Program Description

Direct PLUS Loans are unsubsidized loans for the parents of dependent students and for graduate/professional 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 school applies PLUS loan funds toward your child's educational costs such as tuition, fees, and room and board.  If any loan funds remain after school charges are paid, you will receive the remaining amount from the school, unless you authorized the school to release the funds to your child. Any funds you or your child receives must be used to pay the child's educational expenses.

Program Requirements

To qualify for this program, you must:

A)  Be a parent of a dependent postsecondary student who is working toward a postsecondary degree or certificate; and

B)  Not have an adverse credit history.


There are other requirements.  For more information, visit the Federal Student Aid Resources page.


Application Process

If your child's school participates in the Direct Loan program, you can obtain a Direct PLUS Loan application from your child's school. To apply for a FFEL PLUS Loan, you can get an application through your child's school, from a lender that participates in the FFEL program, or from the guaranty agency in your state.

Note: Although it's not a requirement, you are strongly encouraged to have your dependent child file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to see if he or she may be eligible for other student loans or grants. The student can use FAFSA on the Web, to apply (the faster and easier way), or he or she can get a paper FAFSA from his or her high school, local library, postsecondary school, or by calling the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243). TTY users for the hearing impaired can call 847-688-2567.

Loan Terms

Maximum Loan Amount: Your child's cost of attendance minus other financial aid. For example, if your child's cost of attendance is $6,000, and he or she receives $4,000 in other financial aid, you can borrow up to $2,000 in PLUS Loans.

Interest Rate: The interest rate is variable (adjusted annually on July 1), but it does not exceed nine percent. You'll be notified any time the variable rate changes. For the current PLUS Loan interest rate, visit the PLUS Loan information page.  

Maximum Loan Length: Up to 30 years, depending on the amount borrowed and the repayment plan chosen. There are a number of repayment plans offered through the Direct and FFEL programs. Read How to Repay Your Loans online for more information about repayment.

Frequency of Payments: Monthly or quarterly. Generally, the first payment is due within 60 days after the loan is fully disbursed. You must begin repaying both principal and interest while the student is in school.

Prepayment Penalties: None

Fees: You will pay a fee of up to four percent of the loan, deducted proportionately each time a loan disbursement is made. Because of this deduction, you'll receive slightly less than the amount you're borrowing.

Additional Information

Additional Information
Max Loan Length30 years, depending on amount borrowed and repayment plan chosen
Interest RateVariable, does not exceed 8.25%
Max Loan Amount$2,625 to $8,500
Payment FrequencyMonthly
Prepayment PenaltiesNone
FeesUp to 4% of the loan
Loan Categories
Education graduation cap
Education Loans