Federal PLUS Loans
Parent PLUS Loan
A Parent PLUS Loan is a non-need-based loan given by the Department of Education and is credit-based. Interest starts to accrue at disbursement; however, full repayment of principal and interest begins 60 days after the last disbursement for the loan period. The maximum repayment period is 10 years. View current interest rates.
A parent may apply for a PLUS Loan for up to the annual cost of attendance minus any aid. Approval for this loan is determined by the Department of Education and if approved, Carnegie Mellon will certify the amount eligible to borrow. An origination fee is deducted from the loan proceeds each semester before being sent to Carnegie Mellon. The proceeds will be sent to CMU via electronic funds transfer (EFT) and deposited into the student's account.
If the PLUS Loan is not approved, the student may borrow additional unsubsidized Federal Direct Student Loan funds.
Grad PLUS Loan
Federal Graduate PLUS Loans are available to graduate and professional students, allowing graduate students to borrow on their own behalf up to the standard graduate cost of attendance less other aid received to assist with educational expenses.
A Grad PLUS Loan is a non-need based loan provided by the Department of Education to creditworthy graduate students. Graduate and professional borrowers who are enrolled at least half-time qualify for an automatic in-school deferment. Interest will accrue during the in-school period. View current interest rates.
An origination fee is deducted from the loan proceeds each semester before being sent to Carnegie Mellon. The proceeds will be sent to CMU via electronic funds transfer (EFT) and deposited into the student's account. Funds are disbursed no earlier than 10 days prior to the first day of class.
Adverse Credit History & PLUS Loan Counseling
Based on final regulations published October 2014, the Department of Education made changes to the adverse credit history provisions that are used in determining an applicant’s eligibility for a PLUS Loan. These changes apply to both parent and graduate/professional student PLUS Loan applicants. The credit criteria applies to all PLUS Loan credit checks performed on or after March 29, 2015. Changes include:
- Revised criteria for determining that a Direct PLUS Loan Applicant has an adverse credit history
- The expiration date on credit checks will be extended from 90 to 180 days
- A new loan counseling requirement for applicants who are determined to have an adverse credit history, but who qualify for a PLUS Loan by documenting extenuating circumstances for obtaining an endorser