How to Conquer the Parent PLUS Loan Application in 6 Easy Steps

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once you know how to apply for a parent PLUS loanword, you can get the funds you need to help your child pay for college. These federal loans are available to parents who want to help their dependant undergraduate scholar cover college costs .
good be careful not to borrow excessively much, since these loans come with a 7.08 % interest rate for the 2019 – 2020 school year and can be tough to pay spinal column. If your inquiry into loan options has led you to parent PLUS loans, this guide will teach you how to apply, step by step .

How to apply for a Parent PLUS loan in 6 steps

By following the steps we list below for your parent PLUS application, you ’ ll have a clear path for obtaining a parent scholar loan .
1. Fill out a FAFSA and review your scholar aid award
2. Determine if you ’ re eligible for a parent PLUS loan
3. figure out how much you can borrow
4. Decide on a final loanword amount
5. Complete a rear PLUS lend application
6. Sign a PLUS Master Promissory Note

1. Fill out a FAFSA and review your student aid award

first, fill out a unblock application for Federal Student Aid ( FAFSA ) with your child. The Federal Student Aid office uses the information from this packet to determine your motivation and eligibility for fiscal aid ( such as rear PLUS loans ) to pay for college .
To complete a FAFSA, you and your child foremost need to create FSA IDs. Make certain you remember your FSA ID ; you ’ ll need it when you submit your parent PLUS loanword application .
once you submit the FAFSA and it has been processed, your child will receive a fiscal help award summary. It should list all fiscal help the Department of Education has approved for your child, so see if rear PLUS loans are listed .

2. Determine if you’re eligible for a parent PLUS loan

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GET MY RATES Before you apply for a parent PLUS loan, it ’ mho helpful to check if you ’ ll qualify for this type of federal scholar loan .
And don ’ thymine precisely go off your child ’ s fiscal help prize letter. evening if parent PLUS loans are included, you ’ ll need to meet the eligibility guidelines. On the other hand, you might be able to borrow through Parent PLUS loans tied if they aren ’ thymine listed on the award letter .
eligibility requirements for parent PLUS loans include the follow :

  • You must be the biological or adoptive parent of a current student.
  • Your child must be a dependent undergraduate enrolled at least half time at a college that participates in the federal direct loan program.
  • You and your child must meet all other eligibility requirements for federal student loans.
  • You must not be in default on any federal student loans.
  • Your credit must not be “adverse.” The Department of Education defines an adverse credit history as one that includes a current delinquency of 90 days or longer. It also includes borrowers who have certain derogatory marks within the past five years, such as bankruptcy discharge or foreclosure. The full definition of adverse credit is outlined here.

The last necessity makes rear PLUS loans unique among federal scholar loans, most of which have no credit rating requirements .
Parents who don ’ triiodothyronine meet these accredit requirements should still apply for rear PLUS loans, as getting denied may actually help your college student. Federal student lend limits are set higher for undergraduate students whose parents are traverse PLUS loans, so your child could entree more federal student loans .

3. Figure out how much you can borrow

You ’ ll indigence to indicate a loan measure on the rear PLUS application. however, how much you can borrow with rear PLUS loans will depend on the specific cost of attendance ( COA ) at your child ’ south college :

  • Each college determines its own cost of attendance, and the COA is used to set the federal loan limits on parent PLUS loans.
  • You can borrow a parent PLUS loan amount only up to the remaining cost of attendance after all other financial aid (including your child’s student loan funds) has been applied.

It can help to get in reach with your child ’ sulfur college. Its fiscal care position can more accurately determine your eligibility and any limits on parent PLUS loans .
additionally, the action to complete a parent PLUS loan application varies from school to educate, according to Federal Student Aid. Ask the fiscal help position how the college handles and processes parent PLUS loan applications .

4. Decide on a final loan amount

Although you can borrow up to the parent PLUS lend specify, that doesn ’ thyroxine hateful you should. The rear PLUS specify is set according to your child ’ sulfur costs, not your fiscal site, so borrowing up to the full measure could result in student lend payments you can ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate afford .
therefore, how much should you borrow ?
It ’ randomness best to go for the least sum potential through parent PLUS loans while hush covering your child ’ randomness college costs. Calculate your child ’ s education costs, from tutelage to room and control panel. At the lapp fourth dimension, project your monthly parent PLUS lend payments to ensure that you will be able to keep up with the sum you ’ ll need to borrow .
And make certain you ’ re maximizing all other fiscal aid opportunities first, as they might be more cost-efficient than parent PLUS loans .
For exemplify, discuss having your child borrow the maximal amount of unsubsidized loans first. You can help out with repayment on these loans, and they have much lower costs than parent PLUS loans :

  • Interest rate: 5.05% on direct undergraduate loans disbursed on or after 7/1/18 and before 7/1/19 vs. 7.08% on parent PLUS loans
  • Loan fee: 1.062% on direct undergraduate loans vs. 4.236% on parent PLUS loans

You can use this handy tool from to estimate how much you might need to borrow to cover your child ’ s college costs .

5. Complete a parent PLUS loan application

once you know how much you want to borrow, you can start a parent PLUS loanword application. many colleges will request that you apply for a parent PLUS lend through however, as the application notes, “ some schools may have a different process for obtaining the extra information needed to process your aim PLUS lend application. ”

Provide loan and identification details

The rear PLUS loanword application on is actually a “ request for auxiliary information, ” which you can preview here. You ’ ll need to have your FSA ID ( not your child ’ second ) on hand to file and submit this shape .
The data you ’ ll have to provide includes :

  • Loan details: the type of loan you need (parent PLUS in this case), along with your requested loan amount and period
  • Academic information: the code and address of your child’s college and the award school year
  • Student information: your child’s name, Social Security number, date of birth, permanent address and telephone number
  • Borrower information: your name, Social Security number, date of birth, citizenship status, permanent and mailing addresses, phone number and email address
  • Employment information: your employer’s name and address

Choose your deferment and disbursement preferences

You besides will choose between a few parent PLUS lend options on the application :

  • Whether to defer parent PLUS loan repayment: Unlike your child’s federal student loans, parent PLUS loans aren’t automatically deferred while your child is enrolled in college and for the six-month grace period afterward. You can decide if you wish to begin repayment immediately or defer until after your child graduates or otherwise leaves school.
  • How the school can apply parent PLUS loan funds: Like other student loans, parent PLUS loans are disbursed to the student’s financial aid office and applied first to tuition, fees and room and board. You also might choose to authorize the school to use these loan funds to settle other outstanding charges like library fines or campus parking tickets.
  • Where the college should send leftover parent PLUS funds: Any amount remaining after educational costs are paid is called a credit balance. You can indicate on the parent PLUS loan application if you want this credit balance to be paid out to you or the student.

Submit the parent PLUS loan application

once you ’ ve completed all fields, you can submit the application using your FSA ID. Doing so will trigger an immediate credit check to see if you have adverse accredit .
If you don ’ t have credit issues, the application will pass to the fiscal aid office of your child ’ south college. The college aid office will process this document and determine your full eligibility for a rear PLUS loanword .
If you do have adverse credit, you will be denied for a parent PLUS loanword. But you can become eligible, according to the lotion documents, if you complete PLUS Credit Counseling and obtain an subscriber or text file explaining “ extenuating circumstances to the satisfaction of the U.S. Department of Education. ”
If you decide in the future to borrow more through parent PLUS loans, you will use this same form to request extra funds .

6. Sign a PLUS Master Promissory Note

After you submit your parent PLUS application, your child ’ s college fiscal aid position will process it, determine if you ’ ra eligible and notify you upon approval ( or abnegation ). You besides can contact the help office at any point to check on the advance of your application .
If you ’ ra approved, there ’ s a final step to complete the parent PLUS loan process : sign a PLUS Master Promissory Note ( MPN ). This legal document works as your lend agreement, fully outlining the terms of your repayment, including the loan period, concern rates and fees .
You can complete a PLUS MPN hera. The process takes about 30 minutes, and the MPN must be completed in one sitting. You ’ ll need to provide much of the like identify information you included in the application .
additionally, you ’ ll need to supply two references on your MPN. They must be two different people who :

  • Live at two different U.S. addresses
  • Don’t live with you
  • Have known you for at least three years

For each reference, you ’ ll need to list a full name and liaison information .
once you submit the parent PLUS MPN, your student loans should be disbursed soon after it ’ s processed, per your directions on the initial application .
You will need to submit a newly parent PLUS lend application to take out extra loans in the future, but you have to sign an MPN merely once. “ Most schools are authorized to make multiple federal scholar loans under one MPN for up to 10 years, ” according to the Federal Student Aid position.

Learn about repayment and refinancing options

Make surely you ’ re keeping track of your parent PLUS loans as you go and that you ’ re aware of when the repayment will kick in. For many parents, learning how to apply for a rear PLUS loanword international relations and security network ’ t the hard part — repaying it is. It ’ second smart to explore your refund options for parent PLUS loans now so you can promptly adjust if you find yourself struggling with payments .
Along with exploring your repayment options, look into refinancing your parent PLUS loans to possibly qualify for lower sake rates. Refinancing is besides an choice if you want to transfer parent PLUS loans into your child ’ mho name .
Rebecca Safier and Elyssa Kirkham contributed to this article .

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Category : Finance

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