A Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan is a credit based loan that parents of undergraduate students may borrow to help pay educational expenses. The student must be defined as “dependent” as determined by the FAFSA. You may borrow up to the total estimated cost of attendance less resources and all other financial aid received by the student. The interest rate is established annually and is determined by federal law. Interest begins to accrue when the loan funds are sent to the university and continue to accrue until the loan is paid in full. An origination fee will be deducted before the loan proceeds are sent to the school. The origination fee is a processing fee assessed by the Department of Education.
Please visit the Cost Calculator to assist you with determining the amount you may wish to borrow and the loan period for your PLUS loan. Your loan period defines the semester(s) that you are trying to cover. For example, if your student is planning to enroll for both fall and spring you should choose the fall/spring loan period and request a loan amount that will cover their estimated out-of-pocket expenses for both semesters. You may also contact our office for assistance.
- You must be the biological, step (if included on the FAFSA) or adoptive parent of the dependent student
- You must meet the same citizenship criteria as the student for financial aid
- You must not have an adverse credit history
- The student must be meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standards and enrolled for at least six credits each semester
- A valid, current year FAFSA must be completed, even if the Parent PLUS Loan is the only financial aid you and the student wish to use
Loan Application Deadlines
Complete all step(s) in the Parent PLUS Loan process to apply for the loan – if you will have more than one student that will require a PLUS loan, you must complete a separate application for each student. Funds cannot be disbursed if either step is incomplete.
Please be advised that credit checks are good for 180 days. Applying more than 180 days before the start of the term may require you to complete a subsequent credit check.
The lender will perform a credit check to determine your eligibility. The credit decision will be displayed immediately after the PLUS Application is completed. The lender will inform our office about the outcome of the credit decision.
If Approved –
- Step 2: Complete a PLUS Master Promissory Note (MPN) if you do not already have an active MPN on file and only if your credit check was approved. Please note: if you will have more than one student that will require a PLUS loan, you must complete a separate MPN for each student. UMBC will process the PLUS Loan within the time frame specified on our website.
If Denied –
- You can select the option to pursue an appeal documenting an extenuating circumstance through Direct Lending. Following the selection, an email will be sent to you confirming your intention. You should then contact Direct Lending at 1-800-557-7394 for additional instructions on how to proceed including how to complete the additional loan counseling requirement online. If the appeal has been approved, you or the student must contact the student’s Financial Aid Counselor. The student will then receive a confirmation email via their UMBC email account once the loan has been processed by the school.
- You can select the option to pursue an endorser. Following the selection, an email will be sent to you confirming your intention. You should then contact Direct Lending at 1-800-557-7394 for additional instructions on how to proceed including how to complete the additional loan counseling requirement online. If the endorser is approved, you or the student must contact the student’s Financial Aid Counselor. The student will then receive a confirmation email via their UMBC email account once the loan has been processed by the school.
- The student can apply for additional Unsubsidized Stafford Loan funds if you select the option indicating you no longer wish to pursue a Direct PLUS Loan at this time. The financial aid office will be notified that you selected this option. The request for additional Unsubsidized Stafford Loan funds will be reviewed and processed within the time frame specified on our website. We will process the additional unsubsidized loan for the maximum amount the student is eligible to receive based upon their grade level. The student will receive a confirmation email via their UMBC email account once the loan has been processed by the school. The student may then accept the additional Unsubsidized Stafford Loan online via their myUMBC account.
Repayment of a Parent PLUS Loan
Repayment begins 60 days after the final loan disbursement is sent to the institution. There are limited circumstances when you can defer repayment of a Parent PLUS Loan. Please contact your loan servicer for more information.
Reduce or Cancel a Parent PLUS Loan
You (parent) should complete a Federal Direct Parent PLUS Adjustment Form to reduce or cancel a PLUS Loan. To avoid complication with the return of funds, it is recommended that you submit the form to our office for processing well before the funds disburse to the student’s account. If the loan has already disbursed, you must submit the form no later than 14 days after the student has received the disbursement notification.