Direct PLUS Loan (Parent PLUS)

The William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan) Program is the U.S. Department of Education's federal student loan program. The U.S. Department of Education is the lender under this program. Eligible parents of dependent undergraduate may use Direct PLUS loans to fund their child's college education. Direct PLUS loans are also called Parent PLUS loans when the parent is the borrower.

Parent PLUS borrowing requirements, loan limits and interest rates

How to apply for a Federal PLUS loan

Disbursement of Direct PLUS Loan funds

Repaying Direct PLUS Loans

Parent borrowers are legally responsible for repaying the loan to the U.S. Department of Education and loan payments cannot be transferred to the student. Repayment begins when the loan is fully paid out (disbursed) and payments begin 60 days after disbursement. The service lender will notify the borrower when the first payment is due. 


Parent borrowers may request a deferment, allowing for payments to be deferred while the student is in enrolled at least half-time, as well as for an additional six months after the student leaves school, graduates or drops below half-time enrollment. It is important to remember interest accrues on loans during periods when payments are not required to be made. Parent borrowers may choose to allow interest to be added to the loan principal (capitalized) when they have to start making payments or they may choose to pay the accrued interest.

You may request a deferment during the loan request process or contact the loan servicer directly to request a deferment on your Direct PLUS Loan.

Canceling a Direct PLUS Loan

Direct PLUS Loans can be canceled but the canceling process varies on whether or not loan funding has been disbursed.

  • Before loan funding is disbursed. Before the loan funds are disbursed, you may cancel part or all of your loan by notifying the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships in writing.
  • After loan funding has been disbursed. If the Direct PLUS Loan has been disbursed, you may cancel a portion or all of the loan by completing the Federal Funds Return form within 14 days of your student being notified of the loan disbursement. If you decide to cancel the loan, all charges must be paid by the semester fee payment deadline.

Direct PLUS loan denials

If you are denied a Federal PLUS Loan, you may still be able to borrow the loan if:

A credit-worthy co-signer is approved by the Department of Education. If you wish to use a co-signer, please contact Federal Student Aid.  If you qualify, you will also need to complete the Federal Direct PLUS Loan Entrance Counseling before the loan is disbursed into your student's account.

You appeal your denial through the U.S. Department of Education. If you wish to appeal your denial, please appeal through Federal Student Aid. If your appeal is approved, you will also need to complete the Federal Direct PLUS Loan Entrance Counseling before the loan is disbursed into your student's account.

If you are denied the Federal PLUS Loan and cannot obtain a co-signer or appeal, your student may be eligible to receive an additional Federal Unsubsidized Direct Loan. You may request the additional funds through your PLUS loan application or your student must complete the Federal Direct Loan Activation form requesting the additional Federal Unsubsidized Direct Loan.

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