What are Federal PLUS Loans?
Federal PLUS Loans (PLUS Loans) are credit-based government loans that must be repaid with interest. The U.S. Department of Education is the lender. Students are required to be enrolled at least half-time. Half-time enrollment for undergraduate students is 6 hours and for graduate students is 5 hours. Students must have completed the Free Application for Federal Student Aid to qualify. For more information, please visit https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/types/loans/plus.
For repayment information visit our Loan Repayment webpage.
Is there a separate application?
Who can borrow a Federal PLUS Loan?
A PLUS Loan borrower must be:
- a U.S. citizen AND
- a legal parent (or step-parent listed on the FAFSA) of a dependent student OR
- a graduate student
NOTE: Legal parents of dependent students may borrow a Parent PLUS Loan. Graduate students may borrow a Graduate PLUS Loan (Grad PLUS Loan). The terms for any Federal PLUS Loan.
How do I apply for a Federal PLUS Loan?
- Complete the FAFSA
- Visit www.studentloans.gov
- Sign in using your FSA ID
- Click Request PLUS Loan
- Click Parent PLUS (if legal parent of dependent student)
- Click Graduate PLUS (if graduate student)
- Complete PLUS Application
- You will be notified immediate if you have been denied due to adverse credit history
- Complete PLUS Master Promissory Note
- Complete PLUS Entrance Counseling ONLY if Grad PLUS
NOTE: Credit checks and PLUS Loan approval are only valid for 180 days.
What are the requirements for a Federal PLUS Loan?
A “soft” credit check will be performed by the U.S. Department of Education upon PLUS application submission. It is a possible borrower to be denied if they have an adverse credit history; however, the credit check for a PLUS Loan will be more lenient than a traditional credit check.
If the borrower is a graduate student, that borrower must meet the standard eligibility criteria for federal aid.
If the borrower is a legal parent of a dependent student, that student must meet the standard eligibility for federal aid.
What if I am denied a Federal PLUS Loan?
You may choose to seek an endorser. If you choose to pursue this option, your endorser must Create an FSA ID to complete the Endorser Addendum electronically at www.studentloans.gov. The PLUS Loan may only be awarded up to the endorsed amount.
You may also choose to appeal the credit decision. Contact information and instructions for appealing the credit decision will be provided in the denial notification.
If a legal parent of a dependent student is denied a Parent PLUS Loan due to adverse credit history (and does not wish to pursue an endorser or appeal the credit decision) or lack of U.S. citizenship, that student may request additional Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan funds up to the independent student limits. This is typically up to an additional $4,000 for the academic year. See Federal Direct Loans.
If a graduate student borrower is denied, no additional federal funding is available.
What is the interest rate?
The interest rate for any PLUS Loan disbursed from July 1, 2015 through June 30, 2016 is fixed at 6.84% and accrues as simple interest. For more information about how interest accrues, please visit: https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/types/loans/plus#interest.
Are there any fees for borrowing a Federal Direct Loan?
There is an origination fee for any federal loan that is disbursed. For any PLUS Loan that is disbursed from October 1, 2014 through September 30, 2015, the origination fee is 4.292%. For any PLUS Loan that is disbursed from October 1, 2015 through September 30, 2016, the origination fee is 4.272%. This fee is not expected from the PLUS borrower; however, will be taken from the loan disbursement.
Are there limits for how much can be borrowed?
Yes, there is an annual limit; however, the limit depends on the student’s Cost of Attendance (COA) and any other aid the student may be receiving. A student may receive PLUS Loan funds up to their COA minus any other aid the student is receiving. For more information, the student may visit their My.UAFS account for their specific COA and to view their current financial aid award package.
There are no aggregate limits to how much a PLUS borrower may borrow.
NOTE: For information regarding Private Student Loans visit: https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/types/loans/federal-vs-private or visit the UAFS Financial Aid Office.