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Federal Parent Loan (“PLUS”)

The PLUS Loan is designed with the parent in mind. From this loan program, the parent may borrow the difference between the “cost of attendance” and all financial aid the student has received.

Loans will appear on your billing statement after your student’s enrollment is confirmed, and you have completed the master promissory note (MPN).

First-time borrowers will be notified of the application process early in the summer, and do not need to complete anything until that time.

PLUS Loan Basics

Loan Limit:  Determined by subtracting the total financial aid from the “cost of attendance.”

  • The parent is the borrower
  • The lender is the U.S. Department of Education.
  • Fixed interest rate
       5.30% for 2020-2021
       7.08% for 2019-2020
       7.6% for 2018-2019
       7.0% for 2017-2018
  • Not need-based
  • Requires credit check (see “Adverse Credit” below)
  • A fee of 4.248% is charged, so you may wish to request a larger loan to end up with the amount you need.
  • Example: If you want to end up with $10,000, you will need to request $10,444. Loan fees will total $444.
  • Interest accrues once the loan is disbursed, including while in school
  • Payment of interest and principal can be deferred until after graduation
  • 10-year repayment, with no penalty for early payoff

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) must be completed before you can apply for this loan.

If you wish to borrow the Parent PLUS Loan, please follow these steps:  

1) Determine the amount you need to borrow, by reviewing the tuition bill via the Parent Portal. If you do not have access to the Parent Portal, please ask your student to give you access via my.lakeforest

In order to establish permissions, a student should log into their my.lakeforest portal and select the “student tab” then select “Privacy Permissions” from the left-hand column and the select “Define New Permissions”.  See step-by-step… Questions about the Parent Portal? Please contact Student Accounts.

2) You (the Parent) should go to StudentAid.gov

  • Click on “Log in”
  • Select “Apply for Aid” then click on “Apply for a Parent PLUS Loan” scroll down and select “start”.
  • Proceed to complete all four steps until you obtain a credit decision.

When completing the PLUS loan application please keep in mind the following: 

  1. Please use your own Federal Student Aid ID and not the student’s FSA ID. To create an FSA ID or if you forgot yours, go to fsaid.ed.gov.
  2. Select the loan period for the loan. You can apply for a full year loan by selecting August 2020 thru May 2021. You can apply for a fall term loan only by selecting August - December 2020. Or you can apply for a spring loan only by selecting January - May 2021.
  3. Select the loan amount you wish to borrow. Remember to include the 4.248% origination fee to the total loan amount. You will also have the option to request the maximum amount available to you which is the cost of attendance minus financial aid received. Once you have determined the NET amount, divide that value by 0.95752 to arrive at the GROSS amount you need to request to end up with the NET amount.

If your credit decision is approved, you must complete the PLUS Master Promissory Note (MPN):

  • Go to “Complete Aid Process” and select “MPN for Parents
  • Click “Start” and complete all five steps.
If you receive a negative credit decision, you will be presented with the following options:
  •  Appeal the decision – You should consider this option if you think there is an error on your credit report.
  •  Apply with an endorser – Additional information will be presented to you by the Application Services Department, but make a note of the loan ID number.
  •  Additional Unsubsidized loan for the student - Additional loan limits are- first-year and sophomore students: up to $4,000 per year, and junior and senior students: up to $5,000 per year.
  •  Undecided – No additional loans will be awarded to the student. Please contact our office to discuss the options.

IMPORTANT: If you cannot complete the Parent PLUS Loan request online, please contact Adriana Rodriguez to request a PLUS Loan Request form. 

What Happens Next

If you are eligible for a PLUS Loan:

Approximately 10 days after you submit the PLUS Loan Request Form to us, we receive word of the credit decision.  If the PLUS Loan is approved, it will appear on your tuition account as an anticipated credit.  After we certify the loan (confirm your eligibility) the loan funds will be sent to the College and applied to the student’s tuition account.  You will receive a notice from the College’s Business Office when the funds have been applied to your student’s account.  

If you are not eligible for a PLUS Loan (“adverse credit”):

If you are denied the PLUS Loan your son/daughter will be able to receive some additional funds, up to $5,000, from the Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loan. 

A PLUS Loan can be denied if you have adverse credit, currently defined as being 90 or more days delinquent on any debt, or any of the following in the last five years:  loan default, bankruptcy, foreclosure, repossession, tax lien, wage garnishment, etc…

If you want to modify an existing PLUS Loan: 

Use this Request to Modify form to increase/reduce/cancel a loan.