Parents can borrow a PLUS Loan to help pay your education expenses if you are a dependent undergraduate student enrolled at least half time in an eligible program at an eligible school. PLUS Loans are available through the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan) Program. They also must have an acceptable credit history.
TSTC West Texas requires pre-approval prior to certifying a PLUS loan. Parent Loans are divided equally and are disbursed every semester. Parents are required to get approved or denied every academic year.
If the Parent is Approved ...
The TSTC West Texas Financial Aid Office will certify the loan for the maximum for which the parent is eligible and will notify the student through a new award letter. The parent may reduce the loan amount by contacting the Financial Aid Office. The loan funds will be applied to the student’s account. Any charges owed to TSTC West Texas will be deducted and a refund check will be mailed to the parent. Any remaining loan funds must be used for educational expenses.
If the Parent is Denied ...
The TSTC West Texas Financial Aid Office will certify an Unsubsidized Stafford loan for the student and an award letter will be sent.
The student will have the right to reduce this loan by contacting the Financial Aid Office.
Applying for a PLUS Loan from the Federal Direct Loan Program
Complete the PLUS request process by clicking here.
For assistance filing out the Parent Loan application or the Promissory Note, please call the Applicant Services Department at 1-800-557-7394
For information regarding loan or disbursement status and any other general questions, please contact the TSTC West Texas Financial Aid Office at 254-867-4814.
How do my parents get a loan?
For a Direct PLUS Loan, your parents must complete a Direct PLUS Loan application and promissory note, which is available here.
Also, your parents generally will be required to pass a credit check. If your parents don’t pass the credit check, they might still be able to receive a loan if someone, such as a relative or friend who is able to pass the credit check, agrees to endorse the loan. An endorser promises to repay the loan if your parents fail to do so. Your parents might also qualify for a loan without passing the credit check if they can demonstrate that extenuating circumstances exist. You and your parents must also meet other general eligibility requirements for federal student financial aid.
How much can my parents borrow?
The yearly limit on a PLUS Loan is equal to your cost of attendance minus any other financial aid you receive. If your cost of attendance is $6,000, for example, and you receive $4,000 in other financial aid, your parents can borrow up to $2,000.
Who gets my parents’ loan money?
The U.S. Department of Education will send the loan funds to your school. In most cases, there will be at least one loan disbursement per semester. The funds will first be applied to the student’s tuition, fees, room and board, and other school charges. If any loan funds remain, your parents will receive the amount as a check. Any remaining loan funds must be used for your educational expenses.
What’s the interest rate?
The inerest rate for Direct PLUS loans is determined on July 1 of each year. The current rate for these PLUS Loans is a fixed rate of 7.9%. Interest is charged on a PLUS Loan from the date of the first disbursement until the loan is paid in full.
Other than interest, is there a charge to get a PLUS Loan?
Your parents will pay a fee of up to 4 percent of the loan, deducted proportionately each time a loan disbursement is made. This entire fee goes to the government to help reduce the cost of the loans. Also, your parents may be charged collection costs and late fees if they don’t make their loan payments when scheduled.
When do my parents begin repaying the loan?
For PLUS loans made to parents that are first disbursed on or after July 1, 2008, the borrower has the option of beginning repayment on the PLUS loan either 60 days after the loan is fully disbursed or wait until six months after the dependent student on whose behalf the parent borrowed ceases to be enrolled on at least a half-time basis.
How do my parents pay back these loans?
They’ll repay their Direct PLUS Loan to the U.S. Department of Education’s Direct Loan Servicing Center. To read more about repayment options under both programs, read the PLUS Loans section in Funding Education Beyond High School: The Guide to Federal Student Aid.
Is it ever possible to postpone repayment of a PLUS Loan?
Yes, under certain circumstances, your parents can receive a deferment on their loans.
If they temporarily can’t meet the repayment schedule, they can also receive forbearance on their loan, as long as it isn’t in default. During forbearance, their payments are postponed or reduced.
Generally, the conditions for eligibility and procedures for requesting a deferment or forbearance apply to both Stafford Loans and PLUS Loans. However, since all PLUS Loans are unsubsidized, your parents will be charged interest during periods of deferment or forbearance. If they don’t pay the interest as it accrues, it will be capitalized (that is, added to the principal amount of the loan, and additional interest will be based on that higher amount).
Can a PLUS Loan be discharged (canceled)?
Yes, under certain conditions. A discharge (cancellation) releases your parents from all obligation to repay the loan.
Your parents’ PLUS Loan can’t be canceled for these reasons: You didn’t complete your program of study at your school (unless you couldn’t complete the program for a valid reason—because the school closed, for example), you didn’t like the school or the program of study, or you didn’t obtain employment after completing the program of study.
More information about loan discharge or repayment
If your parents have a Direct PLUS Loan, they should contact the Direct Loan Servicing Center at 1-800-848-0979, or visit them online.