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Applying for Federal PLUS Loans

What are Federal PLUS loans?

Federal PLUS Loans are low-interest loans made to parents of undergraduate dependent students and to graduate or professional students. Federal PLUS loans are not based on financial need. The loan amount can't exceed the school's cost of attendance minus any other financial aid the student may receive. Borrowers are responsible for all interest accrued.

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Do I have to complete a FAFSA in order to borrow a Federal PLUS Loan?

At CU-Boulder, we do require a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to be on file so we can ensure students are aware of all the federal financial aid available to them.

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Who can borrow a PLUS loan?

Biological parents are eligible to apply for this loan whether or not their information is provided on the FAFSA. A stepparent is eligible to apply for a Federal PLUS Loan only if his or her information was provided on the FAFSA. Grandparents and other relatives are not eligible for this type of loan.

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How much PLUS Loan can I borrow?

Parents can borrow up to the student's full cost of attendance, less other financial aid received. Graduate students can borrow up to their full cost of attendance, less other financial aid received.

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How do I apply for a parent PLUS Loan?

You now have to apply for the PLUS Loan through the new federal loan website, instead of applying through the Office of Financial Aid. Simply, use your social security number and federal PIN number to sign in. After you sign in, click on "Start PLUS Application Process". If this is the first time you have applied for a PLUS Loan, you will also be required to complete the Federal Direct PLUS Loan Master Promissory Note. Learn more about How to Apply.

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How is the parent PLUS Loan applied toward my student's tuition bill?

Typically, the student's financial aid will be applied toward the student's tuition bill first. However, if there is any balance at the time the PLUS loan is disbursed, it will be applied toward the remaining bill. The remaining loan will be refunded to whoever was designated on the PLUS application submitted through If you elect for the student to receive the refund, it will be sent to their direct deposit approximately three days prior to the beginning of the semester. If you elect to receive the refund directly, a check will be mailed to you (this process could take up to two weeks).

Note: Due to a new Student Information system implementation, the PLUS Loan will not appear as "Anticipated Aid" on the first tuition bill. Learn more about How to View the Bill Online.

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I do not have the option to accept the PLUS Loan on the student portal, how do I accept the loan?

Upon receipt of your PLUS Loan application from the Federal Direct Loan Servicer, the Office of Financial Aid will accept the loan amount, which you will be able to see in the student portal. If your loan request is more than you are eligible for, it will be adjusted accordingly.

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How do I check the status of my parent PLUS Loan?

Once our office receives the PLUS application back from the Federal Direct Loan Servicer, we will determine if additional loan documents are required. An email will be sent to the student directing them to view their "To Do List" in their student portal. The borrower will also receive a disclosure statement from the Federal Direct Loan Servicer which will verify the loan has been approved.

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How do I increase my PLUS Loan?

If the borrower had already completed a PLUS application, then they will need to contact the Office of Financial Aid to inquire about additional eligibility. The request can be in-person or by telephone, 303-492-5091. If we offer a new loan, you will have to complete another PLUS application on

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How do I cancel or reduce my PLUS Loan?

If you have already accepted your loan, you will need to complete the Loan Cancellation form and submit it to the Office of Financial Aid in-person or by fax, 303-492-0838.

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What if I am denied a PLUS Loan due to adverse credit history?

If the parent applicant is not approved for the PLUS loan, he or she will have the ability to obtain an endorser (cosigner) by completing the request on The endorser will need the PLUS Endorser Code which can be found in the confirmation email received in the denial notice or by logging into and selecting "Direct PLUS Loan Requests". If the parent does not have an endorser, the student can contact our office to request an additional unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loan ($4,000 for freshman and sophomore level, $5,000 for junior and senior level).

If a graduate student is denied a PLUS Loan, they can explore private loan options.

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When do I have to start repaying the Federal PLUS Loan?

The repayment period for all PLUS Loans begins on the date the loan is fully disbursed, and the first payment is due within 60 days of the final disbursement. However, a graduate student PLUS Loan borrower can defer repayment while the borrower is enrolled at least half-time (4 credit hours).

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Can parents request to have payments on a Federal PLUS Loan deferred?

Parents can request a deferment (a temporary suspension of loan payments) for specific situations such as reenrollment in school, unemployment, or economic hardship. Parents can also request a deferment while their student is enrolled in school at least half-time. Interest that accrues during these periods will be capitalized if not paid by the parent during the deferment. To request a deferment, visit and click on forms.

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