Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS) 

Financial Aid Services offers Parent Loans for Undergraduate Students (PLUS) through the Federal Direct Lending Program, whereby federal funds are borrowed directly from the Department of Education. Funds are available to parents for their dependent, undergraduate students who are matriculated in a degree program and enrolled in at least six (6) credits. Parents of dependent students may borrow up to the cost of attendance minus any other aid through this credit-based loan program each academic year. Only one parent of a student can borrow through this loan program (per application).

Interest Rate/Origination Fee

For 2015-2016 Parent PLUS loans, interest rate of 6.84% is effective with a first disbursement on or after July 1, 2015.  Interest begins to accrue upon disbursement. Parents may choose to setup payments while the student is attending or defer payments until the student graduates (see "Choose When to Pay Back" for more information).    
 
The Parent PLUS Loan has a loan origination fee of 4.272% (loans disbursed beginning on or after October 1, 2015). You will pay back 100% of what you borrow (plus interest); however, only 95.728% of the gross loan will be disbursed to the account. 
 

Choose When to Pay Back

1. Begins within 60 days after the last disbursement of the loan for the academic year;

OR

2. Parents may choose to defer payments until 6 months after student graduates or falls below 6 credits. Parent borrowers may choose to pay interest monthly, quarterly or choose to have interest capitalized.  Contact the Loan Servicer to discuss this repayment option.

View Amount Parent May Borrow

Dependent students must file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to receive a financial aid offer. Students will be sent an e-mail award notification from Financial Aid Services directing them to BU BRAIN Self Service. If eligible, students will see a message on the "Awards Overview" tab that includes the Federal Parent PLUS Loan maximum borrowing amount.  Note: Parents may borrow any amount up to the maximum borrowing amount calculated and displayed in BU BRAIN Self Service.

Step 1 - Determine actual amount needed
Using the student's financial aid award offer and the anticipated charges associated with the current academic year, determine how much is needed to help fund the cost of a student's tuition bill and other expenses.

Step 2 - Apply for a PLUS (Beginning May 1st for 2015-2016)
To apply, go to http://studentloans.gov. The parent borrower will need their FSA ID and password to sign in. Once signed in, go to "Start PLUS Application Process," then select "Parent PLUS." Contact Customer Service at 1-800-557-7394 for online application assistance.

Once the application is completed, you will receive an instant credit check.  

Adverse credit history may cause your credit check to be denied. This can include bankruptcy, foreclosure, tax liens, default determination or one or more debts which are 90 days or more delinquent, in collection or charged off during the previous two years and the total combined outstanding balance of those debts is greater than $2085.

Step 3 – If approved

If the application is approved, first-time parent borrowers must complete an online electronic Master Promissory Note (eMPN) at http://studentloans.gov.   Notification of your approval will be sent to Binghamton University electronically. 

See the following timeline for 2015-16 Parent PLUS Loan processing:

  • Approvals will be viewable via BU BRAIN Self Service beginning July 2015.
  • eMPNs and Entrance Counseling completed online will be viewable via BU BRAIN Self Service beginning mid-July 2015.  
  • If a refund is generated on the student's account due to the disbursement of the Parent PLUS Loan, please note that the refund, in most cases, will be issued directly to the parent borrower and not the student.
  • Your credit check will be valid for 180 days.

Note: No money will be disbursed until all requirements are complete.

If the application is denied, the parent has three options, explained in the following messages that will be displayed after completing the online application:

1. Not pursue the PLUS Loan: If the borrower is not interested in the following other two options, a borrower can select the option (while completing the application online) for their son/daughter to be offered additional Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans. Additional loan limits are available up to $4,000/academic year for 1st and 2nd year students (55 or less credit hours earned); and up to $5,000/academic year for 3rd and 4th year students (56 or more credit hours earned). Note: Once Binghamton University receives information from Direct Loan Applicant Services that you have chosen this option (please allow 2-3 business days), the additional Unsubsidized Loan will be offered to the student based on class year and eligibility.

2. Provide an endorser: The endorser must pass a credit check and sign a promissory note. An email with the Loan Reference ID and an endorser packet will be mailed to the borrower. The endorser will need the Loan Reference ID to complete the paper packet or complete the Endorser Addendum online at http://studentloans.gov. The endorser must create an FSA ID and password to sign in and go to "Endorse a PLUS Loan."

3. "Credit Appeal -- I want to provide documentation of extenuating Circumstances" option: A package of additional information will be automatically sent to the borrower and the parent will be prompted to send an email with contact information to applicant services.

*If you obtain a loan with an endorser or through appeal you will need to complete online credit counseling (in some cases in addition to entrance counseling) at http://studentloans.gov/.

Last Updated: 5/19/15