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A Complete Guide: Parent Loans For Undergraduate Students (PLUS)

Parent Loans For Undergraduate Students

The Federal Direct Parent loans for undergraduate students, also referred to as parent PLUS loan, allows parents to borrow for their minor undergrad students. These loans are based not on need but on credit. However, the maximum amount of lending does not exceed the difference between the cost of attendance calculated by the school and the assistance earned, including scholarships and other financial aid.

This federal student loan option is available to parents whose children are enrolled in an eligible program for at least half-time. Although this form of loan is a beneficial financial instrument for many parents, it is not necessarily the best choice for everyone. Know everything about the parents plus loan in this blog.

Federal Benefits Given By Parent Loans For Undergraduate Students

As a kind of federal loan, Parent loans for undergraduate students provide some advantages over other forms of parent student loans.

  • Deferment and forbearance: Whether you encounter financial difficulties, such as job losses or medical problems, you can delay interest in your debt without default. Deferment or forbearance allows you the flexibility to get back on your feet without thinking about the payment of your student loan.
  • Eligible for alternate payment options: If you cannot cover the payment, Parent PLUS Loans are eligible for alternative payment plans to reduce your monthly charge. PLUS Loans are liable for phased repayments and extended parents plus loan repayment schedules. And if you consolidate the debts into a Direct Consolidation Loan, they are also liable for income-contingent repayment.
  • Qualifies for Public Service Loan Forgiveness: If you work for a non-profit company or government entity, you might be entitled to a parent student loan forgiveness after 10 years of service and for 120 qualifying instalments under Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF). In order for your Parent PLUS Loans to apply for PSLF, you must first merge your loans into a Direct Consolidation Loan and sign up for a Revenue Contingent Repayment Plan.

Eligibility Of Parent Loans For Undergraduate Students

To be acceptable for a parent plus loan, one should—

  • Be the biological or adoptive parent (or stepparent in some cases) of a dependent undergraduate student who is enrolled in a qualifying school for at least half the time;
  • Do not have an unfavourable credit history; and
  • Comply with the general federal student assistance eligibility criteria.

The current rate of interest

The interest rate on parent plus loans is 5.30% for Direct PLUS loans first disbursed on or after July 1, 2020, and before July 1, 2021. This is a fixed interest rate for the loan’s duration.

Permissible Amount to borrow

The maximum PLUS loan sum that can be borrowed is the cost of attending the school that the child will attend, minus any other financial aid that the child gets. The school determines the cost of attendance.

How Do I Apply For a Parents Loans For Undergraduate Students?

The parent borrower must file an electronic application for the loan and electronically sign a master promissory note. The borrower may have options to delay repayment during the application process when the student is attending school, decide if the loan funds will cover non-tuition fees, determine whether any credit balance is refunded, and specify the loan amount to be lent.

How do I apply for federal parents plus loan? Relevant information is given regarding the application process.

The borrower would need to return to the Direct Loans website to borrow more than what was approved on the original application and complete a new application listing the total amount of the loan requested.

When completing the electronic application and master promissory note, a credit check is performed. If the credit check is refused, options will be given to complete the Parent Loan process. 


The PLUS loan repayment starts 60 days after completely disbursing the full sum lent for the school year. However, when the student is attending at least half-time and up to 6 months after they cease to be enrolled on at least a half-time basis, the parent may request that the payment be deferred. Please heed that interest continues to accrue during periods of deferral. Instead of capitalizing on interest, it is best to make quarterly interest payments to keep the total loan debt down.

Loans lent from the Federal Direct Loan Programs are directly borrowed from the federal government. The Direct Loan Servicer processes repayment arrangements (a servicer contracted by the federal government) 

Parent PLUS borrowers are qualified for the following repayment plans:

  • Standard Repayment Plan
  • Graduated Repayment Plan
  • Extended Repayment Plan


The borrower can cancel all or part of the loan at any time before the loan money is disbursed by notifying the child’s school. If the loan is paid within specific time frames, parents can cancel all or part of the loan.

The borrower may be entitled to have all or part of the loan forgiven (cancelled) or discharged under certain circumstances.

Parent PLUS Loans vs. Private Student Loans

Although Parent PLUS Loans can be a valuable method, they’re not for everybody. If you have a steady salary and a good background of credit, you could be best off with a private parent loan. Here are the reasons:

1. Lower Interest Rate

If you have decent or excellent credit, you will be eligible to apply for a parent-student loan with a far cheaper interest rate when partnering with a private provider rather than the federal government. If you apply for a cheaper rate, the savings could be large.

Let’s assume, for example, that you wanted to borrow $30,000 for your child’s college education. If you take out a Parent PLUS Loan at an interest rate of 7.6 per cent, you will have a monthly cost of $358 and a sum of $42,921 will have been forgiven over the period of 10 years.

Yet imagine you took a private parent student loan instead and are eligible for an interest rate of just 5.7 per cent. Your annual contribution will be $326—$32 reduction per month—and you will just spend $39,069 over the 10-year repayment span. When going for a private student loan instead of a parent PLUS loan, you can save more than $3,800.

2. Flexible terms of the loan

In the traditional Parent PLUS Loan Repayment Plan, the contributions are set for a term of 10 years. But for private student loans, you will be more versatile. Many lenders give loan periods of 5, 10, or 15 years, so you may select a term—and a monthly payment—that fits your budget. In general, the quicker the repayment cycle, the lower the interest rate.

3. No application or fees for origination

Parent PLUS Loans have expensive disbursement costs. Private student loans, on the other side, typically do not incur any processing or origination fees at all. By going for a private loan, you might save hundreds of dollars on disbursement.

How To Apply For Parent Loans For Undergraduate Students?

In order to apply for a parent PLUS loan, you must first complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

When you have completed the FAFSA and your child gets a rundown of the financial support, you can apply for a Parent PLUS loan, which you can complete online at StudentLoans.gov.

To complete the form, you may need to include how much you intend to borrow, the school code and address of your child’s choice institution, your child’s personal identification, and Social Security number, and your own personal and employer information.

What is adverse credit history for parent plus loan? Adverse credit history is calculated by analyzing the credit report of the creditor for the last two years to five years. An applicant has an unfavourable financial background if the borrower’s credit record includes a gross liability of $2,085 or greater, and is at least 90 days of delinquency.

Can you give money to help pay off your child’s student loans?

One way you can support your children pay off their student loans is by offering them funds to make instalments. You’re going to want to make it explicit that the money is going to be used for student loan recovery and nothing more.

You will offer away tiny sums for birthdays and holidays, as well as whenever you receive a tax refund. However, if you’re thinking of contributing a substantial sum, be mindful of the donation fee. You may give up to $15,000 without any problems, but if you surpass the number, the donation would be considered as part of your annual exclusion. You’re going to have to file a return to fill out IRS Form 709. The positive news? You’re just going to get hit with a gift tax when you meet a life cap of $11.4 million.

Unsure of which loans to get? Get a FREE consultation by filling the form in this blog!

There is some uncertainty when parents may escape tax on donations by rendering the applicable higher education fees, such as schooling, directly to the university. However, the new tax law does not consider the reimbursement of student loans as one of these qualifying expenditures.

Don’t lose sight of your financial objectives to support your child

For your child, you want the universe. Yet in certain situations, the only thing you will do is to guarantee that your own financial future is as safe as possible. When you are out of savings assets, you don’t want your child to have to think about your money. There are a lot of best parent loans for colleges that will help you in this journey.

It is not greedy to take control of your own funds. It’s clever, and it’s also teaching your adult child, self-reliance. Helping your child with a Parent PLUS loan can be a big blessing to your children, so make sure you’re practical about your own financial needs.

If you liked this mini-guide on “Parent loans for undergraduate students” then make sure you check out our other informative blogs linked below!

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Parent Loans For Undergraduate Students

A Complete Guide: Parent Loans For Undergraduate Students (PLUS)

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