Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loans

A Federal Direct Parent PLUS is a credit based loan that parents of undergraduate students may borrow to help pay educational expenses. The student must be defined as "dependent" as determined by the FAFSA application. A parent may borrow up to the total estimated cost of attendance less resources and all other financial aid received by the student. The interest rate is established annually and is determined by federal law. Interest begins to accrue when the loan funds are sent to the university and continue to accrue until the loan is paid in full. An origination fee will be deducted before the loan proceeds are sent to the school.

Please visit the Cost Calculator to assist you with determining the amount you will need to borrow and the loan period for your PLUS loan. Your loan period defines the semester(s) that you are trying to cover. For example, if your student is planning to enroll for both fall and spring you should choose the fall/spring loan period and request a loan amount that will cover your estimated out-of-pocket expenses for both semesters. You may also contact our office for assistance.

PLUS Eligibility Requirements

  • The PLUS borrower must be the biological, step or adoptive parent of the dependent student
  • The student must be meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standards and enrolled for at least six credits each semester
  • A current year FAFSA application must be completed, even if the Parent PLUS loan is the only financial aid you want to use
    • If the FAFSA application is selected for verification, all required documents must be submitted and reviewed before the PLUS loan can be processed

Application Priority Processing Dates

Your loan application must be on file with our office by these dates in order for your loan funds to be available for the first billing due date.

Priority Processing
Summer 14 Fall 14 Only Fall 14/ Spring 15 Spring 15 Only Summer 15
MPN and Parent PLUS Loan Application received by the following dates: April 18, 2014 June 27, 2014 June 27, 2014 Dec. 12, 2014 May 1, 2015

Final Application Deadline Dates

Loan applications submitted after the priority deadline dates will be processed throughout the semester; however, MPNs and Parent PLUS Loan Applications received after the following deadline dates cannot be processed:

Final Deadlines
Summer 14 Fall 14 Only Fall 14/ Spring 15 Spring 15 Only Summer 15
Last day to submit a MPN and Parent PLUS Loan Application: June 27, 2014 Dec. 12, 2014 May 1, 2015 May 1, 2015 June 26, 2015

Apply for a Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan

Complete all step(s) in the Parent PLUS Loan process to apply for the loan - if you will have more than one student that will require a PLUS loan, you must complete a separate application for each student. Funds cannot be disbursed if either step is incomplete.

Please be advised that credit checks are only good for 90 days. Applying more than 90 days before the start of the term may require that you complete a subsequent credit check. Click here to be linked to studentloans.gov to begin the application process.

Credit Decision

The lender will perform a credit check to determine the parent borrower's eligibility. The credit decision will be displayed immediately after the PLUS Application is completed. The lender will inform our office about the outcome of the credit decision.

If Approved –
  • Step 2: Complete a PLUS Master Promissory Note (MPN) if you do not already have an active MPN on file and only if your credit check was approved. Please note: if you will have more than one student that will require a PLUS loan, you must complete a separate MPN for each student. UMBC will process the PLUS Loan within the time frame specified on our website.
If Denied –
  • The student can apply for additional unsubsidized loan funds. You should select option 3, "I do not want to pursue a Direct PLUS loan at this time" on the online PLUS application to activate this option. We will be notified that you selected this option. The request for additional unsubsidized loan funds will be reviewed and processed within the timeframe specified on our website. The student will now have the independent annual maximum loan limit eligibility. We will process the additional unsubsidized loan for the maximum amount the student is eligible to receive based upon their grade level.

Repayment of Federal Parent PLUS Loans

Repayment begins 60 days after the final loan disbursement is sent to the institution. If a loan was borrowed for the fall/spring terms - repayment would begin after the spring disbursement is sent (approximately mid - March). There are limited circumstances when a parent borrower can defer repayment of a Parent PLUS Loan. Please contact your lender for more information.