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Parent PLUS Loans

A Federal Parent PLUS Loan is a Federal Direct Loan for parents that can be used to help pay for the college education of a dependent undergraduate child.

Compare this loan to other loans in the table below.


  • Eligibility
      1. 1. The parent of a dependent student is eligible to borrow in the Direct PLUS program as long as the student is enrolled at least half time, the student meets satisfactory academic progress requirements, and the parent does not have an adverse credit history.
      2. 2. The parent applicant will be ineligible if the credit history indicates "he or she is 90 days or more delinquent on any debt or has been the subject of a default determination, bankruptcy discharge, foreclosure, repossession, tax lien, wage garnishment, or write-off of a Title IV debt during the five years preceding the date of the credit report".
      3. 3. The borrower must be a U.S. citizen, U.S. national, or permanent resident of the United States.
      4. 4. Financial need is not a requirement to obtain a PLUS Loan.
      5. 5. The PLUS borrower is responsible for interest that accrues on a PLUS Loan.

      NOTE: A parent is defined as a biological parent or custodial step-parent. 

  • Award Amounts

      PLUS Loan limits are determined by the estimated cost of attendance less any other aid.

  • Interest Rates and Fees

    • Refer to www.purdue.edu/dfa/loans/interest-rates.php to see how interest rates are calculated and the amount for 2014-15.
    • The effective up front loan origination fee will be 4.288% of the loan. The Department of Education's website and systems may not reflect this update immediately.
    • For example, for every $1,000 of PLUS Loans borrowed, the origination fees will be $43 (rounded).
  • Loan Deadline

      Federal Parent PLUS Loans may be processed if applied for online at www.studentloans.gov by the last Monday of the enrolled term.  Applications for the 14-15 school year will be available online beginning in mid-April.

  • Steps to Apply for a Federal PLUS Loan
      1. 1. File the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and submit all documents requested by the Division of Financial Aid (DFA); students can check for required documents via the online Financial Aid Self Service system through myPurdue.
      2. 2. DFA will send the student an Award Notice that indicates the loan period, the type of eligibility, and the amount of eligibility; the parent borrower should use this information to determine how much they want to borrow.
      3. 3. The parent PLUS Loan borrower (not the student) should go to the www.studentloans.gov website sign in under Manage My Direct Loan using their Department of Education PIN number and select "Start PLUS Application Process" to complete a PLUS Loan application for Purdue University (West Lafayette).
      4. 4. In the application, the borrower will have several options to select regarding the amount of the loan, who should receive any excess funds as a refund (if applicable), and whether to defer the loan or not.
      5. Notes about the loan application options:
        • The borrower may either request the maximum amount offered or a specific amount. Requests for the maximum amount will only be processed for the academic year.
        • Only a specific requested amount may be processed as a loan for one semester.
        • The parent borrower may direct the excess funds of the Parent PLUS Loan (if applicable) to be refunded to the student or the borrower. 
        • A Parent PLUS Loan is not automatically deferred like the student Stafford Loans are. If the deferment is selected in the application, interest will accrue while the student is in school, but no payments are required until after the student graduates. If deferment is not selected, repayment will begin 60 days after disbursement of the funds. For example, if the student is attending for the fall and spring semester, repayment would begin 60 days after the spring disbursement. If the student is only attending the fall semester, repayment would begin 60 days after that disbursement.
        • A Parent PLUS Loan may be used to pay for tuition and fees or room and board if billed through the university. At this time, Purdue University is not able to support paying other incidental expenses with Parent PLUS Loan proceeds.
      6. 5. The Direct Loan servicer will pull credit and approve the loan after the borrower completes the PLUS application and PLUS Master Promissory Note (if not already on file). If the loan is credit-denied, see the borrowing alternatives in the next section.
      7. 6. DFA will then certify borrower eligibility with the Direct Loan servicer. This certification process begins around July 1 each year. Note that the PLUS loan status in myPurdue system will continue to display an offered status until DFA begins the PLUS loan certification process.
      8. 7. PLUS Loan funds are processed electronically through Purdue Bursar's Office once the student has registered for classes, been invoiced, and confirms their enrollment in the myPurdue system. The Bursar applies PLUS funds to fees first, then to any housing costs (if the Bursar bills for housing). Any remaining PLUS funds are sent to the borrower via a paper check no earlier than 10 days before the start of classes.
  • Options if the PLUS Loan is Denied

      If the Parent PLUS Loan application was denied due to adverse credit as determined by the Federal Direct Loan Center, three borrowing alternatives are in place to help compensate for the denial.

    • The student can receive an additional Unsubsidized Stafford LoanUnless you indicated on your application that you are planning to pursue the endorser option, your student will automatically be reviewed for the additional Unsubsidized Stafford Loan.  If eligible, an offer for the additional Unsubsidized Stafford Loan of $4,000-5,000 (dependent upon grade level) will appear on their myPurdue account within 7-10 days. If your student wants this loan, they must accept it online.
    • The parent can appeal the credit decision with the Federal Direct Loan Center. If you appeal the credit decision with the Federal Direct Loan Center and are granted a credit override, please email facontact@purdue.edu and include the loan application number, any reference number given to your case by the Direct Loan servicer, and your student’s Purdue ID (PUID) number. 
    • The parent can apply with an endorser.  Currently, Purdue only receives notifications of approved endorsed loans if the endorser application was completed electronically.  Endorsed loans require manual intervention, so if you have completed a paper endorser application you must email facontact@purdue.edu and include the loan application number, any reference number given to your case by the Direct Loan servicer, and your student’s PUID.  Providing us the above information may speed up processing if you submitted your endorser application electronically. 
    • As noted above, if you indicated on your application that you will pursue an endorser, we will wait 7-10 days before reviewing your student’s eligibility for the additional Unsubsidized Stafford Loan.

  • Master Promissory Note

      The PLUS Loan Master Promissory Note is a multi-year or serial loan feature of the PLUS program. It allows borrowers to receive future Federal PLUS Loans without completing and signing additional promissory notes as long as the borrower remains eligible for Federal PLUS Loan and completes appropriate loan request processes. By signing only one promissory note, the delivery of PLUS loan funds will occur even faster because it eliminates the time it takes for a promissory note to be mailed, completed, and returned to the loan service provider. Borrowers will use their FAFSA PIN to sign their promissory note at www.studentloans.gov.

  • Repayment Information

      Loan repayment may be deferred in the PLUS program if the student remains enrolled at least half time (but interest accrues). For information regarding in-school deferments and payment plans please contact the Direct Loan Servicer at www.studentloans.gov or 1-800-557-7394.

      See repayment examples here assuming a 7.21% fixed interest rate and 10 year repayment term. Borrowers can calculate payments at www.studentloans.gov.

      Amount Borrowed Payment
      $5,000 $60
      $10,000 $121
      $20,000 $242
      $30,000 $362

  • How long does it take to process my Parent PLUS loan?

Loan Comparison Chart

Interest Rate
4.66-6.21%
5.0%
5.0%
7.21%

2.25-13.99%

Check with your lender.

Interest Rate
Type
Fixed
Fixed
Variable or fixed - Check with your lender.
Fees
1.072% of the accepted amount
None
None
4.288% of the accepted amount

0-5% of the accepted amount

Check with your lender.

Minimum enrollment
Undergrad: 6 cr, Grad: 4  cr
Undergrad: 6 cr, Grad: 4 cr 
Undergrad: 6 cr, Grad: 4 cr 
6 cr hours
Less than half-time for some - Check with your lender.
FAFSA
required
YES
YES
YES
YES
NO
SAP required
YES
YES
YES
YES
Check with your lender.
Standard repayment term
10 Years
10 Years
10 Years
10 - 25 Years

Typically 5-15 years

Check with your lender.

When payment starts
6 months after graduation or falling below half-time enrollment
9 months after graduation or falling below half-time enrollment
6 months after graduation or falling below half-time enrollment
Optional-based upon application
Check with your lender.
Who can apply
Student
Student
Student
Parent
or Step Parent
Student
Responsible for repayment
Student
Student
Student
Parent
Student
Student
Credit Check Required
NO
NO
NO
YES
YES
Loan Limits
Based upon grade level and dependency status
$2,000
$2,000
Up to 100% of the cost of attendance, minus other financial aid received

Generally, up to 100% of the cost of attendance, minus other financial aid received.

Check with your lender.

Minimum required payment during student's enrollment
None; interest may accrue.
None
None
Payments can be deferred while the student is in school; interest continues to accrue and is added to the loan's principal after graduation.
Many private lenders allow payments to be deferred while the student is in school; interest accrues during this time. Many lenders offer options to make interest payments while the student is in school.
Repayment Plans
Graduated, extended, or income-based plans may be available to qualified borrowers.
None
None
Graduated and extended repayment options
Discretionary programs available for troubled borrowers but are not part of the loan agreement.

Cosigner /
endorser option

N/A
N/A
N/A
YES
Most private lenders require a cosigner for freshmen. A cosigner may result in a better interest rate. Check with your lender.
Cosigner /
endorser release
N/A
N/A
N/A
NO
Some after 1 year - Check with your lender.
Tax deductible interest
YES
YES (subject to IRS guidelines)
YES (subject to IRS guidelines)
YES - parent can take tax deduction (subject to IRS guidelines)
Generally, YES - the student can take the tax deduction (subject to IRS guidelines). Restrictions apply to loans for less than half-time enrollment.
Ability to consolidate
YES - Up to 25 years
YES (but borrowes must include at least one Direct Loan or Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program loan in the Direct Consolidation Loan; note that benefits specific to Perkins Loans will be lost, though.
NO
YES - Up to 25 years
Check with your lender.
How to apply
Accept on myPurdue
Accept on myPurdue
Accept on myPurdue

Lender website