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Federal Direct Parent (PLUS) Loans

The Federal Direct Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS) is meant to assist parents in covering costs beyond any student financial aid. The PLUS loan is credit-based and is held solely in the parent's (and endorser's, if applicable) name for the life of the loan.

How do I apply for this loan and am I an eligible parent borrower?
Both you, the parent borrower, and the student must meet the general eligibility requirements for federal student aid. For example, both must be a citizen or eligible non-citizen and may not be in default or owe a refund to any federal aid program. To be eligible to receive a Federal Direct PLUS Loan, you will be required to pass a credit check. If you do not pass the credit check, you may still be able to receive a loan if someone, such as a relative or friend who is able to pass the credit check, agrees to endorse the loan, promising to repay it if you should fail to do so.

To apply, the parent will:

  • Log in to http://studentaid.gov with the PARENT FSA ID.
    • Tips: Remember that the PARENT is the borrower and STUDENT is the student.
    • Double check the student's SSN on the application.
  • Select the option "Apply for a PLUS Loan”under the tab “APPLY FOR AID”. A credit decision is provided immediately upon submission of the application.
  • If your credit check expires before the loan is processed by the Financial Aid office, then a new credit check will be performed by the U.S. Department of Education. This may occur if the decision is based on a prior credit check; credit checks are valid for 180 days.
  • Complete the Master Promissory Note for the Parent PLUS Loan on the same website, if this is your first time borrowing a PLUS Loan for your Potsdam student and your loan is approved. (Please note, the parent approved for the loan must complete the Master Promissory Note). Select the “COMPLETE AID PROCESS”tab and then select “Complete Master Promissory Note.”Finally, make sure to select the “PLUS MPN for Parents”, which is the last option in the list of MPN choices.
  • The loan application, credit decision, and Master Promissory Note are sent to SUNY Potsdam electronically.

If the parent's credit decision is denied, the parent may:

  • Request an "appeal."If there are errors in your credit report, or extenuating circumstances exist relating to your adverse credit history, the parent borrower may choose to appeal. When you select "appeal decision", it will start the appeal process.
  • Provide an endorser: The endorser must pass a credit check and sign a promissory note. An email with the Loan Reference ID will be emailed to the borrower. The endorser will need the Loan Reference ID to complete the Endorser Addendum online. The endorser must create a Federal PIN to sign in and go to "Endorse a PLUS Loan”under the “APPLY FOR AID”tab,or
  • Not pursue the PLUS Loan: If the parent borrower is not interested in the first two options, the parent can select the option not to pursue the PLUS Loan; Student will then be offered additional Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans. Additional loans are available for up to $4,000/academic year for 1st and 2nd year students (fewer than 57 credit hours earned); and up to $5,000/academic year for 3rd and 4th year students (57 or more credit hours earned).

What is the interest rate and what fees are charged for this loan?
Interest rates for all federal loans are set by Congress.

How much can I borrow?
The annual limit for a Federal Direct PLUS Loan is equal to the students cost of attendance minus any other financial aid the student received. If the cost of attendance is $20,000, for example, and the student received $8,000 in other financial aid, you can borrow up to an additional $12,000.

When do I begin repaying the loan?
Repayment begins 60 days after the loan is fully disbursed or the student is no longer enrolled on at least a half-time basis (6 or more credit hours). For Fall/Spring loans, repayment would begin in mid-March.

Disbursement
Funds are normally disbursed in two equal installments and are credited directly to the student's account.