Parent PLUS Loan
The Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS) is available to undergraduate students in a degree program. If the student is enrolled at least half-time, the parent may borrow up to the total of the Estimated Cost of Attendance less Veterans Benefits and all other financial aid resources. Parents of independent students are not eligible to borrow a PLUS loan.
Applying for a Parent PLUS Loan
- How much can I borrow? Refer to the student's MyCharleston Financial Aid account, under the Accept Award Offer or Award Overview tabs for the PLUS Loan eligibility amount.
- PLUS borrower Logs into http://www.studentloans.gov/ using Parent borrower FSA ID to complete Direct PLUS Loan Request. It is very important that the PARENT, not the student, log in using their FSA ID for the Parent PLUS Loan. Click the 'Log In' button to begin the process. If the PLUS Borrower does not have a FSA ID (used to sign the FAFSA) a link is provided to apply for a FSA ID.
- Click 'Start PLUS Application Process.
- Click the “Request a PLUS Loan” link and read the information provided.
- Click the “Parent PLUS” link to begin the application.
- Enter Parent and Student Information. The first page of the Federal Direct PLUS application requires entry of demographic information for the parent applicant. Page 2 of the Federal Direct PLUS application requires student and school information.
- Review Data Entered. Next verify the information that has been entered. Correct any information that was entered incorrectly.
- Credit Check. Federal Direct PLUS awards are based upon credit. To qualify for the loan, the PLUS borrower must first pass a credit check. The credit check will end in approval or denial.
- Begin the Master Promissory Note process. Read the information provided upon completion of a successful credit check. Click your student's name to begin the promissory note.
- Complete the MPN. The Federal Direct PLUS Master Promissory Note will require the completion of additional parent information and personal references. Enter the required information then read and agree to the terms and conditions of the loan.
- Review and Sign the MPN. Review the information provided, complete the signature boxes and click 'Sign'.
Paper Application Process. If requested, Parents do have option to complete a Paper PLUS Loan application. Note this paper application process may take 10 business days longer to originate than the on-line process mentioned above. Parents will need to download Parent/Graduate PLUS Loan App via http://finaid.cofc.edu/download-forms/index.php, complete, sign, and return to CofC Financial Aid.
The parent borrower must be the student's biological or adoptive parent (step parent if listed on the FAFSA)
The student must be a dependent undergraduate student who is enrolled at least half-time in a degree-seeking program
The student must have a completed FAFSA on file with CofC
The student must meet all other Title IV Federal Financial Aid program requirements (i.e. verification and academic progress)
If the parent does not pass the credit check, the parent may still receive a loan if someone agrees to endorse the loan (endorsement process also completed at www.studentloans.gov)
The student and parent must be U.S. citizens or eligible noncitizens and must not be in default on any federal education loans or owe an overpayment on a federal education grant
Parent must re-apply for the PLUS loan each academic year
A Master Promissory Note (MPN) must be signed online by the parent who applied for the PLUS loan using the Parent FSA ID
CofC electronically transmits PLUS information to Direct Loan Origination and Applicant Services. LOAS will process the loan and run a credit check on the parent borrower. The credit decision is not based on credit score, but on negative items in your credit file, such as past due accounts, charged‐off accounts, liens, bankruptcies, repossessions, etc. A PLUS loan approval does not insure future PLUS loan approvals, as that will be based on the information in your credit file at the time of application. If your credit is denied LOAS will notify the applicant and identify the name & phone number of the agency that reported the adverse credit status. If the credit data is inaccurate, the loan denial decision may be appealed by contacting LOAS. Please note that CofC Financial Aid is not provided any information about the reason for the denial. All loan denial appeals are handled by LOAS. LOAS may be contacted at (800) 557-7394.
If the decision was based on accurate information, the applicant may exercise the option to obtain an endorser (similar to a co-signer) on the loan. The LOAS will include an endorser promissory note with the denial letter. The endorser can be the other parent or anyone who meets the above credit criteria and is willing to endorse the PLUS loan. The student may not endorse the parent's loan. The endorser note should be returned to LOAS.
When LOAS notifies our office of the loan denial, we will set the PLUS Loan Origination Rejection Form (PLORF) as a requirement on your financial aid account. An email will be sent to the student's College of Charleston Edisto email account with instructions to check the Student Requirements in the Financial Aid section of MyCharleston. The purpose of the PLORF is to provide options and for the borrower to officially communicate to the Office of Financial Aid exactly what (s)he plans to do about the PLUS denial. We will not cancel the application until we receive the PLORF form.
Interest and Fees
- Interest Rates: 6.31% Direct PLUS Loan
- Origination Fee:
- 4.272% Assessed for loans First Disbursed on or after 10/01/15 and before 10/01/2016
- 4.276% Assessed for loans First Disbursed on or after 10/01/16 and before 10/01/2017
Repayment and In School Deferment
When do I begin repaying my loan? Your Direct PLUS Loan enters repayment once your loan is fully disbursed (paid out). If you are a parent borrower, you may contact your loan servicer to request a deferment:
- While you or your child are enrolled at least half-time and
- For an additional six months after your child ceases to be enrolled at least half-time.
If your loan is deferred, interest will accrue on the loan during the deferment. You may choose to pay the accrued interest or allow the interest to capitalize when the deferment period ends. Your loan servicer will notify you when your first payment is due.
What types of repayment plans are available? There are several repayment plans that designed to meet the different needs of individual borrowers. Learn about your repayment options.
- A Basic Guide to Federal PLUS Loans for Parents
- Direct Loan Repayment Calculator
- Visit StudentAid.gov for general information about paying for college, repaying federal student loans, and resolving disputes. Here are some helpful links within StudentAid.gov: