Direct PLUS Loans are federal loans that graduate or professional students and parents of dependent undergraduate students can use to help pay for college or career school.

PLUS loans can help pay for education expenses not covered by other financial aid.

PLUS Loans

The U.S. Department of Education makes Direct PLUS Loans to eligible parents and graduate or professional students through schools participating in the Direct Loan Program.

Note: A Direct PLUS Loan is commonly referred to as a parent PLUS loan when made to a parent, and as a grad PLUS loan when made to a graduate or professional student.

You’ll find the online application for Direct PLUS Loans on StudentLoans.gov.

Important: Most schools require you to apply for a PLUS loan online at StudentLoans.gov, but some schools have different application processes. Check with your school before you apply.

Note: Before applying, make sure you or your child have already filled out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) form.

Here’s a quick overview of Direct PLUS Loans:

  • The U.S. Department of Education is your lender.
  • You must not have an adverse credit history. A credit check will be conducted. If you have an adverse credit history, you may still be able to receive a PLUS loan if you meet additional requirements.
  • The maximum PLUS loan amount you can receive is the cost of attendance (determined by the school) minus any other financial aid received.

Learn more about parent PLUS loans.

Learn more about grad PLUS loans.