Direct PLUS Loans are loans made to parents of dependent undergraduate students and graduate or professional students to help pay for education expenses not covered by other financial aid. Eligibility is not based on financial need, but a credit check is required. To qualify, applicants cannot have adverse credit history.
Each year a student must file a FAFSA to be eligible for a Direct PLUS Loan. After the student receives an award offer, the parent may apply for the PLUS Loan by filling out a PLUS Loan Application each academic year.
Your loan will be assigned to a servicer after your first disbursement is made. Your servicer's contact information will always be available to you at the Who’s My Student Loan Servicer? page of the studentaid.gov website.
PLUS Loan Application for Fall and Spring
In order for a Direct PLUS Loan to be included in the student’s financial aid award to assist with educational costs, the applicant must apply and be approved for the loan at studentaid.gov. The following Direct PLUS Loan applications are available at studentaid.gov.
Things to know about the Direct PLUS Loan:
- Parents: Apply for a Parent PLUS Loan
- Graduate or professional students: Apply for a Graduate/Professional Student PLUS Loan
- The U.S. Department of Education (ED) will be your lender for the Direct PLUS Loan.
- A credit check will be conducted, so you must not have an adverse credit history. If you have an adverse credit history, you may still be able to receive a PLUS Loan if you meet additional requirements.
- The maximum PLUS Loan amount that you can receive is the Cost of Attendance minus any other financial aid received.
A separate Parent PLUS loan application is required for each dependent child.
Once the online application and credit check has been completed, the applicant will then need to complete the Master Promissory Note (MPN). The MPN is a legal document in which you promise to repay your loan(s) and any accrued interest and fees to ED. It also explains the terms and conditions of the loan. The following MPNs are completed at studentaid.gov.
Applicants must use their own account username and password to apply and complete the MPN. The MPN is good for multiple years. However, an approved application is required each year before the loan will be included in the financial aid award offer.
If the student will be enrolled for the full academic year (fall and spring), your loan will be divided in half between the two semesters unless otherwise indicated. The full year’s amount should be applied for at one time. Interest only accrues on the disbursed amount.
Annual Student Loan Acknowledgement
All borrowers should complete an Annual Student Loan Acknowledgement each year a new federal loan is accepted at studentaid.gov. The intent of this process is to help borrowers understand how federal loans affect their financial future.
If this is the first time accepting a federal loan, the borrower is acknowledging that they understand their responsibility to repay the loan.
If the borrower has existing federal loans, they are acknowledging that they understand how much they owe and how much more they can borrow.
PLUS Loans are for parents and step-parents of dependent students. The interest rate is fixed at 6.28% for loans taken out for the 2021-22 academic year. PLUS Loans are always unsubsidized, and interest begins accruing after the loan is disbursed. The processing fee is 4%. (Please note: Due to the federal budget sequestration, the origination fee charged on your loan may slightly exceed 4%. The Disclosure Statement sent to you by your loan servicer will state the actual origination fee.) Repayment begins 60 days after the loan is fully disbursed. After your first disbursement is made, your loan will be assigned to a servicer. Your servicer's contact information will always be available to you at the Who’s My Student Loan Servicer? page of the studentaid.gov website. Delayed Repayment Option: If requested, repayment can be delayed until 6 months after your student drops below half-time or graduates.You can request this option when you are applying for the loan or you can request it later by contacting your loan servicer. Refund of excess financial aid checks consisting of PLUS funds will be made payable to the person indicated on the application.
NOTE: A new credit check will be completed when a PLUS Loan is processed if the credit check on file is more than 180 days in the past. In addition, if the PLUS Loan has an endorser, the borrower will need to complete a new Master Promissory Note and the endorser will need to complete a new Endorser Addendum.
Master’s Students Eligible for PLUS
The Direct Grad PLUS Loan is available to students who are admitted to a master’s program and are attending at least half-time (4 units). The interest rate is fixed at 6.28% for loans taken out for the 2021-22 academic year. The processing fee is 4%. (Please note: Due to the federal budget sequestration, the origination fee charged on your loan may slightly exceed 4%. The Disclosure Statement sent to you by your loan servicer will state the actual origination fee.) After borrowing the aggregate annual unsubsidized loans available to you, the Grad PLUS Loan can be used to borrow beyond the annual aggregate federal loan limits.
NOTE: A new credit check will be completed when a Grad PLUS Loan is processed if the credit check on file is more than 180 days in the past. In addition, if the Grad PLUS Loan has an endorser, the borrower will need to complete a new Master Promissory Note and the endorser will need to complete a new Endorser Addendum.
How Much Should I Borrow?
To determine how much money you may need to borrow to afford SSU will depend on your budget. Add up all of your expenses and subtract your financial aid to see if you need to borrow any PLUS loan money and how much. Please note that you cannot borrow more than you Cost of Attendance.
To determine the maximum amount of PLUS loan that you can borrow subtract your financial aid from your Cost of Attendance.The difference is the maximum amount that you can ask for.
Please also take into consideration the 4% loan origination fee when planning your amount to borrow. For instance, if you want a loan for $5,000, you will need to apply for $5,208 (loan amount divided by .96) to get the net amount of $5000 after the loan processing fee is deducted from the loan.