Direct PLUS Loans are part of the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program. This program allows graduate students and parents of dependent undergraduate students to borrow monies to supplement their financial aid packages. Students must be enrolled at least half-time in an aid-eligible program. In addition, unlike other federal loan programs, a credit check is required.
Annual Loan Limits
There are no defined annual or aggregate limits on Federal Direct PLUS Loans. The actual loan amount is based upon your financial aid package. Your total financial aid package, which may consist of grants, scholarships, and loans, may not exceed the total cost of your education.
Direct PLUS Loans are subject to an orgination fee. Fees are deducted from the loan proceeds at the time funds are disbursed.
Direct PLUS Loan Application and Master Promissory Note (MPN)
Applying for a Federal Direct PLUS Loan:
- Complete the Federal Direct PLUS Loan request process at https://studentaid.gov.
- Once credit is approved, you must complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN) at https://studentaid.gov.
- Direct Plus Loan applicants who have been determined to have an adverse credit history, but who qualify for a Direct Plus loan by documenting extenuating circumstances or by obtaining an endorser, will have to complete a separate Plus Loan Counseling at https://studentaid.gov.
Principal and interest for the Federal Direct PLUS Loan may be deferred while the student is enrolled at least half-time. Borrowers must separately request deferment each academic year. If the loan does not qualify for deferment, the borrower may request forbearance due to economic hardship. Contact your Federal Direct PLUS Loan Servicer with any questions regarding deferment or forbearance. You may find information regarding the loan servicers below.
Repayment & Loan Servicing
There is no grace period for a Direct PLUS Loan. Repayment of the Federal Direct Parent or Graduate PLUS Loan begins 60 days after your school 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 Direct PLUS loans first disbursed on or after July 1, 2008) for an additional six months after you graduate or drop below half-time enrollment. The repayment period for a Federal Direct Graduate or Parent PLUS Loan is between 10 and 25 years, depending on the repayment plan that the borrower chooses. The standard repayment plan is 10 years.
If you are a parent PLUS borrower, you can defer repayment of Direct PLUS Loans first disbursed on or after July 1, 2008, while the student for whom you obtained the loan is enrolled at least half-time, and for an additional six months after the student graduates or drops below half-time enrollment. Half-time enrollment status is determined by the school. You must separately request each deferment period.
Generally, you have from 10 to 25 years to repay your loan, depending on the repayment plan that you choose. You can choose to repay your PLUS Loan using the standard, extended, or graduated repayment plan.
Your loan servicer will notify you of the date your first payment is due. If you do not choose a repayment plan, your loan servicer will place you on the standard plan, with fixed monthly payments for up to 10 years. Most Direct Loan borrowers choose to stay with the standard repayment plan, but there are other options for borrowers who may need more time to repay or who need to make lower payments at the beginning of the repayment period.
You can change repayment plans at any time by contacting your loan servicer.
Loan Servicer Contact Information
There are five Federal Direct Loan Servicers. The Department of Education determines your servicer at the time your promissory note is completed and the loan is disbursed. If you have a Federal Direct PLUS Loan, previous to the 2010-2011 academic year through the Federal Family Educational Loan Program (FFELP), your loan would be serviced by the lender you chose when you signed your Master Promissory Note (MPN). Students and parents can look up their complete loan history, including the servicer for each loan, at https://studentaid.gov.
Please visit https://studentaid.gov/manage-loans/repayment/servicers for a current list of loan servicers and contact information.