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
- Online application available. This new online application should streamline the PLUS Loan application process and offer faster student aid delivery.
- Refer to the PLUS loan amount offered in the student's MyCharleston account for the maximum PLUS loan amount you may apply for.
- PLUS Borrower Logs into http://www.studentloans.gov/ with their Federal PIN. It is very important that the PARENT, not the student, log in using their parent PIN for the Parent PLUS Loan. Click the 'Sign In' button and enter the PIN number and the additional information requested. If the PLUS Borrower does not have a Federal PIN number (used to sign the FAFSA) a link is provided to apply for a PIN.
- 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 PLAP13 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 FAFSA PIN
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: 7.9% Direct PLUS Loan
Origination Fee: 4.0% Assessed to Borrower
Interest Rates: 7.9% Direct PLUS Loan
Origination Fee: 4.204% Assessed to Borrower
For PLUS loans made to parents that are first disbursed on or after July 1, 2008, the borrower has the option of beginning repayment on the PLUS loan either 60 days after the loan is fully disbursed or waiting until six months after the dependent student on whose behalf the parent borrowed ceases to be enrolled on at least a half-time basis. With the 60 day repayment option, if you apply for the loan for the full academic year, half of the loan will be disbursed in the Fall and half of the loan will be disbursed in the Spring. You will begin repayment 60 days after the Spring disbursement. For repayment amounts, visit the online repayment calculator. The Direct Loan Servicer handles all repayment, deferment and forbearance of Direct Loans (including PLUS loans). Visit them online at https://www.myedaccount.com/ or call them at (800) 848-0979, TTY (800) 848-0983.
Direct Loan Servicing Center may automatically grant an in-school deferment on your Direct PLUS Loan based on information reported by your school to the U.S. Department of Education showing that you are enrolled at least half time. The Direct Loan Servicing Center will notify you of the deferment and of your option to cancel the deferment and begin making payments on your loan. Make sure you contact the Direct Loan Servicing Center to verify an in-school deferment was granted via https://www.myedaccount.com/ or (800) 848-0979.
Common Interest Questions
Q. When does interest accrue on my loan?
A. It depends on the type of loan and the status of the loan.
On Direct Unsubsidized student loans, PLUS loans, and the unsubsidized portion of a Consolidation loan, interest accrues in all statuses beginning from the day it was disbursed until the date it is paid in full.
Interest accrues on a daily basis. Factors such as the number of days between your last payment, the interest rate, and the amount of your loan balance determine the amount of interest that accrues each month.
Q. Is there a maximum amount the interest rate can be raised to?
A. Yes. All variable interest rate Direct Loans have a maximum interest rate. You can see the maximum rate for each loan type by reviewing the current interest rates found on Direct Loan's interest rate information table.
- A Guide to Federal Education Loans for Parents
Website hosted by Direct Loans to provide additional information about PLUS loans.
- Direct Loan Repayment Calculator
Calculate your Federal Loan monthly payments.
- 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:
- Visit the National Student Loan Data System to access your federal student aid history.