The federal direct PLUS loan is a credit-based loan for the parent of a dependent undergraduate student or to a graduate student, including doctoral degree students. The student must be enrolled at least half time in a program leading to a degree or certificate and must meet the federal eligibility requirement for federal student aid. Approval for the PLUS Loan is based on the credit worthiness of the borrower. The maximum amount requested can equal the student’s cost of attendance minus other financial aid or economic resources the student has already received.
The interest rate for the federal PLUS loan is adjusted by Congress annually with a new rate taking effect every July 1. Although the interest rate for new loans may change every July 1, the rate received will be fixed for the life of the loan. The current direct PLUS loan interest rate is available on Federal Student Aid’s PLUS Loans page.
In addition to the interest rate, there is a loan origination fee charged on all PLUS loans first disbursed on or after Dec. 1, 2013. The fee will be proportionately deducted from each loan disbursement. For the current origination fee, refer to Federal Student Aid’s PLUS Loans page.
The PLUS loan will enter repayment once the loan has been fully disbursed (paid out). However, there are various payment postponement options; refer to Federal Student Aid’s PLUS Loans page for additional details.
Parent PLUS Loan
To receive a parent PLUS loan, you must be the parent (biological, adoptive or step-parent who provided information on the FAFSA) of a dependent undergraduate student who is enrolled at least half time. Both the parent and student must meet the federal eligibility requirement for federal student aid. Grandparents, Foster parents, step-parents (who did not provide information on the FAFSA), and other relatives (or legal guardians) are not eligible to borrow a PLUS Loan.
If the parent-borrower is an eligible noncitizen, he or she must provide their Alien Registration Number on the Parent PLUS Loan Request Form. If parent is neither a U.S. Citizen nor an Eligible Non-Citizen, he/she is not eligible for the Federal Direct PLUS Loan.
The parent borrower must agree to the terms of the loan by signing a Master Promissory Note (MPN). Additionally some parent-borrowers may be required by the Federal Student Aid Department to complete PLUS Counseling. Any amount borrowed through the parent PLUS loan program in excess of university charges will be issued as a refund to the parent.
Graduate PLUS Loan
To receive a graduate PLUS loan, you must be a graduate or professional degree student enrolled at least half time in a program leading to a degree or certificate and meet the federal eligibility requirements for federal student aid. Additionally, you must agree to the terms of the loan by signing a Master Promissory Note (MPN) and completing Loan Entrance Counseling (LEC) before receiving a PLUS loan.
The graduate PLUS loan is meant to supplement the funding from the Federal Direct Loan Program and should only be requested if you have exhausted all of your subsidized and unsubsidized loan eligibility for the year and still have remaining expenses or room in your cost of attendance.
How to Apply
To apply for a PLUS loan at CSUN, the student must complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and submit the appropriate PLUS Loan Request Form to the Financial Aid & Scholarship Department (located on the first floor of Bayramian Hall, west of the Oviatt Library). Before PLUS loans may be awarded, the student’s financial aid file must be complete and have no other pending aid offers.
CSUN will electronically transmit the PLUS loan to the U.S. Department of Education (ED). The award amount will be posted on the myNorthridge Portal. The PLUS loan award is subject to a credit decision from the ED. Even if a PLUS loan appears on a student’s award package, it does not guarantee the PLUS loan will be approved.
After final approval, the ED will transmit the PLUS loan funds electronically to CSUN. PLUS loan funds are applied towards any outstanding charges on a student’s CSUN account. The disbursement date is dependent on when the PLUS Loan Request Form is submitted to the CSUN Financial Aid & Scholarship Department and when the borrower signs and completes a Master Promissory Note (MPN) or Loan Entrance Counseling (LEC). Please go to http://www.csun.edu/financialaid/financial-aid-process and under the “Receive Aid Payment” tab you can read additional information on how aid is disbursed.
PLUS Loan request forms must be submitted to the Financial Aid & Scholarship Department by the deadline dates listed on the form.