Reasons You Could Get Denied for a Parent PLUS Loan

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By Lauren Graves

May 9, 2020

Do you know if you qualify for a Parent PLUS Loan? There a number of eligibility requirements that you must meet in order to get a Parent PLUS loan, and knowing what these are can prevent you from getting unexpectedly denied.

Parent PLUS loans are unique because both the student and the parent applying for this type of direct loan must be found eligible. Here are the criteria you’ll both need to meet and what you can do to prevent being denied for one of the most common reasons.

Parent PLUS Loan Student and Parent Eligibility Requirements

You can get denied for a Parent PLUS loan if you or your student don’t meet one or more of your individual eligibility criteria. See these below.

For parents to qualify, they must:

  • Have no delinquencies or debts totaling $2,085 or more that are over 90 days overdue
  • Have no bankruptcy debt discharges, loan defaults, student aid debt write-offs, foreclosures or repossessions, wage garnishments, or tax liens less than five years old
  • Be the biological or legal parents of the dependent student (legal guardians and relatives do not qualify unless they are the legal adopter)

For students to qualify, they must:

  • Be a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident alien
  • Be enrolled in an undergraduate program at least half-time

Parents, please note that your credit history, not your credit score, determines your eligibility.

How to Get a Parent PLUS Loan With Poor Credit

For parents, credit history has a lot to do with determining eligibility. Adverse credit is a common reason for being denied a Parent PLUS loan, but it doesn’t have to be the reason you get denied.

Here are a few actions you can take if your credit history prevents you from meeting the above eligibility criteria. You can:

  • Add an endorser—a cosigner with an acceptable credit history that agrees to pay the loan if you are unable to
  • Prove, with documentation, that your credit history is due in part to extenuating circumstances (e.g. a divorce decree showing that you are not responsible for an overdue debt in your history)
  • Go through PLUS Credit Counseling

A good place to start:

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