A parent must have good credit history to qualify for a Parent PLUS loan.
Note: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, interest rates on federal student loans is temporarily reduced to 0% from Mar 13 2020 to at least Sep 30 2021. In addition, you have the option to temporarily stop making these monthly payments if you choose.
What if a parent has bad credit? - These loans are only made to creditworthy parents. You must pass a credit check. A parent with poor credit may be able to get a cosigner. If your parent is turned down, you can obtain some additional unsubsidized Stafford student loans equal to the same amount as an independent student. See Federal Stafford Student Loans for those amounts.
Do I need to demonstrate financial need to get a PLUS student loan? - No, your family does not need to demonstrate financial need.
What are the PLUS student loan interest rates? - These vary depending on when you obtained the loans. The federal Parent Plus loan interest rate for 2021-2022 is 6.284%. The federal Parent Plus loan interest rate for 2020-2021 is 5.30%. The federal Parent Plus loan interest rate for 2019-2020 is 7.08%. The federal Parent Plus loan interest rate for 2018-2019 is 7.6%. The federal Parent Plus loan interest rate for 2017-2018 is 7.0%. This rates vary each year based upon the 10-year Treasury note interest rate (4.6% above the rate). The maximum loan rate will be 10.5%.
Are these direct government loans or private loans? Starting July 1, 2010 all new PLUS loans are Direct PLUS loans made directly from the federal government. Prior to then, some were Federal Direct PLUS loans and some were from private lenders under a program called FFELP.
Later, you will work with the school financial aid office by submitting an application for studentaid.gov.