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What Is a PLUS Loan, & How Can You Apply for One?

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What Is a PLUS Loan, & How Can You Apply for One?

A PLUS Loan is a type of federal loan that the parents of a dependent undergraduate student can use to help pay for career school or college.

You have lots of options for paying for school when you attend Universal Technical Institute (UTI), including scholarships, grants and benefits if you’re a veteran.

Another financial aid option you may have is a PLUS loan. Read on for what a PLUS loan is, benefits of a PLUS loan for school and how to apply for a PLUS loan.

PLUS Loan Details

A PLUS loan, also called a Direct PLUS loan, is a student loan that is provided by the U.S. Department of Education. This is money that is borrowed and that must be repaid with interest.

For PLUS loans given out between July 1, 2020 through June 30, 2021, the interest rate is 5.30 percent. That’s a fixed interest rate for the life of the loan.

There is also a loan fee charged for all PLUS loans, depending on the date from which the loan originates.

PLUS loans are available to two types of loan seekers:

  • Parents of dependent undergraduate students, who can apply for a parent PLUS loan
  • Graduates or professional students, who can apply for a grad PLUS loan

For UTI students whose parents are financing school, the parent PLUS loan is the only option. Because grad PLUS loans are only available to students enrolled in a graduate or doctorate program, UTI students are not eligible to receive grad PLUS loans.

With PLUS loans, approved applicants get funding directly from the U.S. Department of Education, not a bank or other financial institution. Loan receivers are only eligible to receive funds that cover what the applicant is not receiving in other forms of financial aid.

If you’ve been awarded some scholarships and/or grants, but you still need money to cover school, a maximum PLUS loan amount to cover those costs will be determined based on your school costs.

How to Apply for a PLUS Loan

Parent PLUS loans require that applicants do not have a poor credit history, although there are a couple of ways applicants with an adverse history can still receive a PLUS loan.

One way is to obtain an endorser who does not have a poor credit history. The other is to provide adequate documentation about extenuating circumstances relating to the poor credit history.

Any applicant for a PLUS loan must also fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form. A FAFSA is also required to receive other forms of financial aid, such as grants.

Parent PLUS loan applicants must meet the federal student aid general eligibility requirements to be considered. Some of the other requirements for PLUS loans include the following.

Parent PLUS Loan Requirements

For parents to be eligible for the parent PLUS loan, the applicant must be the adoptive or biological parent, or, in some cases, the stepparent of a dependent student enrolled at an eligible school. Grandparents who have not legally adopted the dependent student, and legal guardians, are not eligible to receive parent PLUS loans.

When a parent wants to apply for a PLUS loan, the U.S. Department of Education recommends contacting the desired school’s financial aid department first to determine next steps. You can contact UTI's Financial Aid Department online or by calling 800-834-7308.

Benefits of a PLUS Loan

You may be wondering about why you should consider a PLUS loan to help pay for school. Some reasons include:

  • You need financial help. Instead of working a job (or a few) outside of school and having to juggle responsibilities, a loan can be used to supplement school costs.
  • The interest rate won't change. Some loans from private lenders will feature variable interest rates, which may go up and force you to pay more. With a PLUS loan, there are no surprises. The interest rate stays the same throughout the lifetime of the loan, which means predictable payments.
  • Loan fees may be lower. You may discover that the loan fee for a PLUS loan is lower than options available from private lenders.

Again, if you have questions about which loan option is best for you to attend UTI, talk with our Financial Aid office so we can help.

Get Financial Aid Information From UTI

Attending trade school is a big step now and for your future. You have options to finance your education. A PLUS loan is one of many financial aid options available

Contact the UTI Financial Aid Department for recommendations for your personal situation. We can answer any questions you have, help you fill out a FAFSA, connect you with tuition reimbursement, scholarship and grant opportunities10 and more.

Need FAFSA Help?

If you need any assistance while completing the FAFSA, we’re here to help. You can schedule an appointment with one of our Financial Aid Support Specialists by clicking below or by calling toll-free at (844)-338-0032.