- Maximum amount: The difference between your total cost of attendance and the amount of other financial assistance you receive each year
- You must enroll on at least a half-time basis to receive a PLUS Loan for each term of the loan. Half-time for an undergraduate student is six credit hours per semester.
- Interest rate: Varies annually, with a maximum of 9 percent. Interest begins accruing once funds are disbursed
- Repayment: Several plans are available, but repayment begins when funds are distributed to your student’s school account unless you contact your federal loan servicer to request a deferment while your child is in school. You may obtain information about your federal loan servicer under the loan management section of studentaid.gov.
How to Apply
To apply for a Direct PLUS Loan, the borrower must log into studentaid.gov with his or her Federal PIN. For a Direct Parent PLUS Loan, the parent borrower must log in with his or her FSA User ID and password. Parent borrowers click on the Parent Borrowers tab and then “Apply for a PLUS Loan.” Once logged in, you will choose the option “Request a Direct PLUS Loan,” and then your loan type (“Parent PLUS” if you are the parent of a dependent undergraduate student or “Graduate PLUS” if you are a graduate/professional student).
You can choose a specific loan amount or request the “maximum amount allowed.” If the student plans to attend both fall and spring semesters, it is recommended that you request one loan to cover the entire academic year. Doing so avoids the need to submit a new application.
The credit decision is made by the Department of Education and is not based on a credit score but on whether the borrower has adverse credit. This includes past-due accounts, charged-off accounts, liens, bankruptcies, repossessions, etc. Credit decisions are valid for a 180-day period. A PLUS Loan approval does not ensure future PLUS loan approvals, as credit is reviewed at the time of each subsequent application. If your credit is not approved, you may:
- Appeal the decision through the application process at studentaid.gov.
- Have a credit-worthy endorser apply through studentaid.gov. An endorser is someone who agrees to repay the PLUS Loan if you do not repay it.
- Choose to have the student borrow additional Direct Unsubsidized loan funds. If you do not intend to pursue Parent PLUS approval through one of the first two options above, the student can request additional Direct Unsubsidized loan funds. A freshman or sophomore may receive up to an additional $4,000 per academic year and junior or senior may receive up to an additional $5,000 per academic year.
Parent PLUS Only
During the application process, you will be asked how you would like the treatment of excess funds to be handled. If you choose “send to student,” UAB Student Accounting Services will send the excess Parent PLUS funds to the bank account on file in BlazerNET. If you choose “send to borrower,” UAB Student Accounting Services will mail a check to the parent borrower’s address, if the refund is a result of the PLUS Loan.
Graduate/Professional PLUS Loans
What do I do if I have reached my limit but need more money?
Students who need additional resources to pay for the costs of attending UAB may apply for Federal Grad PLUS Loan funds at studentaid.gov. PLUS Loans are credit-based loans available to graduate/professional students to help make up the difference between the cost of attendance (annual budget” and other aid, such as grants, scholarships, third party payments and Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans. Grad PLUS Loans are credit-based loans. If you have an adverse credit history, you may still be able to receive a PLUS loan through one of two options:
- Obtaining an endorser who does not have an adverse credit history. An endorser is someone who agrees to repay the Direct PLUS Loan if you do not repay it.
- Documenting to the satisfaction of the U.S. Department of Education that there are extenuating circumstances relating to your adverse credit history.
With either option 1 or option 2, you also must complete credit counseling for PLUS Loans borrowers on the student loans website.