Federal PLUS Loans


Federal PLUS Loans (PLUS Loans) are credit-based federal 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 the Federal Student Aid page about Federal PLUS Loans.  


For repayment information visit our Federal Loan Repayment page.


Is there a separate application?

Yes.  Although, the FAFSA must be completed, PLUS borrowers must also complete a Federal PLUS Loan application.  An FSA ID will be required for this process.


Who can borrow a Federal PLUS Loan?

A Federal 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 Federal Parent PLUS Loan.  Graduate students may borrow a Graduate Federal PLUS Loan (Grad PLUS Loan).  The terms for any Federal PLUS Loan.


How do I apply for a Federal PLUS Loan?

  1. Complete the FAFSA
  2. Visit Federal Student Loan website.
  3. Sign in using your FSA ID
  4. Click Request Federal PLUS Loan
  • Click Parent PLUS (if legal parent of dependent student)
  • Click Graduate PLUS (if graduate student)
  1. Complete PLUS Application
  2. You will be notified immediate if you have been denied due to adverse credit history
  3. Complete PLUS Master Promissory Note
  4. Complete PLUS Entrance Counseling ONLY if Grad PLUS

NOTE: Credit checks and Federal 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 Federal 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.  The Federal 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 Federal 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 Federal PLUS Loan disbursed from July 1, 2016 through June 30, 2017 is fixed at 6.31% and accrues as simple interest. To learn more about how interest accrues, please visit the Student Aid page on interest rates.


Are there any fees for borrowing a Federal Direct Loan?

There is an origination fee for any federal loan that is disbursed. For any Federal PLUS Loan that is disbursed from October 1, 2016 through September 30, 2017, the origination fee is 4.276%. This fee is not expected from the PLUS borrower; however, will be taken from the federal 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 Federal 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 more information about federal loans, visit the Private Federal Student Loans page or visit the UAFS Financial Aid Office.