Parent (PLUS) Loan
Affordable financing for parents and guardians
The primary benefit of the Federal PLUS Loan is that a parent can borrow a federally guaranteed low interest loan to help pay for their child's education. A PLUS Loan allows a parent to borrow the total cost of undergraduate education including tuition, room and board, and any other eligible school expenses, minus any aid the child is receiving in their name. PLUS Loans are non-need based student loans, which means you do not have to demonstrate financial need to qualify.
You must first have a Federal Student Aid PIN. This is the same PIN you used to electronically sign your son/daughter's FAFSA. If you do not have a PIN, please go to Studentloans.gov and click on the "Apply for PIN" link in the "Tools and Resources" section.
Note: This PIN will be replaced with a user id/password as of May 10, 2015.
1) Once you have your PIN, go to the website: Studentloans.gov
2) Sign in with your PIN.
3) Under the left navigation header select "Request PLUS Loan." Select "Parent PLUS," NOT Graduate PLUS. You may have to scroll to the bottom to see this depending on your monitor settings.
4) This site will allow you to complete several steps online:
a. Enter your information
b. Check your credit for purposes of obtaining the PLUS loan
c. Complete the PLUS Master Promissory Note (MPN)
d. Sign the MPN electronically
e. Make decisions about the loan you borrow, including:
- The amount you would like to borrow
- How to use an endorser (co-signer) if necessary
- If a credit balance remains after all institutional charges are paid, whether that credit balance amount will be given to you or the student.
You must have a PIN. This is the same PIN you used to electronically sign your son/daughter's FAFSA. If you do not have a PIN, please go to Studentloans.gov and click on the "Apply for PIN" link in the "Tools and Resources" section.
1) Sign in with your PIN.
2) Under the navigation header, "PLUS Loan Process", select "Request Direct PLUS Loan". Select "Parent PLUS", NOT Graduate PLUS. You may have to scroll down to see this depending on your monitor settings.
You must select the correct academic year (2015-2016 for July 2015 and October 2015 starts at FIDM as well as January 2016 and April 2016 starts) on the Studentloans.gov website.
There are 4 sections to complete: you will see a red X if you miss a field. Hover over the X to guide you to the required field.
Completing the Application
1) Personal Information
This includes questions about loans in default. Default is the status you are in if you haven't been paying back a previous federal student or parent loan that is in repayment. If you are in default on a federal student or parent loan, you cannot apply for another.
2) Student and Loan Info
a. While this site mentions "room and board," it is important to note that FIDM does NOT include room and board in the total cost of tuition and fees, and FIDM does NOT apply any student account credit balance toward room and board. Please note that FIDM does not allow a student account credit balance to cover first-quarter FIDM housing charges. Students must make other arrangements to pay first-quarter housing charges.
b. When choosing an amount, please choose "maximum." You will have an opportunity to specify an exact amount later so that you can request money for living expenses.
c. Select "new" if this is the first time you are completing for your school year.
d. Select "modify" if you are attempting to increase the amount needed for additional living expenses (only if needed) or other reasons and if you didn't select "maximum" on your original request.
e. Select the loan period that matches your student's start date at FIDM (July = Summer; October = Fall; January = Winter; April = Spring; 2015-2016).
3) Review Application
4) Credit Check and Submit.
Choose "Yes." This will check your credit to see if you qualify for a PLUS loan. You will need to check the box authorizing this credit check and hit "Submit." Your PLUS loan Application cannot be approved until your credit is checked. The credit decision is good for 180 days.
If your credit is approved:
1) Complete the Master Promissory Note (MPN). The Personal Information, Student and School Loan information will be pre-populated.
2) Choose the most current year available.
3) Complete the personal references (be sure you use two individuals with different addresses).
4) Read the Terms and Conditions.
5) Review and e-sign.
6) View the completed application in PDF format (and print, if desired).
7) Click "Submit"
If your credit is not approved:
1) When asked "How would you like to proceed?", you are given these options:
"I will not pursue a Direct PLUS Loan at this time": If you choose this option, because of the PLUS ineligibility, your son/daughter will be eligible for ONLY $4000 additional unsubsidized Stafford funds (in addition to the existing $2000 unsubsidized Stafford). This will leave a balance which you would need to handle with your FIDM Admissions or Student Advisor.
"I will obtain an endorser": You will be sent an e-mail with a PLUS Endorser code which you will need to give the endorser (co-signer) of your choosing. An "endorser" should be creditworthy. An "endorser" might be a relative, neighbor, or friend, but cannot be the student for whom you are completing this PLUS loan.
"I want to appeal the credit decision": You will be shown a link to view the credit check detail. If you have documentation that you paid a disputed item, scan the receipt into your PC, save it, and then upload or attach it to submit. If you need help, you can contact your contact the U.S. Department of Education at: 1-800-557-7394.
"Undecided": If you choose this option, all financial aid assistance will come to a halt for your son or daughter until you make one of the decisions above.
Tips for the Endorser:
1) The Endorser will need a PIN which can be obtained at www.pin.ed.gov.
2) On StudentLoans.gov, left-hand side, under "PLUS Application Process," select "Endorse PLUS Loan."
3) Enter the Parent Borrower's Last Name and PLUS Endorser Code (exactly how it appears) given you by the parent borrower on the Endorser page.
4) Discuss the amount to borrow with the parent borrower. The amount of FIDM tuition and fees depends on the student's program of study, but will be around $30,000. Federal regulation limits the amount of the Federal PLUS loan to the annual cost of attendance minus other financial aid received by the student. FIDM will certify the loan for a lesser amount – the cost of tuition and fees minus other financial aid received by the student, unless the parent is borrowing for living expenses as well.
5) Complete the personal information and submit for a credit check.
6) You will be told whether you are approved or not.
7) If not approved, you may appeal by following the information in the preceding section where appeals are discussed.
8) Complete and e-sign the application.
9) View and print.
Once you have successfully completed the online PLUS process, your loan information will be transmitted electronically to FIDM. If you are unable to secure a PLUS loan based on your own credit, you may choose to use an endorser (co-signer). The endorser can be anyone who is creditworthy, other than the student for whom you are borrowing the loan. Your endorser can complete the process online by using the PLUS Endorser Code that is generated when you complete the online application. In either case, you and the co-signer must agree on the amount to be borrowed, and that amount must be indicated as the requested amount on the online or paper application.
What else must be done?
All FIDM PLUS parent borrowers must complete The Department of Education's PLUS Counseling. Select PLUS Counseling, choose "Parent of an eligible dependent undergraduate student" and "Continue". The PLUS counseling module is only two screens. PLUS Loan Counseling is intended to help Direct PLUS Loan applicants understand the costs and obligations that come with borrowing a PLUS loan.