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PLUS Loan Application

Please note: Credit decisions are good for 180 days. If credit approval has expired, increases in PLUS Loans or new PLUS Loan applications will automatically generate a new credit check.

Federal Direct PLUS Loan Application Process

  1. Log in to the Federal Student Aid portal using your own FSA ID.
    • The Federal PIN is no longer used. Students, parents, and borrowers are now required to use an FSA ID, made up of a username and password, to access certain U.S. Department of Education websites.
    • Your FSA ID is used to confirm your identity when accessing your financial and loan information and electronically signing your federal student aid documents.
    • If you have not yet set up your FSA ID and/or need to replace an existing Federal PIN, please visit the FSA ID website before visiting the Federal Student Aid website.
  2. Click on the link that reads “Request a Direct PLUS Loan.”
  3. Read the small print and then click on the “Parent PLUS” link at the bottom of the page.
  4. Be sure to choose the correct period for the loans when you complete the PLUS application.
    • If you want a fall or spring PLUS loan, then choose the loan period from August to May.
    • If it is a PLUS loan for the summer term, then choose the loan period from May to August.
  5. In the Student Information section:
    • Choose your principal repayment deferment option. It will cost you less overall if you choose not to defer principal repayments.
    • Choose the Other Charges option: If you authorize, PLUS funds will be used to pay any existing charges on your student’s Cal Central account.
    • Choose a Credit Balance option. Most parents choose “The Student” because this is the most efficient way to get funds to where they are needed. If you choose “Me,” any refund will be issued via paper check and mailed to you (the parent) at the address on your PLUS application.
  6. In the School and Loan Information section:
    • Enter a specific amount in the Loan Amount Requested section to minimize your borrowing.
      • If you choose to borrow the maximum, additional PLUS loans will be processed anytime your maximum eligibility increases. This happens automatically, and will result in higher debt.
      • If you choose “I don’t know,” we will not process your application.
    • For Loan Period, be sure to choose the correct period for the loans when you complete the PLUS application.
      • If you want a fall or spring PLUS loan, then choose the loan period from August to May.
      • If it is a PLUS loan for the summer term, then choose the loan period from May to August.
  7. Continue through the application. You will see your approval status immediately.
  8. If you are approved, click on the “Complete an MPN” link and follow the directions. Take some time to read all the small print as it contains important information about interest, fees, your repayment obligation, and your borrower rights.
  9. If you are not approved, you will be presented with some options. You can:
    • Appeal the decision. Decisions may be appealed by calling 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 studentloans.gov. The endorser will need their own federal PIN to sign the endorser addendum.
    • Not pursue a Direct 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.Note: If you change your mind about how to proceed after you have submitted your response, please let us know by contacting Cal Student Central. The case you submit should include your name and contact information, as well as your student’s name and the student ID number.
  10. Once you electronically sign your MPN, it will be transmitted to UC Berkeley electronically and linked with your application.
  11. The whole process will take a minimum of three business days, resulting in loan payments to Cal Central within five business days if all other basic eligibility requirements are met.

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 Parent PLUS Loan page.

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.

Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan

The Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan is a financing option with flexible repayment options. However, you should do research first on the Department of Education website, to make sure it’s the best fit for your needs. Review this Federal Student Loan Programs fact sheet to compare PLUS Loans with other types of federal loans.

To Apply for a Graduate PLUS Loan

  1. Log in to CalCentral. We encourage you to accept the smallest amount of Grad PLUS needed for the year. You can accept less than the offered amount, which is your maximum current eligibility. You can also delay accepting any or all of your offer until you are sure you need it.
  2. Complete the Grad PLUS Master Promissory Note (MPN) online. Simply log in to studentaid.gov by clicking on the green “Log In” button and entering your federal PIN information. Note: The Grad PLUS MPN is not the same MPN that you may have completed for your subsidized or unsubsidized loan. It is exclusive to the Grad PLUS.
  3. Complete your Entrance Counseling at studentaid.gov. Be sure to select the “Graduate” student type when prompted.