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Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan

The Parent PLUS Loan can help parents finance a UC Berkeley education. 

It provides financing to parents of undergraduate students who have no adverse credit history. 

Even recent credit issues can be appealed if you had extenuating circumstances. See the "adverse credit history" information on the Federal Student Aid website.

Features of Parent PLUS Loans

This loan can be used to cover your student's educational expenses that aren't covered by other forms of financial aid.  This loan can also be used to cover your "Expected Family Contribution" as indicated on your student's financial aid award offer.

Repayment can be deferred until your student leaves school.

This loan has flexible repayment options.

We encourage you to read all about the PLUS Loan before applying. For information about interest and fees, deferment, repayment, and much more, visit the Federal Student Aid website.

Am I Eligible to Apply for the PLUS Loan?

Families come in many different shapes and sizes! Biological and adoptive parents of undergraduates are eligible to apply. Step-parents can also apply if their information is included on the Free Application For Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). More than one parent can apply on behalf of each student, which can help unmarried parents share costs.  Undergraduate students cannot apply for or accept a Parent PLUS loan on their parent(s)' behalf.

For more details about general eligibility, see the Federal Student Aid website.

In some cases, you won't be able to complete the online application. If you are not a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen, have a defaulted federal education loan, or have filed bankruptcy that prevents incurring new debt, you won't be able to complete the online application.  If this happens, your student, if eligible, may be considered for additional Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan funds. Please complete the Ineligible PLUS Borrower Form to let us know if you are ineligible for a PLUS Loan. The form should be submitted for each parent listed on the FAFSA.

When Can I Borrow?

Apply as soon after April 8th as possible, each year for the upcoming academic year, and only after your student has received an official offer of financial aid that includes a Parent PLUS Loan.

For summer PLUS Loans, apply as soon after March 30 as possible after your student receives an official summer aid offer that includes a Parent PLUS Loan. Please Note: Summer PLUS Loans require a new application.

The final application deadlines, meaning that all required online processes must be completed, are listed below:

Attending Fall-only: November 30

Attending Fall and Spring or Spring-only: April 30

Attending Summer Sessions:

     Session A Only: Friday, June 26, 2020

     Any Session Ending August 14: Friday, July, 2021

     Summer Special Session Ending Earlier than August 14: Two weeks before the end of the session 

How Much Can I Borrow?

As a parent, the maximum you may borrow for each undergraduate student at UC Berkeley is determined by the Financial Aid and Scholarships Office and is listed on your student's financial aid offer.    

By borrowing wisely, repayment will be manageable!

You may not have to borrow as much as what is offered. Review your student's actual expenses and your finances carefully. Use this review to help you determine the least amount you need to borrow. Remember to consider any cash payments you can make from your current income or savings.

OK! I'm Ready to Apply. How Do I Do This?

The PLUS Loan application and Parent PLUS Master Promissory Note are completed online at studentaid.gov. The PLUS Loan application for the upcoming academic year will be available in early April of each year. Apply only after your student has received an official offer of financial aid that includes a Parent PLUS Loan.

Simply click the green "Log In" button in the top left corner of the screen and log in using your own FSA ID and password. Don't use your student's FSA ID to log in!

Use these helpful PLUS Application Tips as you go through the process.

What Happens if My PLUS Application Is Denied?

If your PLUS loan application is not approved, you will be presented with four different options:

Appeal the decision by calling COD Applicant services at (800) 557-7394

Secure an endorser. If you have decided to pursue an endorser, the endorser will complete the "Endorse Direct PLUS Loan" section at studentaid.gov. The endorser will need their own Federal PIN to sign the endorser addendum.

Not Pursue a PLUS Loan at this time. We will zero out your PLUS Loan and offer your student additional Federal Direct Unsubsidized loan if you choose this option

Undecided. No action will be taken by the school

If you change your mind about how to proceed after you have submitted your response, please let us know by opening a case with https://saservices.berkeley.edu/CSC/others-case.html, The case you open needs to include your name, your student's name and student ID number, and it needs to be sent by the parent who applied for the PLUS Loan.

When and How Do I Receive the Funds/Refunds?

Fall/Spring PLUS Loans are paid in two equal disbursements. If you apply before the year starts, or during the fall term, the fall disbursement will pay to your student account as early as 10 days before the beginning of the term, but not before you complete all online requirements. The spring disbursement will pay as early as 10 days before the beginning of the spring term.

If you apply for a fall/spring loan during the spring term, you will still receive two equal disbursements, but they will pay at about the same time.

A summer Parent PLUS Loan is disbursed no sooner than seven days before classes begin in the first Summer Session in which your student is enrolled. 

Parent PLUS funds first pay outstanding charges on your student's account. If the amount of the Parent PLUS Loan exceeds the charges on your student's account bill, the excess funds will be refunded to either to you or your student, depending on the choice you make on your online application.

Most parents choose to allow the refunds to go directly to the student, as this is the most efficient way to get the funds to where they are needed. These funds can be credited directly to your student's bank account as long as he or she has signed up for Electronic Funds Transfer through the Billing and Payment Services Office. This is also a great opportunity for your student to begin to learn about managing money by developing and abiding by a spending plan. For more information about creating a spending plan and managing personal finances, please visit the Bears for Financial Success website. 

Alternately, refunds can be paid directly to you. If you choose this option, please note that your refund will be issued via paper check and mailed to you at the address on your PLUS Loan application. Please note: The process to refund directly to parent via paper check may take 7- 15 business days during peak processing which is the start of each term.

What if I've Borrowed Too Much and Would Like to Reduce or Cancel My PLUS Loan

Within 120 Days of Disbursement

You can cancel or reduce a paid loan through a request to the school for up to 120 days from the original disbursement date. It is important to remember that a reduction or cancellation of a paid PLUS loan will create a charge on your student's account that must be paid within no more than 30 days. 

 If you reduce your loan using these directions, send your payment to UC Berkeley once you see the charge on the student account. 

To reduce or cancel a federal PLUS loan, the PLUS parent borrower should open a case at https://saservices.berkeley.edu/CSC/others-case.html with the requested change.

When you cancel your loan through the school by reducing the amount, a charge will be applied to your student account within 2 to 3 business days, which may create a balance due. You are responsible for paying this balance. Do not send a payment to your loan servicer if you are reducing the loan through the school.

More Than 120 Days After Disbursement

If it has been more than 120 days since your loan disbursement date, you cannot cancel your loan. However, you can make a payment to your servicer. Locate the servicer’s contact information by logging into your National Student Loan Data System account and clicking on the Financial Aid Review button.

In order to ensure that your payment is applied to a particular loan, you must include a letter with your payment that has specific instructions about how to apply your payment.

For example: "Please apply this $200 payment to my unsubsidized loan first disbursed on 01/10/09, paying off any accrued interest and then applying any remaining payment to the principal of that loan."

When Do I Begin Repayment?

Repayment begins 60 days after the loan is paid out in full. For fall/spring loans, this typically means repayment begins in late February. 

Repayment can be deferred while your student is enrolled at least half-time, however interest will continue to accrue.  To defer repayment, you must contact your loan servicer.

Here is more information about repayment from the Federal Student Aid website.