Parent PLUS & Graduate PLUS Loans

The U.S. Department of Education offers the Direct PLUS Loan to eligible parents and graduate or professional students to supplement the cost of educational expenses not covered by other financial aid. Eligibility is determined through an online application and the student’s cost of attendance as determined by the University.

Parent PLUS Loan

To be eligible to apply for the Parent PLUS Loan, the borrower must be the biological or adoptive parent (or in some cases, a stepparent) of a dependent undergraduate student enrolled at least half-time (6+ credits) in a degree-granting program. A credit-check will be performed on the borrower through the online application process. The student must have submitted a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to the University.

Graphic: Who’s My Parent When I Fill Out The FAFSA?

Dependent students who’s parents are denied a Parent PLUS Loan are eligible for an additional Direct Unsubsidized loan in the amount of $4,000 per academic year for first and second year students, or $5,000 per academic year for third year and beyond students.

PLUS Loan Additional Information and Rates

Graduate PLUS Loan

Graduate and Doctoral students who need financing in addition to the Federal Direct Unsubsidized loan may apply for a Federal Direct Graduate PLUS (Grad PLUS) loan. Students must submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to the University and complete a separate online application. The student borrower can not have adverse credit history.

The annual maximum for the Grad PLUS Loan is based on the student’s cost of attendance as determined by the University. Most students can borrow funding in excess of their billed costs to assist with educational related expenses, such as living costs. Contact our office with any questions related to borrowing to cover living expenses.

PLUS Loan Additional Information and Rates

How Do I Apply?

The University of Saint Joseph requests that parents and graduate or professional students complete the Direct PLUS Loan application online via All borrowers must also complete the following items:

Credit Check

The U.S. Department of Education requires that borrowers meet certain criteria in order to be eligible for the Direct PLUS Loan. These requirements are not based on your credit score, but on your overall credit repayment history.

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

  • have one or more debts with a total combined outstanding balance greater than $2,085 that are 90 days or more delinquent as of the date of the credit report, or that have been placed in collection or written off during the two years; or
  • in the previous five years been subject to the following: default determination, discharge of debts in bankruptcy, foreclosure, repossession, tax lien, wage garnishment, or write-off of a federal student aid debt.

*PLUS borrowers are able to appeal extenuating circumstances if denied.

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).
  • All Direct PLUS Loan approvals are added to the student’s financial aid package based on the criteria listed on the application – confirm you are applying for the correct amount and timeframe.

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