Options

Applicants who are denied based on adverse credit history (PDF) may still receive a PLUS loan by either obtaining a qualified endorser, or successfully documenting extenuating circumstances relating to your credit history. Direct Loan PLUS Counseling (PDF) will also be required prior to the first disbursement of loan funds.

  • Endorser: someone who does not have an adverse credit history and agrees to repay the loan if the borrower does not repay it. The endorser must complete the “Endorse a PLUS Loan” process on StudentLoans.gov before the loan will be approved. To complete this requirement, you must provide the endorser code or the award identification number of the loan you would like endorsed, both of which will be provided to you at the time of the denial.
  • Appeal due to Extenuating Circumstances: documenting to the U.S. Department of Education’s satisfaction extenuating circumstances relating to your adverse credit history. If you select this option, you will receive additional direction on how to submit your documentation.

Parent PLUS applicants will be given a third option to accept the denial and request that their child be considered for additional Federal Direct Unsubsidized loan funds.

If you would like to cancel your request to obtain an endorser or appeal the credit decision, contact the Office of Financial Aid.

When to Apply

To ensure accuracy in the processing of your loan, we suggest that you apply for the loan once you have received your Financial Aid Award Notification and completed your registration for the upcoming term. Altering your registration after a loan has been processed may result in over or under awarding of financial aid funds.

To avoid late fees, apply for Federal Direct PLUS loans at least 2 weeks prior to the first eBill due date each term.

The deadline to apply for a PLUS loan is the last day of your enrollment in the term the loan will be applied.

Interest and Fees
  • The interest rate for new Direct PLUS Loans made on or after July 1, 2017 and before July 1, 2018 is 7.00%.
  • The interest rate for Direct PLUS Loans made on or after July 1, 2016 and before July 1, 2017 is 6.31%.
  • The origination fee for new Direct PLUS Loans made after October 1, 2017 and before September 30, 2018 is 4.264%.
  • The origination fee for new Direct PLUS Loans made after October 1, 2016 and before September 30, 2017 is 4.276%.
Repayment and Deferment

Your Direct PLUS loan will enter repayment once the loan is fully disbursed. A loan borrowed for a full academic year will enter repayment after the spring portion has paid to the student account.

If you are a graduate or professional student, your loan will be placed into deferment while you are enrolled at least half-time (6 credit hours) and for an additional 6 month grace period once you cease to be enrolled at least half-time. You will be required to complete exit counseling (PDF) to learn more about your next steps and to select a loan repayment option as soon as you cease to be enrolled at least half-time.

Parent borrowers may contact the loan servicer to request a deferment while you (or your child) are enrolled at least half-time.

Interest will accrue on the loan during the deferment period. You will have the option to pay the accrued interest while enrolled, or capitalize when the deferment period ends.

Your loan servicer will notify you when your first payment is due.

Use the repayment estimator to determine what repayment plan is best for you.

Information is subject to change without notice due to changes in federal, state and/or institutional rules and regulations. Students must complete a FAFSA every year. Students must be making satisfactory academic progress to continue to receive financial aid.