Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loans
Parents who wish to assist their dependent student in paying for college may apply for the Federal Parent PLUS Loan. A completed FAFSA is required in order to apply for and receive, as well as meet the following requirements:
- Be the biological or adoptive parent (or, in some cases, the stepparent) of the student for whom you are borrowing
- Not have an adverse credit history*
- Both the student and parent must be U.S, citizens or eligible noncitizens
*a credit check will be performed during the application process. If you have an adverse credit history, you may still receive the Direct PLUS Loan through one of two options:
- Obtain an endorser who does not have an adverse credit history (the endorser is someone who agrees to repay the loan if you do not repay it).
- Document to the Department of Education that there are extenuating circumstances relating to your adverse credit history. Information can be found here (link).
The maximum PLUS loan amount you can borrow is the cost of attendance at the University, minus any other financial assistance. The cost of attendance can be found here (link)
Students whose parent is ineligible to borrow the Federal Parent PLUS Loan, are eligible to borrow additional Direct Unsubsidized Loans. Parents must complete the application process and receive a denial from the Department of Education before the loans will be added to the student’s existing Direct Unsubsidized Loan.
- 0-53 credits: $4,000
- 54 credits or more: $5,000
Before your loan funds are disbursed, you may cancel all or part of your loan at any time by notifying the Financial Aid Office. After your loan is disbursed, you may cancel all or part of the loan within certain time frames. Westfield State University encourages families to only borrow the amount they need to cover the cost of your student’s education.
The interest rate for the 2020-2021 academic year is fixed at 5.30%*. The origination fee is a fee that is withheld at the time of disbursement from all Federal PLUS Loans. The origination fee for the 2020-2021 academic year is 4.228%.
*The Student Loan Certainty Act of 2013 was signed into law August 9, 2013. Under this law, federal student loan interest rates will be calculated based on the 10-year Treasury bill. Loans will be "fixed -variable," meaning students would receive a fixed rate for the life of that loan, but each year rates will be recalculated and new loans will be made at the new rate.
For example, an undergraduate student borrowing in 2014-2015 had an interest rate of 4.66% for the life of that year's loan. But, for 2015-2016 there was a recalculation of the applicable rate based on the 10-year Treasury Note at that time, and this new rate will apply to the life of the 2015-2016 loan. This law also places a cap of 10.5% on future interest rates for PLUS loans.
Repayment of loans begins 60 days after the last disbursement of the loan (for Fall only loans, early January; for Fall/Spring loans, mid-to-late May).
You are able to defer making payments while the student is enrolled at least half-time (enrolled in at least 6 credits), and for an additional six months after the student graduates or drops below half-time enrollment status. You can choose this option during the application process.
Parents are responsible for paying the loan; the Direct PLUS Loan cannot be transferred to the student.
Parents wishing to borrow a Direct PLUS Loan will apply online at studentaid.gov. The parent will need their FSA ID to apply for the Direct PLUS Loan and sign the Master Promissory Note.