Am I Responsible for a Parent PLUS Loan or Is My Child?

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By Lucy Lazarony

May 1, 2020

A Parent Plus Loan is a federal loan that parents of undergraduate students can use to pay for college expenses. There are also Parent Plus loans for parents of graduate and professional students. You are responsible for repayment of a Parent Plus loan; not your child.

How much can you borrow with a Parent Plus loan?

The maximum amount you can borrow is the cost of attendance at the school your son or daughter is attending minus any financial aid he or she receives. 

Let’s say the yearly cost of attendance for a college is $30,000 and the son or daughter’s financial aid package comes to $16,000. A parent could borrow a Parent PLUS loan for $14,000 making up the difference.

How do I apply for a Parent Plus loan? 

Before applying for a Parent Plus loan make sure your son or daughter has filled out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form. They will need a FAFSA form to apply for federal student aid. And you will need to know the amount of their financial aid since it will help determine the amount you can borrow as a parent with a Parent Plus loan. 

Payment on a Parent Plus loan comes due pretty fast, as soon as the loan is paid out. But you can opt for deferment. With deferment you will not need to make payments while your son or daughter is enrolled at least half-time in college and for an additional six months after your son or daughter graduates, leaves school or drops below half-time enrollment.

You will need to pass a credit check to qualify for a Parent Plus loan.

Because a Parent Plus loan is in the parent’s name, the parent is responsible for its payment. So even though a parent takes out a Parent PLUS loan, for all four years of son or daughter’s college education, the student is not responsible for the bill, the parent is.

As a student, you are only responsible for the loans and other forms of financial aid that you take out in your own name. A Parent Plus loan is a parent’s responsibility.

A good place to start:

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