Parent Loans

Direct Loans are low-interest loans for students and parents to help pay for the cost of a student's education after high school. The lender is the U.S. Department of Education rather than a bank or other financial institution.

Direct Loans are:

  • Simple: You borrow directly from the federal government and have a single contact - the Direct Loan Servicing Center - for everything related to the repayment of your loans, even if you receive Direct Loans at different schools.
  • Convenient: You'll have online access to your Direct Loan account information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • Flexible: You can choose from several repayment plans that are designed to meet the needs of almost any borrower, and you can switch repayment plans if your needs change.

To apply for the Parent Loan, the parent must log on to, select Apply for a Direct PLUS Loan, select Parent PLUS, and complete the application. If approved, the parent must complete the Master Promissory Note for Parent PLUS Loans online at

Below are frequently asked questions about Direct Loans.

What kind of Direct Loans are available?
  • Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans: Direct Subsidized Loans are for students with demonstrated financial need, as determined by federal regulations. No interest is charged while a student is in school at least half-time, during the grace period and during deferment periods. Direct Unsubsidized Loans are not based on financial need; interest is charged during all periods.
  • Direct PLUS Loans: Direct PLUS Loans are for the parents of dependent students and for graduate or professional-degree students. Interest is charged during all periods.
  • Direct Consolidation Loans: Students or parents can combine different eligible federal student loans into one Direct Consolidation Loan.
What are the eligibility requirements for a parent to get a Federal Direct PLUS Loan?
  • You must be the biological or adoptive parent (or, in some cases, the stepparent) of the student for whom you are borrowing.
  • Your child must be a dependent student who is enrolled at least half-time at a school that participates in the Direct Loan Program. Generally, your child is considered dependent if he or she is under 24 years of age, has no dependents, and is not married, a veteran, a graduate or professional-degree student, or a ward of the court.
  • You cannot have an adverse credit history (a credit check will be done).
  • In addition, you and your child 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.
How do I apply?
  • Students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). FAFSA on the Web can be completed online at CSUDH school code: 001141
  • Once the school has received the FAFSA, additional documents may be required. If so, submit the necessary information to the Financial Aid Office.
  • Federal Direct Loans are offered to the student, and the Financial Aid Office recommends acceptance of these loans prior to applying for the Federal Direct Parent PLUS.
  • The parent must complete the online application and Master Promissory Note online at  The Parent Loan online application will be retrieved by the Financial Aid Office and processed. The Parent loan will be applied to any outstanding fees owed to the university. Excess funds from the Parent Loan will be mailed to the parent’s mailing address.
Is there a charge for the loan?

Yes. In addition to interest, you pay a loan origination fee of 4.228% of the principal amount of each Direct PLUS Loan that you receive. This fee helps reduce the cost of making these low-interest loans. The fee is deducted before you receive any loan money, so the loan amount you actually receive will be less than the amount you have to pay.

What is the interest rate?

Visit for the current interest rate. 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.

How much can I borrow?

There are no set limits for Direct PLUS Loans, but you may not borrow more than the cost of education minus any other financial aid received, such as a Direct Subsidized or Unsubsidized Loan. Parent borrowers are eligible to borrow up to the students' cost of attendance minus other estimated financial assistance.

All Federal Direct Parent PLUS loans will be credited directly to your student's account. If the amount of this loan exceeds the amount due on the student's account, the Accounting Office will prepare a balance check. This check will be made payable to the parent.

When do I have to begin repaying my loan?

Your must begin repaying a Direct PLUS Loan 60 days after the full amount that you've borrowed for a school year has been disbursed. This means that in most cases, you must begin making payments while your child is still in school.

How much time will I have to repay my loan? How much must I repay each month?

Generally, you will have from 10 to 25 years to repay your loan, depending on the repayment plan that you choose. Your monthly payment amount will be based on how much you borrowed and how long you take to repay. 

You can find information about these plans by contacting by visiting

Can I ever postpone making loan payments?

Yes, under some conditions you may receive a deferment or forbearance that allows you to temporarily stop making payments. For further information, please visit

Can my loan ever be cancelled or discharged?

You must repay your loan even if you child doesn't complete or can't find a job related to their program of study, or if you or your child are unhappy with the education you paid for with your loan. However, your loan may be cancelled if you have your loan discharged in bankruptcy, if you die, if the child for whom you borrowed dies, or if you become totally and permanently disabled (additional conditions apply). For further information, please visit

Can I transfer a Direct PLUS Loan to my child, so that it becomes their responsibility to pay?

No. A Direct PLUS Loan is a loan made to a parent, not to a student. The parent is responsible for repaying a Direct PLUS Loan.

Where can I get more information?

Visit to get information on how to obtain a deferment or forbearance and much more.