Financial Aid

GenericT.jpgFederal Direct Parent PLUS Loans

General Information and How to Apply

The Hawai'i Pacific University Financial Aid Office is committed to assisting you with funding your child's (student) education.  The Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan (Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students) enables parents, with good credit history, to borrow funds up to the Cost of Attendance for their child attending college. 

The borrowing parent must apply for the Parent PLUS loan through www.studentloans.gov.  NOTE: You can borrower up to the cost of attendance minus any other financial aid that will be received.  An eligible parent borrower must complete the Direct PLUS Loan application, be credit approved for the loan, and the PLUS Loan Agreement (MPN).

 

Applying for a Parent PLUS Loan

The borrowing parent of the dependent student will need to log-in to studentloans.gov using their FSA ID and password.

Step 1: Complete the Parent PLUS Loan Application

To complete the Parent PLUS loan application, select the "Parent Borowers" tab.  Then select “Apply for a PLUS Loan” from the options on the screen.  Follow the steps to complete 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 adverse credit history. If you are found to haveadverse credit history, you may still borrow a PLUS Loan appealing the credit decision or by seeking a credit worthy endorser. An endorser is someone who agrees to repay the Direct PLUS Loan if you do not repay the loan (like a co-signer). The endorser may not be the student who the parent is obtaining a Direct PLUS Loan for.  With an endorser or an approved appeal, PLUS Credit Counseling may be required before the funds are disbursed to HPU.

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 Loan Agreement for a PLUS Loan (MPN)” from the options on the screen.  Complete all the necessary steps 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 child, you'll need to complete a separate MPN for each child. To complete an MPN online, you will be required to use your Department of Education-FSA ID/Password (not your child's). If you do not have a FSA ID/Password, you may request one from the official FSA ID 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 will need to request/apply for the loan funds annually as detailed in step 1 above.

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 parent, 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, the income and the assets of the parent(s) have to be reported on the FAFSA.

Additional requirements to receive a PARENT PLUS loan

Parent PLUS loan borrowers cannot have adverse credit history (a credit check will be completed). In addition, parents and their dependent student 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 the students education minus any other financial aid received, such as a Direct Subsidized or Unsubsidized Loan. You will need to input the amount you wish to borrow, but HPU will make the final determination of the actual amount you may borrow (if your amount is greater than the amount that can be borrowed).

The interest rate for Direct PLUS Loans is a fixed rate of 6.31% for the 2016-17 year. 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 is used to process these low-interest loans.  The fee will be deducted before the loan funds are disbursed; 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)

Financial aid funds are disbursed as early as five (5) days prior to the start of the term.  Funds will be used first to pay tuition, fees and other authorized charges.  Students, especially those who have not completed their financial aid requirements, should come prepared to meet their financial obligations for the first few weeks of school as it may take time for their excess funds check to be processed.

If any excess funds remain after the students balance has been cleared, a refund amount will be calculated.  If the excess is from the Federal Parent PLUS loan, a refund check will be sent to the parent.  In some cases, with a parent’s written permission, HPU may disburse some of the PLUS loan funds directly to the student. The school will notify the student in email each time they disburse part of your loan funds and will provide information about how to cancel all or part of the PLUS disbursement.  Please read and keep all correspondence received concerning your loan.

For more information on refunds, click here to visit the Business Office Financial Aid Refund Process page.

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.  HPU's Business Office does not simply accept the authorization you indicated on www.studentloans.gov.  Please click here to download this form and submit it to the Business Office.

Repayment

There is no grace period for Direct PLUS Loans - the repayment period for each Direct PLUS Loan will begin after 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 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 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.

Having PROBLEMS making payments

If you're having a hard time 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.