Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loans
General Information and How to Apply
The Hawai'i Pacific University Office of Financial Aid is committed to assisting you with funding your student's education. The Federal PLUS Loan (Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students) enables parents, on behalf of their student, with good credit history, to borrow funds up to the Cost of Attendance.
Students can accept the PLUS loan amounts offered to them on the 2010-2011 Estimated Financial Aid Award Notification via their HPU Pipeline account. NOTE: Accepting a PLUS loan as part of your award offer does not guarantee or secure funds. An eligible parent borrower must complete the Direct PLUS MPN and the Direct PLUS Loan application and be credit approved for such loan.
Applying for a Parent PLUS Loan
Parents of dependent students should sign in to studentloans.gov using their parent information and parent PIN code.
Step 1: Complete the Parent PLUS Loan Application
To complete the Parent PLUS loan application, select “Request PLUS Loan” from the options on the left hand side of the screen. Select the “Parent PLUS” option and then complete all of steps 1 – 4 of the application process.
When you apply for a Direct PLUS Loan, the Department will check your credit history. To be eligible for a PLUS Loan, you must not have an adverse credit history. If you are found to have an adverse credit history, you may still borrow a PLUS Loan if you get an endorser who does not have an adverse credit history. An endorser is someone who agrees to repay the Direct PLUS Loan if you do not repay the loan. The endorser may not be the student on whose behalf a parent obtains a Direct PLUS Loan. NOTE: The Parent PLUS loan Application must be completed by an eligible parent borrower each school year.
Step 2: Complete the Parent PLUS Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN)
To complete the Parent PLUS Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN), select “Complete MPN” from the options on the left hand side of your screen. Select “Parent PLUS” and then complete all of steps 1 – 4 of the MPN process.
The MPN is a legal document in which you promise to repay your loan(s) and any accrued interest and fees to the Department. It also explains the terms and conditions of your loan(s).
If you are borrowing Direct PLUS Loans for more than one student, you'll need to complete a separate MPN for each one. To complete an MPN online, you will be required to use your Department of Education-issued PIN (not your child's). If you do not have a PIN, you may request one from the official PIN site.
NOTE: In most cases, once you've submitted the MPN and it's been accepted, you won't have to fill out a new MPN for future loans you receive to pay for the educational expenses of the same student. You can borrow additional Direct Loans on a single MPN for up to 10 years.
You'll receive a disclosure statement that gives you specific information about any loan that the school plans to disburse under your MPN, including the loan amount and loan fees, and the expected loan disbursement dates and amounts.
Parent eligibility requirements for a Direct PLUS Loan
You must be the student's biological or adoptive parent or the student's stepparent, if the biological or adoptive parent has remarried at the time of application. Your child must be a dependent student who is enrolled at least half-time at a school that participates in the Direct Loan Program. 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 Free Application for Federal Student Aid 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 have to be reported on the FAFSA.
Additional requirements to receive a PLUS loan
Parent PLUS loan borrowers cannot have an adverse credit history (a credit check will be done). 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. You can find more information about these requirements in Funding Education Beyond High School: The Guide to Federal Student Aid available at: www.studentaid.ed.gov.
Loan limits, interest rate, and loan charges
There are no set limits for Direct PLUS Loans, but you may not borrow more than the cost of your child's education minus any other financial aid received, such as a Direct Subsidized or Unsubsidized Loan. HPU will determine the actual amount you may borrow.
The interest rate for Direct PLUS Loans is a fixed rate of 7.9%. Interest is charged on Direct PLUS Loans during all periods, beginning on the date of your loan's first disbursement. To find out more information on interest rates for Direct PLUS Loans, contact the Direct Loan Servicing Center.
In addition to interest, you pay a loan origination fee that is a percentage of the principal amount of each Direct PLUS Loan that you receive. This fee helps reduce the cost of making these low-interest loans. We deduct the fee before you receive any loan money, so the loan amount you actually receive will be less than the amount you have to repay.
Dependent students whose parents have applied for but were unable to get a PLUS Loan are eligible to receive additional Direct Unsubsidized Loan funds.
How a loan is disbursed (paid out)
Generally, your loan will cover a full academic year and your child's school will make at least two disbursements to you, for example, at the beginning of each semester or quarter or at the beginning and midpoint of your academic year.
HPU will disburse your loan money by crediting it to your student account to pay tuition, fees, on-campus housing, and other authorized charges. If the loan disbursement amount exceeds those charges, HPU will pay you the remaining balance of the disbursement directly by check or other means. In some cases, with a parent’s written permission, HPU may disburse some of the PLUS loan money directly to the student. Your child's school will notify you in writing each time they disburse part of your loan money and will provide information about how to cancel all or part of your disbursement if you find you no longer need the money. You should read and keep all correspondence received concerning your loan.
IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT PLUS LOAN REFUNDS: The Business Office must have a signed PLUS Loan Authorization Form to release any excess PLUS Loan funds to the student. Please click here to download this form and submit it to the Business Office.
There is no grace period for Direct PLUS Loans - the repayment period for each Direct PLUS Loan you receive will typically begin 60 days after HPU makes the last disbursement of the loan for the current year. However, if you're a parent PLUS borrower who is also a student, you can defer repayment while you're enrolled in school at least half time and (for Direct PLUS Loans first disbursed on or after July 1, 2008) for an additional 6 months after you graduate or drop below half-time enrollment.
If you're a parent PLUS borrower, you can defer repayment of Direct PLUS Loans first disbursed on or after July 1, 2008 while the student for whom you obtained the loan is enrolled at least half time, and for an additional 6 months after the student graduates or drops below half-time enrollment.
Generally, you'll have from 10 to 25 years to repay your loan, depending on the repayment plan that you choose. The Direct Loan Servicing Center will notify you of the date your first payment is due. If you do not choose a repayment plan, you will be placed on the Standard Repayment Plan, with fixed monthly payments for up to 10 years. Most Direct Loan borrowers choose to stay with the Standard Repayment Plan, but there are other options for borrowers who may need more time to repay or who need to make lower payments at the beginning of the repayment period.
Trouble making payments
If you're having trouble making payments on your loans, contact the Direct Loan Servicing Center as soon as possible. The Direct Loan Servicing Center staff will work with you to determine the best option for you.