Direct PLUS Loans are unsubsidized loans for the parents of dependent students. PLUS loans help pay for education expenses up to the cost of attendance minus all other financial assistance. Interest is charged during all periods.
The applicant for PLUS must be the student's biological or adoptive parent or the student's stepparent, if the biological or adoptive parent has remarried at the time of application. You must be a dependent student who is enrolled at least half-time. For financial aid purposes, you are considered "dependent" if you are under 24, unmarried, and have no legal dependents at the time the Free Application for Federal Student Aid is submitted. (Exceptions are made for veterans, wards of court, and other special circumstances.) If you are considered dependent, then the income and the assets of the parent you live with have to be reported on the FAFSA. However, this may not be the same parent who applies for the PLUS loan.
First, complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). After you have received an award notification and decided that a PLUS loan is the best fit for you, apply through the U.S. Department of Education by completing the following steps:
The limit on a PLUS Loan is the student's cost of attendance minus any other financial aid received. You apply for the academic year and later apply for summer separately. The total origination fee is currently 4.276% of the amount borrowed. The origination fee for loans disbursed on, or after October 1, 2017, will change. The interest rate on the loan is 6.31% for loans first disbursed after July 1, 2016 and before July 1, 2017. Rates are reviewed and announced by the Department of Education each year. Click here to view a sample loan disclosure statement. You will receive a statement specific to your loan before your loan is disbursed.
Federal regulations define credit eligibility for a PLUS Loan as having no "adverse credit." This term normally means that the applicant has no debt repayment account that is 90 days or more delinquent, has not had any debt discharged in bankruptcy in the last 5 years, and has not been in default on any debt (no foreclosure, tax lien, repossession, wage garnishment, or write-off) in the last 5 years. An applicant will be determined to have an adverse credit history if the total combined outstanding balance of the debts, including debts in collection or charged off during the two years preceding the date of the credit report, is greater than $2,085.
The credit check for a PLUS loan is valid for 180 days. Disbursement for Fall 2017 is scheduled for August 11, 2017 (the earliest date permissible by federal regulation.) You can apply for a PLUS or Grad PLUS loan for the 2017-2018 academic year no earlier than April 15, 2017. The studentloans.gov website will accept applications for the 2017-2018 academic year beginning April 15, 2017.
All first-time borrowers must complete the master promissory note (MPN) at studentloans.gov. If the Department of Education approves the parent's PLUS, the Department of Education will notify Baylor and will send the loan funds to the school shortly before the semester begins. The funds will first be applied to tuition, fees, room and board, and other school charges. If any loan funds remain, they will be disbursed based on the parent's authorization on the application form. All PLUS Loans require the student be enrolled in at least half-time hours.
If your parent is denied the PLUS Loan, then your parent has the option to either:
Your parent appeals the decision directly to the Department of Education and might qualify for a loan without passing the credit check if he can demonstrate that extenuating circumstances exist.
An endorser is a relative or friend who is able to pass the credit check and agrees to endorse the loan. An endorser promises to repay the loan if your parent fails to do so.
The maximum amount for an additional unsubsidized loan will vary based on your classification and your financial aid package. Generally freshman and sophomore students will qualify for an additional $4,000. Junior and senior students will typically qualify for an additional $5,000. If your parent later qualifies for a PLUS loan, any undisbursed monies remaining for the Direct Additional Unsubsidized Loan will be canceled, and the PLUS loan will be applied. Like other subsidized and unsubsidized loans, the Direct Additional Unsubsidized Loan is a loan in the student’s name and does not require a cosigner.
You have the right to decline any financial aid that you are offered. You have a number of rights and responsibilities pertaining to borrowing student loans. Click here for a list of important rights and responsibilites of which you should be aware.
Regular entrance counseling is required for all first-time Grad PLUS (graduate student) borrowers. Go to www.studentloans.gov and log in with your FSA ID to complete entrance counseling. Credit entrance counseling is required for certain PLUS (parent) borrowers. Parents who are approved for PLUS with an endorser or have an approved appealed credit decision will be required to complete credit entrance counseling. These borrowers will be notified if credit entrance counseling is required.
Exit counseling is required for student borrowers (Grad PLUS) but is not required for PLUS (parent) borrowers. Exit counseling is required when you drop below half-time hours, withdraw, graduate, or stop attending. You are required to complete exit counseling by logging in with your FSA ID at www.studentloans.gov.
There is no grace period for a Direct PLUS Loan; the repayment period begins 60 days after Baylor makes the last disbursement of the loan. However, if you are a parent PLUS borrower who is also a student, you can defer repayment while you are enrolled in school at least half-time and for an additional 6 months after you graduate or drop below half-time enrollment. If you are a parent PLUS borrower, you can defer repayment of Direct PLUS Loans while the student for whom you obtained the loan is enrolled at least half-time, and for an additional 6 months after the student graduates or drops below half-time enrollment (half-time enrollment status is determined by Baylor). You must separately request each deferment period. Generally, you will have from 10 to 25 years to repay your loan, depending on the repayment plan that you choose. The loan servicer will notify you of the date your first payment is due. If you do not choose a repayment plan, you will be placed on the standard plan, with fixed monthly payments for up to 10 years. You can change repayment plans at any time by contacting your loan servicer. More detailed information about all repayment plans is available at studentloans.gov.