Direct PLUS Loans are federal loans that graduate or professional students and parents of dependent undergraduate students can use to help pay for college or career school. PLUS loans can help pay for education expenses not covered by other financial aid. For more information visit the U.S. Department of Education website.
Note: A Direct PLUS Loan is commonly referred to as a parent PLUS loan when made to a parent, and as a grad PLUS loan when made to a graduate or professional student.
The U.S. Department of Education makes Direct PLUS Loans to eligible parents and graduate or professional students through schools participating in the Direct Loan Program. Note: Before applying, make sure you or your child have already filled out the federal FAFSA form.
(Credit Approval Required)
Re-apply for each loan as needed by completing step 1 only
Complete these steps at StudentLoans.gov:
Step 1. Complete an online PLUS Request
Step 2. If credit-approved, complete an online Federal Direct PLUS Loan Master Promissory Note (eMPN)
Step 3. An online Entrance Counseling Session for:
-Graduate student borrowers (Post-Baccalaureate programs are not eligible)
-Parent borrowers who have been denied and are later approved by obtaining an endorser or an appeal to the U.S. Department of Education by documenting extenuating circumstances related to their adverse credit history
Per federal regulations, if a parent of a dependent undergraduate student is denied a Federal Direct PLUS Loan due to adverse credit history, SAIC will automatically award additional Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan (up to $4,000 for freshman/sophomores or up to $5,000 for juniors/seniors) to the student. The parent borrower may choose to appeal the credit decision with the Department of Education or pursue a creditworthy endorser. If the Federal Direct PLUS Loan is then approved, the additional Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan may be reversed/cancel. If approved by these options, remember to compete Step 3 in the Federal Direct PLUS process above.
A denial of your Federal Direct PLUS Loan application may not be the end of your eligibility to borrow a Federal Direct PLUS Loan. You are able to continue to pursue your eligibility through the following three options:
Request your credit decision to be reviewed/evaluated by a Direct Loan Origination Center Staff Person.
When borrowers first apply for a Federal Direct PLUS loan, an automated credit check is conducted. Sometimes a staff person at the Direct Loan Origination Center can review the decision by a phone request to consider approval by conducting a deeper inquiry and rule out some less significant listings that are considered adverse. Call the Federal Loan Origination Center at 800.557.7394 to request this review and discuss options.
2. Resubmit your application with an eligible credit-worthy endorser (co-signer).
You may add an endorser to your Federal Direct PLUS Loan application. An endorser is someone who does not have an adverse credit history and agrees to repay the loan if primary borrower does not repay it. Please contact the Federal Loan Origination Center at 800.557.7394 for assistance with the endorser process.
3. Submit a request for an appeal of your PLUS Loan credit decision with the US Department of Education if you believe there are documented extenuating circumstances not reflected in your credit history.
1. Call the Federal Loan Origination Center at 800.557.7394 or
2. Login to StudentLoans.gov
3. Select the Document Extenuating Circumstances link under the PLUS Loan Process section on the menu on the left side of the page.
4. Follow the instructions provided to complete the appeal process.
5. After completing your request for an appeal online, you should receive a call from a representative at the Federal Loan Origination Center within three business days to discuss your request. If you do not receive a call, you may contact the Federal Loan origination Center directly to discuss the status of your request.
If you qualify for a Federal Direct PLUS loan by obtaining an endorser or by documenting to the satisfaction of the U.S. Department of Education that there are extenuating circumstances related to your adverse credit history you’ll also be required to complete PLUS counseling before you can receive a Direct PLUS Loan.
If you apply for a Direct PLUS Loan and are notified that you have an adverse credit history, the U.S. Department of Education will provide you with detailed information on the options for qualifying by obtaining an endorser or submitting documentation of extenuating circumstances, along with instructions on how to complete the required PLUS counseling.
Due to federal and state legislation, loan terms, interest rates and conditions are subject to change.
Questions? Contact a SFS Advisor at 312.629.6600 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org