Parent PLUS loans are a credit based, Federal education loan that parents can take out to help pay for their child's education. The loans have a fixed rate of interest and are repayable over a ten year term. In many cases PLUS loans offer an attractive alternative to private loans. It is up to you and your student to decide whether a private loan or a PLUS loan is the best option for your family. You can use our PLUS vs Private comparison guide to help you make this decision.
A PLUS loan allows you to borrow up to the full cost of attendance for your student, minus any other financial aid they are receiving.
The credit check for a PLUS loan will only be valid for 180 days, so we recommend that you wait until your student has received their Provisional Award Letter (PAL), before you complete the PLUS application process. If you apply too early, and the credit check has expired before we disburse the loan, it will require another credit check before we can disburse the loan funds.
The Department of Educations (DOE) criteria for what constitutes a negative credit history are somewhat different from those used by typical consumer lenders. If you wish to check whether something on your credit history may be considered a negative, please refer to DOE's credit guide
For more information on PLUS loans, including current interest rates, please see our loan guides.
The application for Parent PLUS loans is completed at studentloans.gov
The application has to be completed by a parent whose information was included in the parent section of the FAFSA application. Log in to studendloans.gov using the FSA ID that you signed your student's FAFSA with. If you need to obtain an FSA ID, you can do so here.
Please ensure that the parent completing the application is the one who logs in to the site, and not the student. This is a common mistake, and creates an invalid application.
The application takes about fifteen minutes to complete and you receive an immediate decision on whether you are approved not. If approved for the loan, you must complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN) on the same website. Financial Aid and Scholarships will not be able to disburse the PLUS loan if the MPN is not completed.
If you are declined for the Parent PLUS loan, you have three options.
1. You can appeal the decision with the Department of Education (DOE). DOE will then review your appeal and make a decision on whether to approve the application on appeal.
2. You can add a credit worthy endorser (co-signer) to the application. The application is likely to be approved if an endorser is added, provided the endorser has no negative items in their recent credit history.
3. Your student can request additional Unsubsidized Direct Loan funds due to the Parent PLUS loan denial. This can be done by submitting a completed Petition for Reevaluation, which can be found on our forms and publications page, to our office. Please bear in mind that there is a maximum amount we can award in additional Unsubsidized Direct Loan, and it may not fully replace the amount that you were applying for in a PLUS loan.
If you choose options 2 or 3, you will need to complete a loan counseling on studentloans.gov before the loan can be processed.
The Funds for your Parent PLUS loan will be sent to UCLA, and disbursed to your student's Bruin Bill to cover their charges. Any funds over over and above the charges on Bruin Bill will be refunded.
When you apply for the PLUS loan you will be asked to select whether funds that exceed the Bruin Bill charges are refunded to your student or to you as the borrower. Unfortunately UCLA accounting system is unable to generate a refund to the borrower after applying the loan disbursements to BruinBill.
Once Federal Direct Parent PLUS funds are applied to BruinBill charges, the refund will be issued to the student. If you do not want PLUS funds to be disbursed to BruinBill, and instead wish for the funds to be sent directly to you as the borrower, you must submit a written request to Financial Aid and Scholarships at least 15 days before the start of the quarter.
If the borrower chooses to receive their Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan check directly, UCLA’s Student Loan Office will generate paper checks and mail them to the borrower at the beginning of each quarter, once the student’s enrollment status is verified. Funds will be disbursed to the borrower via a paper check, and will not be applied to BruinBill to cover outstanding charges. Please note that paper Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan checks may not be received prior to the fee payment deadline. If that occurs, families must pay fees on their own prior to the Registrar’s deadline, in order to avoid late payment charges or having classes dropped for non-payment.
As the borrower of a Parent PLUS loan, it is your responsibility to repay the loan, not your student's. You will be contacted by your loan servicer once the loan has been disbursed, to arrange payment options. If you need to look up your loan servicer at any point, you can do so at www.nslds.gov. You will need to log in using the same FSA ID that you used to apply for the loan.
When you apply for your loan, you will be offered a choice on when to begin repayment. You can start repayment immediately, in which case your first payment will be due 30 days after the first disbursement of the loan. Alternatively, you can choose to postpone repayment until your student graduates. Please bear in mind that interest will begin to accrue on the loan from when it is first disbursed. Postponing repayment will result in you paying more in interest over the life of the loan.
There are a variety of repayment options available to you. You can find detailed information on the available repayment options here.