The Federal Direct Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (Direct PLUS Loan) Program

UMUC participates in the William D. Ford Federal Direct Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (Direct PLUS Loan) Program.  A Parent PLUS loan enables a parent to borrow for his or her dependent child.  The U.S. Department of Education is the lender.

How to Apply

Parents who wish to apply for the Federal Direct Parent Plus loan must first complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).  The Federal Direct Parent Plus Loan application must be completed through StudentLoans.gov. You will need to sign into the StudentLoans.gov Web site using your personal PIN number, which is the same one required to sign your dependent student's FAFSA form. To apply for a PIN or receive a new PIN, please visit the Federal Student Aid Pin Web site. Once you have signed into StudentLoans.gov, you may choose the Start Plus Application Process link.

The new StudentLoans.gov Web site gives you the option of applying to up to three institutions per dependent child and for multiple children during one application process. The site will also securely store your information to help streamline the process for future applications.

After you have completed the online application, the Department of Education (DOE) will process the application and credit approval. UMUC will receive this information from DOE within 24-48 business hours.

Eligibility

As the parent of a dependent student, you may borrow if you do not have an adverse credit history.  The lender will perform a credit check before approving the loan.  Should the U.S. Department of Education deny your application, your son or daughter may apply for an additional Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan.

In addition, the student for whom you borrow must meet all general eligibility requirements, including being enrolled in at least half-time status (6 credits).

Loan Limit

You do not have to demonstrate need to borrow a Direct PLUS Loan.  If your son or daughter applies for student financial aid, your Financial Aid Award Letter from the Financial Aid Office will show the maximum amount you can borrow. Your Direct PLUS Loan offer equals the cost of attendance minus any other financial aid offered to your son or daughter for the current academic year.
Note: You do not have to borrow the full amount of the Direct PLUS Loan offered.

Loan Terms

The current interest rate is 6.41%. There is a 4.288% origination fee that will be deducted by the U.S. Department of Education from the total of your loan before it is disbursed to the student's account.

Promissory Note

Borrowing from the PLUS Loan program requires the completion of a Master Promissory Note (MPN). You can use the MPN to make one or more loans for one or more academic years while the student for whom you are borrowing is enrolled at UMUC.

Disbursement

The Bursar’s Office will credit loan proceeds to the student’s account to pay tuition and other university charges.  Remaining funds go to you or—with your permission—directly to the student.

Repayment

The repayment period for principle and interest begins the day after the loan has been fully disbursed.  For example, a loan covering the fall and spring terms will enter repayment after the disbursement for the spring term.  The first payment becomes due within 60 days after the final loan disbursement of loan proceeds for an academic year.

You will have three repayment options:

  • The Standard Repayment Plan requires even monthly payments of at least $50 over a fixed period of up to 10 years.  This plan usually results in the lowest total interest paid because the repayment period is shorter than under the other plans.

  • The Extended Repayment Plan allows loan repayment over a period of 12 to 30 years, depending on the total amount borrowed.  You still pay a fixed amount each month (at least $50), but the monthly payments usually will be less than under the Standard Repayment Plan.  This may make the repayment more manageable; however, usually you will pay more interest because the repayment period is longer.

  • The Graduated Repayment Plan allows payments to start out low and increase every two years.  Your monthly payments must be at least half of what you would pay under Standard Repayment.  As in the Extended Repayment Plan, the repayment period will vary from 12 to 30 years, depending on the total amount borrowed.  Again, you may find it easier to manage the lower monthly payments; however, you will pay more interest because the repayment period will be longer.

NOTE: You can prepay all or a portion of your loan at any time without penalty.

Deferment

If your Direct PLUS loan was first disbursed on or after July 1, 2008, you may defer payment on the loan while the student for whom you obtained it is enrolled at least half time, and for an additional six months after the student graduates or drops below half-time enrollment. You must request each deferment period separately.

If you're a parent PLUS borrower who is also a student, you can defer repayment while you're enrolled in school at least half time for an additional six months after you graduate or drop below half-time enrollment for Direct PLUS Loans first disbursed on or after July 1, 2008.

Additional Information on Borrowing

You can estimate your monthly payments with various repayment plans using repayment calculators available online from the U.S. Department of Education’s Web site. The site also contains information on consolidating your PLUS loan(s) with other personal loans or discharging your loan under specific circumstances.

For more information on the cost of borrowing or repayment, call the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-4FEDAID (1-800-433-3243).