FAQs on Parent Loans

What are PLUS Loans?

They are loans that your parents can get to pay for your education expenses if you are a dependent undergraduate student enrolled at least half time. Also, your parents must have no adverse credit history. PLUS loans are unsubsidized.

How do my parents apply for a PLUS?

For a PLUS Loan, your parents must complete and submit a PLUS Loan Master Promissory Note and a PLUS Loan Request Form, available from Roanoke or online. After the school completes our portion or the application, we will forward it to the lender for evaluation.

Do I need to complete a FAFSA in order to take out a PLUS?

Yes, the FAFSA is required to be on file before your parent may pursue a PLUS.

Is there anyway that my parents can be pre-approved for a PLUS?

Yes. Roanoke College families can complete apply for a pre-approval on the PLUS loan without the hassle of completing a promissory note. Interested families should check out Roanoke's Pre-Approval webpage.

Are there any borrowing requirements that my parents have to meet?

Yes, generally they have to pass a credit check. If they don't pass, they might still be able to receive a loan if they can demonstrate that extenuating circumstances exist, or if someone they know - who can pass - agrees to endorse the loan and promises to repay it if your parents do not. There are also some general requirements that your parent must meet. For example, they must be citizens or eligible non-citizens and may not be in default or own a refund to any Federal Student Aid program.

Do my parents need to find a lender?

No, all PLUS loans are processed through the Department of Education.

How much can my parent's borrow?

The yearly limit on a PLUS loan is equal to the cost of attendance minus any financial aid you received. For example, if your cost of attendance is $27,000 and you received $15,000 in financial aid from Roanoke, your parents can borrow up to - but no more than - $12,000.

Can my parents cancel the loan if they change their minds, even if they have signed the promissory note?

Yes, they can cancel the loan up to 14 days after the funds are disbursed without having to pay interest. The loan funds will be returned to the lender.

What is the interest rate on the PLUS?

The interest rate is fixed at 5.30%. Interest is charged on the loan from the date the first disbursement is made until the loan is paid in full.

Other than interest, is there a charge to get a PLUS loan?

Your parents will pay a fee of up to 4.236% of the loan.

When do my parent's begin repaying the PLUS?

Generally, repayment will begin within 60 days after the loan is fully disbursed. There is no grace period for these loans. This means interest begins to accumulate at the time the first disbursement is made. Your parents must begin repayment both principal and interest while you are in school.

How long will my parent's have to repay the PLUS?

The repayment period for a Federal PLUS is 10 years.

Is it ever possible to postpone repayment of a PLUS loan?

Yes, under certain circumstances, your parents can receive a deferment or forbearance on their loan, as long as it is not in default. Generally, the same deferment or forbearance provisions that apply to Stafford Loans also apply to PLUS loans. Since PLUS Loans are unsubsidized, however, your parents will be charged interest during periods of deferment. If they don't pay the interest as it accrues, it will be capitalized.

My parent's PLUS was denied. What do I do now?

If your parent is denied a Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS), this then qualifies you for additional Stafford Loan funds. As a freshman and a sophomore, you can be considered for up to an additional $4,000 in Unsubsidized Stafford Loans. As a junior and senior, you can be considered for up to $5,000 in additional funds. Our office will automatically award these additional funds to you upon receipt of a PLUS denial.