What is a PLUS Loan?
PLUS loans are unsubsidized loans for the parents of dependent students. PLUS loans can help to pay for education expenses up to the student's cost of attendance minus all other financial assistance. Interest is charged during all periods. The U.S. Department of Education's Direct Loan Servicing Center will conduct a credit check on the parent borrower before approving the loan. If the loan is denied because of adverse credit history, the Direct Loan Servicing Center will notify the parent. The parent may still receive the loan if someone with acceptable credit agrees to endorse the loan. If the PLUS loan is denied, the student may be eligible to borrow an additional Federal Direct Unsubsidized Student Loan. The denial form can be submitted at the time the student requests a loan or with a loan increase form.
|What are the parent eligibility requirements for a Direct PLUS Loan?|
The borrower must be the student's biological, adoptive parent, or the student's stepparent if the biological or adoptive parent has remarried at the time of application. The borrower's child must be a dependent student who is enrolled at least half-time (6 aid eligible credits or more). For financial aid purposes, a student is considered "dependent" if he or she is under 24, unmarried, and has no legal dependents at the time the FAFSA is submitted (exceptions are made for veterans, wards of court, and other special circumstances). If a student is considered dependent, then the income and the assets of the parent borrower must be reported on the FAFSA.
|What additional requirements are needed to receive a PLUS loan?|
Parent PLUS loan borrowers cannot have adverse credit history as determined by the Direct Loan Servicing Center evaluation of the borrower's credit history. Approved credit checks are valid for only 90 days so the student or the borrower must submit the completed PLUS loan paperwork (see steps below) to Financial Aid Services within 90 days of the credit approval date. In addition, parents and their dependent child must be U.S. citizens or eligible noncitizens, must not be in default on any federal education loans or owe an overpayment on a federal education grant, and must meet other general eligibility requirements for the Federal Student Aid programs.
To borrow a PLUS loan at HCC, follow the five (5) steps below:
STEP 1: COMPLETE THE FAFSA
- Complete the 2014-2015 financial aid application process on the "How to Apply" page.
STEP 2: REGISTER FOR CLASSES
- Make sure the student is registered and actively attending (if classes have started) a minimum of six (6) aid eligible credits. All students are required to officially register for all the classes they intend to take for the semester by the census date. See the HCC Schedule of Classes for specific dates.
STEP 3: HAVE THE STUDENT CHECK THE STATUS OF THEIR 2014-15 FINANCIAL AID FILE
- Make sure the student's financial aid file is complete and all documents requested by Financial Aid Services (such as verification or missing information) have been reviewed and are now complete. The student can check the status of their financial aid using myHCC.
STEP 4: COMPLETE THE TWO (2) FORMS BELOW
1. You will need to ‘sign in’ using your FAFSA PIN number. Click here if you forgot your FAFSA PIN or need a new PIN.
2. Select “Start PLUS Application Process.”
3. Select "Parent PLUS" and list Howard Community College as your school.
4. If the credit check is approved, you will sign the Master Promissory Note (MPN).
5. View and download the PDF version of the completed MPN.
6. Print only page 1 of the PDF version.
Note: If you have already completed your PIN and forgot to print it click here. If you are having trouble accessing this site, please click here for site requirements.
1. Complete the HCC Federal PLUS loan worksheet.
2. Print a copy of the completed form.
STEP 5: SUBMIT THE PAPERWORK TO FINANCIAL AID SERVICES
- Bring the following three (3) documents to Financial Aid Services (Room RCF-222) during the published front counter service hours.
1. Completed HCC Loan Worksheet
2. Copy of signed MPN
3. Photo ID
- Incomplete paperwork cannot be processed. Therefore, it will not be accepted
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?
- A financial aid counselor will process your loan request within 3 business days from the date the HCC loan paperwork is submitted to Financial Aid Services.
- The student can check the PLUS loan award amount on myHCC.
- The PLUS loan eligibility may be less than the amount requested based on the cost of attendance and other financial aid received.
- If you have questions about the PLUS loan amount awarded, the student can request to meet with a financial aid counselor during the published counseling hours.
- FERPA protects certain student information that can be discussed with a third party. If the student wishes to allow Financial Aid Services to discuss information to a designated third party, the student must complete the "Permission to Release" form located in The Office of Records, Registration & Veterans' Affairs, Room RCF-233.
IMPORTANT NOTE REGARDING CHANGES TO THE DIRECT LOAN PROGRAM:
Beginning on December 1, 2013 the origination fee for all Stafford loans disbursed on or after 12/1/13 will be charged a 1.072% origination fee that will be deducted proportionately from each Direct Stafford Loan disbursement and a 4.288% origination fee from all PLUS Loans. Beginning October 1, 2014, the origination fee for both Direct Stafford and PLUS loans will increase due to requirements of sequestration. The amount of the increase is not available at this time. The law continues to authorize the Department to offer interest rate reductions to Direct Loan borrowers who agree to have payments automatically electronically debited. For more information regarding interest rates as well as terms and conditions of the federal student loan program, please refer to www.studentloans.gov.