Federal PLUS Loans

Federal PLUS loans are for parents of dependent undergraduate students enrolled at least half time and for graduate students. Like Stafford loans, they’re made through the Direct Loan program. PLUS loans are unsubsidized and the federal government has set the fixed interest rate at 7.9%. To get a PLUS loan, you must qualify for credit. Parents or graduate students may borrow up to the cost of attendance, minus any other financial aid received.

Loan terms

  • Eligibility is not based on need or income
  • For parents, their dependent student must be enrolled at least half time
  • Grad students must be enrolled at least half time
  • Be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen
  • Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as required by your college
  • Credit qualify

Interest rates
The interest rate on PLUS loans is set by the federal government and may be tax deductible.

  • Direct disbursed after July 1, 2006 – fixed rate 7.9%
  • FFEL disbursed between July 1, 2006 and June 30, 2010 – fixed rate 8.5%
  • Disbursed before July 1, 2006 – variable rate, adjusted annually on July 1, capped at 9.00%
    • July 1, 2008 through June 30, 2009, the rate was 5.01%
    • As of July 1, 2009 through June 30, 2010, the rate is 3.28%

Loan limits
Parents of dependent students and graduate students may borrow up to the total cost of the student’s attendance, minus any other aid received.

Repayment options
Repayment begins sixty (60) days after final disbursement. Graduate students and parents of dependent students may request an in-school deferment while the student is enrolled at least half time. Interest will continue to accrue.

Standard repayment – Make both principal and interest payments each month for up to a 10- year repayment term. This option offers the lowest total interest cost.

Graduated repayment – Payments begin at a lower amount and then increase over the life of the loan, still a 10- year period. This option offers a higher total interest cost than standard repayment, but may better match with what borrowers can afford to pay.

Income-sensitive repayment – Payments are calculated based on your income. You must reapply each year and payments are adjusted annually based on income changes. This option offers a higher total interest cost than standard repayment.

Extended repayment – If your loan balance is higher than $30,000, you may be eligible for a longer loan term of up to 25 years and a choice of standard or graduated payments. This plan offers a higher total interest cost than standard repayment.
PLUS Loan Repayment Examples
 Amount Borrowed     Monthly Payment*
 $2,500      $50.00
 $5,000      $60.40
 $7,500   $86.31
 $10,000   $120.80
 $15,000   $181.20

*The monthly payment amount represent PLUS loans that carry the current 7.9% interest rate not deferred and repaid on a standard 10-year repayment term with a minimum monthly of $50. All calculations are estimates.

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