Parent PLUS & Graduate PLUS Loans

The Federal Direct Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS) and Graduate PLUS loans are borrowed by a parent or a graduate student from the U.S. government.

Direct Parent Plus Loan

This loan has a fixed interest rate of 7.6%* and a 4.264%* origination fee. Fees are deducted from the loan when disbursed to the school. In most cases, repayment of the loan begins immediately after the loan has disbursed; however, it may be possible to postpone payment.

More Details on Direct Parent PLUS Loans

Dependent students whose parents are denied a Direct Parent PLUS loan are eligible for an additional Direct Unsubsidized loan of $4,000 per academic year (first- and second-year students) or $5,000 per academic year (third- and fourth-year students).

Direct Graduate Plus Loan

Graduate/Pharmacy students who need financing in addition to the Federal Direct Unsubsidized loan may apply for a Federal Direct Graduate PLUS (Grad PLUS) loan.

The Grad PLUS loan has a fixed 7.6%* interest rate and, a 4.264%* origination fee taken at the time of disbursement.

Unlike the Unsubsidized loans, there is no annual borrowing limit on the Grad PLUS loan, except the amount borrowed must not exceed the student’s cost of attendance (COA) minus other financial aid.

For more information about the Direct Lending program, including program benefits and features, please visit the Federal Student Aid website.

To be eligible for a Grad PLUS Loan:

  • You must be matriculated into a graduate or professional degree program.
  • You must complete the FAFSA and meet the general eligibility requirements for federal student aid. You will receive your initial financial aid award containing your eligibility for the Direct Unsubsidized loan.
  • You must request no more than the cost of attendance minus your other financial aid. Contact our office for the maximum amount you can borrow.
  • You must not have adverse credit history.

How Do I Apply?

To complete an online Parent PLUS or Graduate PLUS Loan Application, please visit and click the blue “Log In” button. Parents must log in using their FSA ID, not the student’s. After signing in, choose “Apply for a Direct PLUS Loan” from the left hand menu. Next, click the blue “Start” button next to the type of PLUS loan for which you are applying. Follow the steps to complete the application and credit check. In the “School Name” section, be sure to select the University of Saint Joseph.

Credit Check

The federal Direct Lending program requires that you meet certain criteria in order to be eligible for the Parent PLUS or Grad PLUS loan. These requirements are less strict than typically applying for private student loans, and are not based on your credit score.

To be eligible for a PLUS loan, you must NOT*:

  • Have current delinquencies of 90 days or more totaling more than $2,085 or delinquencies that have been placed in collection or charged off in the past two years
  • In the previous five years have any of the following negative items: bankruptcy, default, discharge, foreclosure, open collection, repossession, tax lien, wage garnishment, or write-off of a Title IV debt

*If you are ineligible due to extenuating circumstances involving a mortgage delinquency of less than 180 days, or due to medical expenses, but otherwise would qualify, you may still be eligible for a PLUS Loan.

Additional Information

  • Your credit check is valid for 180 days. Each time you apply for a PLUS loan, your credit will be checked if it has been longer than 180 days since your previous application.
  • To facilitate your application, review your credit reports in advance and make sure all information is accurate and all outstanding issues have been resolved.
  • If you believe you are ineligible due to your credit history, you may apply with an endorser (co-signer).
  • To confirm a student’s eligibility to receive any Title IV federal funding, a completed Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) must be on file with the institution.

Master Promissory Note and Entrance Loan Counseling

  • If you are approved for a PLUS loan, it will be added to your financial aid package.
  • In order to receive funds, first-time borrowers must complete entrance loan counseling, and all borrowers must complete a current master promissory note (MPN). This is separate from your Subsidized/Unsubsidized MPN.
  • Complete an MPN online using your U.S. Department of Education FSA ID at the Direct Lending Student Loan Access Website.
  • Remember to keep your FSA ID for your records, as you will use it to access your federal student loan information in the future.

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