Loans

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Parent loan for undergraduate students (PLUS)

The federal Direct PLUS loan allows a parent to borrow money for the educational expenses of a child who is a dependent undergraduate student enrolled at least half-time. See this one-sheet handout pdf for answers to your most common questions.

PLUS applications

Please note: You cannot use studentloans.gov to submit a PLUS application to WMU. To apply for a PLUS, you must complete our application. Continue reading for more on the application process.

 

Description

  • Federally funded
  • NOT need-based
  • Parent borrows on behalf of student
  • The fixed interest rate for loans in the deferment or six-month grace period is as follows:
    • 7.21 percent for loans disbursed beginning July 1, 2014
    • 6.41 percent for loans disbursed July 1, 2013 - June 30, 2014
      • Effective July 1, 2013 - Interest rates are adjusted yearly based on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note index rate. The interest rate cap for PLUS loans is 10.5 percent.
    • 7.9 percent for loans first disbursed July 1, 2006 - June 30, 2012
  • 4.288 percent loan origination fee; no interest rate rebate
  • Awarded up to the cost of attendance minus other financial aid received
  • This is a loan your parent must repay to the U.S. Department of Education

Eligibility

  • Undergraduate, dependent students only
  • Must be enrolled at least half-time; award will be canceled if enrollment falls below half-time
  • Award eligibility based on EFC, cost of attendance, enrollment, cost of attendance and other resources
  • Award may be adjusted or canceled if there is a change to EFC, cost of attendance, enrollment or if you receive additional resources
  • Student must be making SAP

Application process

  • A parent (biological, adoptive or a stepparent) must complete the federal parent PLUS loan application and submit it to WMU Student Financial Aid.
    • We suggest beginning this process at least 4-6 weeks prior to the start of classes.
  • The financial aid office will verify the student is eligible for the PLUS, then submit the application information to the Department of Education. The student may see the PLUS loan on their financial aid award as "accepted." This means the PLUS application has been accepted and is being processed.
  • The Department of Education will perform a credit check. Applications may be approved, denied or pending.
    • Denials: If denied, the borrower will be notified by the Department of Education and may appeal the credit decision or find an endorser. Or, the student may apply for an additional unsubsidized loan due to the PLUS loan denial by completing the student financial aid adjustment form. The financial aid office will notify the student by email that we are unable to award their PLUS loan and advise them of their options.
      • If the parent borrower has not applied for an endorser or submitted an appeal, and the student has not submitted the application for additional unsubsidized loan within 30 days of the denial, our office will cancel the PLUS.
    • Approvals: The parent borrower will receive the "Federal Loan Disclosure Statement" from the direct loan servicing center. The disclosure statement identifies anticipated disbursement dates, gross and net disbursement amounts, and loan fee amounts.
    • Pending: The application may be delayed if there is an error on the application, or if a credit agency requests additional verification. If additional information is needed, the borrower will be notified via mail.
  • Parent borrowers must complete the federal parent PLUS master promissory note (MPN) link off site required for first-time borrowers. The MPN will be sent to WMU automatically once it's completed.
    • If the parent borrower completed the MPN for a PLUS without an endorser, but then secured one, the borrower will need to submit a new MPN.
  • Once all requirements have been met, the PLUS loan is ready to pay toward the student's account. Disbursement usually begins 10 days before the start of classes. Students will be notified via email anytime there is activity on their accounts.
  • If there is an excess of funds once the loan pays to the student's WMU account, a refund will be issued to whomever the borrower selected on the PLUS loan application.
    • Borrower: If the parent selected "borrower", a refund check will be mailed to the parent.
    • Student: If the parent selected "student", a refund may be issued to the student electronically or through the mail depending on whether the student has signed up for e-refunds.

Changes to the PLUS loan

  • The parent borrower may complete the parent loan adjustment form if he or she wishes to cancel or reduce a loan that has not been disbursed to the student's WMU account.
  • If the loan has already disbursed, the borrower must complete the parent financial aid adjustment form within 30 days of the date of disbursement. Please note: canceling or reducing a disbursed loan may result in a balance due on the student's WMU account.

 

Repayment

  • PLUS loans first disbursed on or after July 1, 2008, can be deferred if the student is enrolled at least half-time, or during the six-month period after the student ceases to be enrolled at least half-time.
  • Interest begins accruing upon disbursement
  • Repayment of principal and interest begins 60 days after loan is fully disbursed. For sample repayment amounts, see the federal loan repayment fact sheet.
  • The parent borrower will make payments to the loan servicer. For a list of servicers please go here: https://studentaid.ed.gov/repay-loans/understand/servicers#my-servicerlink off site
  • For detailed information about repayment and other frequently asked questions, visit https://studentloans.gov/ link off site
  • To obtain information about consolidating your federal loans, visit studentloans.gov link off site or call 1-800-557-7392.
  • The interest rate for a direct consolidation loan is the weighted average of the interest rates on the loans being consolidated and is fixed for the life of the loan.

It is important that borrowers maintain a "very important papers file" and keep copies of the MPN, borrower's rights and responsibilities and the direct loan disclosure statement in one place as they provide loan details and a borrower's rights and responsibilities.

Contact information

 

Updated: 08/29/2014 1:31 PM

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Student Financial Aid
1903 W Michigan Ave
Western Michigan University
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5337 USA
269 387-6000 finaid-info@wmich.edu