Federal Direct PLUS Loans: All parents and legal guardians are eligible to apply for the PLUS Loan, regardless of income. Qualifying for a PLUS Loan is based solely on good credit and there are no debt-to-income ratio guidelines or employment verification requirements. Learn more about Federal Direct PLUS Loans including creditworthiness, eligibility, loan amounts, rates, and how to apply below.
Private Loan for Parent Borrowers: These loans allow parents to help students cover education-related expenses (including tuition, books, computers, and living expenses. Please visit our recommended lender list through ELM Select. This site gives you the ability to compare the benefits and services offered by each of our recommended lenders.
All parents and legal guardians are eligible to apply for the PLUS Loan, regardless of income. Qualifying for a PLUS Loan is based solely on good credit and there are no debt-to-income ratio guidelines or employment verification requirements.
If you are concerned about passing a credit check, we would encourage you to visit annualcreditreport.com to obtain your credit history. This website is free and the inquiry will not affect your credit score.
Direct PLUS Loan and Creditworthiness
The federal government completes a credit check for all PLUS Loan requests. Borrowers must meet federally defined creditworthiness standards to be approved. In order to be considered creditworthy, borrowers cannot have:
- Accounts 90 days or more delinquent
- Unpaid collection accounts or charge-offs/write-offs
- Or within the last five years: Bankruptcy discharges, foreclosures or foreclosure proceedings started, wage garnishments, tax liens, repossession
If a borrower is denied, there are a few options available:
- The borrower can appeal the decision with the Department of Education. Supporting documentation can be supplied to clear the derogatory information and allow an override and approve the loan request.
- The borrower can request an Endorser (co-signer) for the loan allowing approval of the loan request.
- Families can contact Student Financial Services to inquire about additional Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans available to the student.
To be eligible to borrow the Federal Direct PLUS Loan through Wellesley College:
- The student and parent must be U.S. citizens or eligible non citizens, creditworthy, and not in default on prior educational loans.
- The borrower must be a parent borrowing for their dependent undergraduate student's educational expenses.
- The student must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
- The student must be enrolled at least half-time in a degree program, and making satisfactory academic progress.
Parents may borrow up to the total cost of attendance for the year, minus any other financial aid that the student receives. The total cost of attendance includes tuition and fees, room and board, books and supplies, transportation, and personal expenses.
Interest Rates and Fees:
The Bipartisan Student Loan Certainty Act of 2013 amended the Higher Education Act (HEA) to provide new formulas for setting interest rates for all Direct Loans, which will be announced by the Department of Education each year. Once established, the interest rate will apply for the life of the loan.
- For all PLUS Loans, a fixed interest rate of 5.30% is applicable. Interest begins to accrue at the time the loan is disbursed (paid-out) to Wellesley College.
- For all PLUS Loans disbursed after October 1, 2019 the fixed origination fee is 4.236%. For PLUS loans disbursed after October 1, 2020 the fixed loan origination fee is 4.228%.
Applying for a Direct PLUS Loan
To apply for a Direct PLUS Loan, please follow the steps below:
- Apply for a Federal PIN (if you do not already have one) at www.pin.ed.gov.
- Once you receive your PIN, apply for a Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan by visiting studentaid.gov.
- Log into Studentaid.gov.
- Click on Apply for Aid.
- Click on Apply for Parent PLUS loan.
- Complete and submit your application.
- Complete your Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan MPN (Master Promissory Note) by visiting studentaid.gov.
- Log into Studentaid.gov.
- Click on Complete Aid Process.
- Click on Complete MPN for parents.
- Follow the directions to complete your Parent PLUS Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN).