Financial Aid Services Center

What is a Federal Direct PLUS Loan?

The Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS) is an unsubsidized loan that allows parents to borrow on their student’s behalf to help pay for educational expenses (up to the cost of attendance minus all other financial assistance). PLUS loans are federal loans through the U.S. Department of Education. The Direct PLUS Loan application must be completed annually.


Parent eligibility requirements

  • Borrower must be the student's biological or adoptive parent, or the student's stepparent, if the biological or adoptive parent has remarried at the time of application.
  • Parent PLUS Loan borrowers must not have an adverse credit history.
  • Parents and their dependent student must be U.S. citizens or eligible noncitizens, must not be in default on any federal education loans, or owe an overpayment on a federal education grant.

How to apply

You must complete a PLUS Application annually and Master Promissory Note (MPN) once.

  1. Go to studentloans.gov
  2. Click START under Apply for a PLUS Loan
  3. Complete the Direct PLUS Loan Application
  4. Return to the Parent Borrower Menu
  5. Complete a Loan Agreement for a PLUS Loan (MPN)

You will be asked to authorize a credit check and the determination will be immediately available. You will be sent a disclosure statement when the loan is originated and when disbursements are made. The disclosure statement will include specific information including the loan amount, loan fees, and the expected loan disbursement dates.

On the application, borrowers will have the option to select deferment while the student is enrolled at least half time and for an additional 6 months after they graduate, leave school or drop below half time enrollment.

What if the PLUS credit check is denied?

The following options are available if the credit check is denied:

How can borrowers of the PLUS Loan cancel or make changes to the loan?

To cancel or change an undisbursed PLUS Loan, parent borrowers may either email financialaid@wwu.edu from the email address used on the Parent PLUS application detailing the change requested or they may complete the PLUS Loan Revision form available on the financial aid website.

To cancel a disbursed PLUS loan within 120 days of disbursement, contact the Student Business Office at 360.650.2865. To cancel a disbursed PLUS loan after 120 days of disbursement: borrowers may contact their loan servicer directly about making payments.

Borrowers may contact their loan servicer to discuss various repayment plans available. Typically borrowers will have 10-25 years to repay the loan depending on the repayment plan.

How is your loan disbursed?

PLUS loan disbursements are first applied to the balance on a student’s account including tuition and fees and on campus living expenses, if applicable. Additionally, they will be applied to other charges on the student’s account if an Authorization to Apply Financial Aid Funds form is on file with the Student Business Office. If the loan disbursement exceeds the student’s account balance, excess funds will be refunded to the parent borrower via check or to the student based on the preferences indicated on the PLUS Loan application.