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Parent Loans

The Federal Direct Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS) enables parents to borrow for their dependent undergraduate children. These loans are based on credit, not on need. However the maximum amount borrowed may not exceed the difference between the school's determination of the cost of attendance and assistance received, including scholarships and other benefits.

Students must first apply for a Federal Pell Grant and/or Federal Direct Stafford/Ford Loan before they can be considered for a Federal Direct PLUS Loan. The PLUS Loan has no interest subsidy and should be regarded as a last resort for most students. Interest on PLUS loans borrowed during the 2014-15 aid year is set at 7.21% for the life of this year's loan. Loans borrowed in previous or subsequent years may have a different interest rate.

To Apply

If a parent wants to borrow this loan, the student accepts the loan on the award notice on MyUW.

The parent borrower must complete an electronic application for the loan and sign a master promissory note electronically at During the application process, the borrower will be able to select to defer repayment while their student is attending school; specify if the loan funds may pay non-tuition charges; determine if any credit balance is refunded to the parent borrower or to their student; and the loan amount to borrow.

If the amount the parent wants to borrow is different than we have currently listed on the student's award notice, then indicate the total amount to borrow on the electronic application.

After the intital application, if the parent wants to make changes to the amount applied for, notify our office if you want to borrow less and we will reduce the amount of the loan. If you want to borrow more than your original application, then the parent borrower goes back to the Direct Loans website and selects to modify their previous application listing the total loan amount requested. We will download the parent application data from this website and update the UW student record.

A credit check is done at the time of completion of the electronic application and master promissory note. If the credit check is denied, the parent borrower will be given options for completion of the Parent Loan process.

Parent Loan Request Checklist

For more detailed information regarding the Parent Loan request process, click here for a checklist that you can print out.


Repayment of the PLUS loan begins 60 days after the full amount borrowed for the school year has been fully disbursed. However, you can request that the payment be deferred while the student is attending at least half-time and up to 6 months after the student ceases to be enrolled on at least a half-time basis. Please keep in mind that interest continues to accrue during periods of deferral and you may want to make quarterly interest payments instead of capitalizing the interest in order to keep your overall loan debt down.

Loans borrowed through the Federal Direct Loan Programs are borrowed directly from the federal government. The university will coordinate all paperwork for you (see Completing Paperwork for Loans). Repayment arrangements are handled by the Direct Loan Servicer (a servicer contracted by the federal government).

How much do I repay each month?

The amount you repay depends on how much you borrowed, your interest rate and how many years you will repay the loan. You can put this amount into the Direct Loan Repayment Calculator to get the amount of your monthly repayment.

Are there different payment plans?

The Parent Loan program has different payment plans you can choose from in repaying your loan. Generally, you'll have from 10 to 30 years to repay your loan, depending on the repayment plan that you choose. Your monthly payment amount will be based on how much you borrowed and how long you take to repay. You may choose one of three repayment plans:

  • Standard Repayment Plan - Fixed monthly payments for up to 10 years.
  • Extended Repayment Plan - Fixed monthly payments for 12 to 30 years, depending on the total amount of your Parent Loans.
  • Graduated Repayment Plan - Payments that start off lower, and then gradually increase, usually every two years. You'll repay your loan in full within 12 to 30 years, depending on the total amount of your Parent Loans.

You can change plans at any time. There's no penalty if you make payments before they are due or pay more than the amount due each month.

Where do I repay my loans?

Parent Loans taken out for a UW student are repaid to the Direct Loan Servicer. You can determine who your servicer is from the NSLDS website.