Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loans

Parents and stepparents of dependent undergraduate students can apply for a fixed-rate Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan. With a Parent PLUS Loan, parents borrow directly from the U.S. government at a fixed interest rate to help fund a dependent’s education.

To qualify, the parent(s) must not have an adverse credit history, but financial need is not a consideration.

Parent PLUS Loans will be considered as part of a student’s total financial aid package, even though the parent, not the student, is responsible for repayment.

Eligibility Requirements

You can apply for a Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan if:

  • You are the parent or stepparent of an undergraduate dependent student
  • You do not have an adverse credit history, or, if you do, you have obtained an approved endorser who agrees to repay the loan if you cannot
  • You are a U.S. citizen or national, a U.S. permanent resident, or eligible noncitizen
  • Your student completes a FAFSA
Credit Decisions for Parent PLUS Loans

Credit decisions are made by the U.S. Department of Education. The department will notify you whether or not you have been approved.

If approved, you will receive an email at the parent’s email address listed on the PLUS Loan application if a Master Promissory Note (MPN) must be signed.

If your application is not approved, you will receive contact information on how to appeal the credit decision or obtain an endorser.

If the credit denial is overridden by appeal or by the addition of an endorser, the department will automatically notify IU and reinstate the Parent PLUS Loan in the student’s financial aid package.

If a Parent PLUS Loan application is denied, or the parent is unable to apply for the Parent PLUS Loan due to one of the following reasons:

  • Incarceration
  • Sole source of income is public assistance or disability benefits
  • Bankruptcy that prohibits incurring additional debt

the student will be eligible to receive additional unsubsidized Direct Loans—up to $4,000 per year for freshmen and sophomores, and up to $5,000 per year for juniors and seniors.

If one parent is denied, and another parent is subsequently approved, additional Direct Loan funding will not be available.

How Much You Can Borrow

You can borrow up to your estimated Cost of Attendance, minus any other financial aid you may receive. Note that there is an origination fee on all Direct PLUS Loans.

Using Your Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan

Funds will be disbursed to your student’s bursar account to pay for tuition, fees, room and board, and other school charges. When you complete the application, you’ll indicate whether you want any additional funds that remain after these items are paid to be sent to the borrower or to be sent directly to the student.

Repaying Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loans

Interest charges begin as soon as your student receives your loan. Repayment of a Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan can be deferred for up to six months after the student graduates or drops below half-time status. See deferment requirements for Parent PLUS Loans »

Apply for a Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan

To apply, you will need to complete the FAFSA and a separate Parent PLUS application:

  • To apply, you will need to complete the FAFSA and apply for a Federal Direct Parent PLUS loan at

Now learn how to apply for aid »

Before you can receive your Direct Parent PLUS Loan, you will have to complete entrance counseling and sign the Federal Direct Loan Promissory Note (MPN).