Federal Direct PLUS Loan

Who Is Eligible?

The Federal Direct PLUS Loan is a low interest federal loan for graduate students.

Direct PLUS Loan borrowers cannot have an adverse credit history (a credit check will be done). In addition, the parent or the dependent student must not be in default on any federal education loans or owe an overpayment on a federal education grant, and must meet other general eligibility requirements for the Federal Student Aid programs.

Should the parent be denied on a stand alone basis, the U.S. Department of Education does offer the option of applying with an endorser who does not have an adverse credit history. An endorser is someone who agrees to repay the Direct PLUS Loan if you do not repay the loan. In some cases, a parent may obtain a Direct PLUS Loan if they submit satisfactory documentation to the U.S. Department of Education explaining the extenuating circumstances related to the parent's adverse credit history.

Amount of Eligibility

Students are able to borrow up to the cost of attendance minus any financial aid the student has received (i.e. grants, scholarships, work-study and loans). Be aware that there is a 4% loan fee that is deducted from the loan, which reduces the amount disbursed to your student's Whittier College account.

Interest Rate

The interest rate is fixed at 6.84%. The Federal Direct PLUS Loan is unsubsidized, therefore, the parent is responsible for the interest that accrues while the student is in school. Interest begins accruing as soon as the first disbursement of the loan is received.


The Federal Direct PLUS Loan funds will be sent via EFT (Electronic Funds Transfer) and will be applied directly to your student's Whittier College account. All loans are funded in two disbursements (Fall and Spring). Provided that the Federal Direct PLUS Loan has been approved and the MPN is complete, the funds will be applied to your student's Whittier College account seven days prior to the first day of class.


Repayment on the Federal Direct PLUS loan begins 60 days after the final disbursement of the loan for the academic year. There is no prepayment penalty and you may have 10 to 25 years to pay the loan back. There are various deferment and repayment options; including the opportunity to pay interest only payments.

What If I am Denied?

In the event that you are denied the Federal Direct PLUS Loan, your student is eligible to receive an additional Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan. For more information on the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan, click here.

How To Apply for The Federal Direct Plus Loan

1. Logon to www.StudentLoans.gov

2. Click on "Sign In." To sign in, you will need:

  • Your PIN Code (used to sign the FAFSA)
  • Your Social Security Number
  • Your Date of Birth
  • A valid email address

3. Select on "Request PLUS loan" (this is the credit approval application).

4. After completing the credit check "Complete Master Promissory Note," select the "Federal Direct PLUS Loan" for the parent when asked for the loan type.