Parents of a dependent undergraduate student may apply for a Federal Direct PLUS loan to help meet the student's cost of attendance not covered by other financial aid. Interest rates and repayment provisions on PLUS loans are generally more favorable than other alternative loans available for educational expenses. FAFSA is required, and parents must complete a PLUS Loan application at StudentLoans.gov
Parents are also required to pass a credit check when they are applying for the PLUS loan. If a parent's application for a PLUS loan is denied based on the borrower's credit history, the student may become eligible for an additional unsubsidized student loan. Freshmen and sophomore students can borrow up to $4000 in a Federal Direct loan, while juniors and seniors could borrow up to $5000.
Federal Direct PLUS loans have a fixed interest rate of 7.0% effective for loans first disbursed on or after July 1, 2017 and before July 1, 2018. Interest is charged from the date of the first disbursement until the loan is paid in full.
Direct PLUS Loan Application Process
- Students first must submit the FAFSA.
- Log into StudentLoans.gov. You will be prompted to obtain a FSA User ID and password which will replace your federal PIN. PLUS Parent Loan borrowers must sign in using their FSA User ID and not the student’s.
- Select Request PLUS Loan from the menu on the left.
- Follow the steps to complete PLUS Loan application.
- Choose the PLUS Loan type (Parent or Grad PLUS for graduate students)
- Complete the School and Loan Information Section.
- Indicate the specific amount you wish to borrow. Note: If “maximum amount” is selected, we will process the loan for the maximum amount available (cost of attendance minus all other financial aid awarded.)
- Select the Loan Period for the PLUS Loan.
- Complete all sections of the Borrower Information.
- The Department of Education will evaluate your credit and approve or deny the application. You will receive an immediate response.
- If your credit is approved, you will be given instructions for completing a PLUS Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN) on StudentLoans.gov, if you have not already completed one in the prior year.
- If the PLUS loan is credit denied, you may choose to obtain an endorser or provide documentation to the Department of Education to appeal the credit decision. Contact the Department of Education at 800-557-7394 to start the appeal or get detailed information regarding the endorser addendum.
- The Federal Direct Loan program will forward the approved PLUS Loan application to the Financial Aid Office to verify enrollment and eligibility. Please be aware it may take up to 2 business days for UNC Charlotte to receive your submitted application
- The federal government will send the “Notice of Loan Guarantee and Disclosure Statement” to you the borrower.
- The federal government will send loan disbursements to UNC Charlotte in accordance with the disclosure statement schedule.
- If there are remaining funds available after University charges are paid, you can have these funds sent to you or your student for parent PLUS Loans.
- The deadline to submit a 2017-2018 Parent or Grad PLUS Loan application on StudentLoans.gov and ensure processing before the start of fall classes is Monday, July 31, 2017.