The Federal Parent Plus Loan is a credit-based loan for parents of dependent undergraduate students. Eligibility is determined by subtracting the financial aid that has been offered from the student's estimated cost of attendance. Eligible parents borrow directly from the U.S. Department of Education and the University of Iowa administers the loan.

How to Apply

Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan

  • Available to parents of dependent undergraduate students enrolled in at least six credits each semester
  • Parent borrower(s) must have a separate request for the Federal Parent Plus loan for each semester/session (fall, winter, spring, summer)
  • Parent borrower(s) will be notified by Federal Student Aid immediately after completing the PLUS request if the credit check is approved or denied
  • Interest begins to accrue when the loan is disbursed and will accrue through the life of the loan

Grace Period: None unless requested on application (repayment begins 60 days after the PLUS Loan is fully disbursed, unless deferment is requested, see loan deferment below).

Loan Deferment: May be requested on the PLUS application either while the student is enrolled in school or for 6-month post-enrollment. If either option is selected on the PLUS application, your servicer will contact you before the loan enters repayment. If you (the borrower) are unsure who your servicer is, you can log onto using your FSA ID to view this information.

Utilize Another Parent Borrower

The "parent" in Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan references a biological, adoptive parent, or a step-parent. If one parent is denied, or unable to borrow for any reason, you may elect to have another qualifying parent or step-parent pursue the loan. They will need to complete a new PLUS request and Master Promissory Note (MPN) on

Obtain an Endorser (Co-Signer)

If the Direct PLUS application is denied, you can obtain an endorser. If you are going to obtain an endorser, the following three items must be completed.

  • Endorser Addendum
    • The endorser must complete an Endorser Addendum. An endorser is someone who agrees to repay the Direct PLUS Loan if the borrower becomes delinquent in making payments or defaults on the loan. The endorser cannot be the student on whose behalf a parent obtains a Direct PLUS Loan.
  • A New Master Promissory Note if You Pursue an Endorser
    • You, as the borrower, will need to complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN) after the endorser completes their addendum. If you intend to have multiple (i.e., fall and spring) Direct PLUS loans endorsed, after completing one MPN, wait one week before completing another MPN.
    • If you have technical difficulties completing the MPN, please contact the U.S. Department of Education's Student Loan Support Center at 1-800-557-7394.
  • Direct PLUS Credit Counseling
    • Direct PLUS Counseling is required for all borrowers who are initially denied due to adverse credit, but later approved with an endorser. It provides information on the obligations associated with borrowing a PLUS loan and assists in making careful decisions about taking on loan debt.

Seek a Credit Appeal

In some cases, you can document extenuating circumstances by submitting an appeal with the U.S. Department of Education via the website. The Department of Education allows borrowers whose credit was denied the opportunity to document either of the following situations:

  • Information showing that credit reporting used in the credit denial is incorrect and/or has been corrected.
  • Extenuating circumstances exist relating to the adverse credit history of the primary PLUS borrower.

Direct PLUS Counseling must be completed for all borrowers who are initially denied due to adverse credit, but later approved through a credit appeal.

Additional Unsubsidized Loan Eligibility

If your credit was denied and you will not be using another parent borrower, obtaining an endorser, or seeking a credit appeal, your student can request that we review their eligibility for additional Direct Unsubsidized Loan funds. Students can request this by emailing to let our office know that their parent was denied the PLUS loan, and they are interested in borrowing an additional unsubsidized loan.

9.08 %


for loans first disbursed
between 7/1/2024 - 6/30/2025

4.228 %


for loans first disbursed
between 10/1/2020 - 9/30/2025

Interest is additional money that you pay to a lender as a cost of borrowing money. Interest is calculated as a percentage of the unpaid principal amount that you borrowed.

Direct Loans are “daily interest” loans. On daily interest loans, interest accrues (adds up) every day.

Learn more about federal interest rates.

An origination fee is a percentage of your loan amount charged by the lender for the processing of your loan. 

Federal loans have an origination fee; therefore, the amount your student may receive as a disbursement may be slightly lower than the amount you request.