How to Apply for a Parent PLUS Loan

If you are the parent or legal guardian of an undergraduate student attending UC Merced, you may be eligible to apply and receive a PLUS Loan. A parent is not guaranteed to receive the PLUS Loan. Upon application, the Department of Education (DOE) will evaluate your credit and approve or deny your application based on your credit score and history. UC Merced is not involved in the credit decision made by the DOE. If you have any questions regarding the pre-approval process for the PLUS Loan, please contact the Department of Education. For more information regarding the Parent PLUS loan, see PLUS loan.

Applying for a Parent PLUS Loan involves four steps:

  1. Together, you and your student must fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), if you haven't already done so.
  2. Complete the "Request a PLUS Loan" option on the studentloans.gov website. Please be sure that the same parent who completed the Master Promissory Note with the DOE is the same that completes the "Request a PLUS Loan."
  3. Only one parent is required to complete a Master Promissory Note with the Department of Education. A Master Primary Note is valid for 10 years; however, a new credit report will be initiated by the DOE each time. Only one parent may apply for the loan. Before you begin the Parent PLUS Loan process, you will need the following information to complete the Master Promissory Note:
  • Your (parent) social security number.

  • Two personal references.

  • The references must reside at two different addresses.

  • You will need to be able to provide phone numbers and email addresses for each reference.

  • Your (parent) driver's license.

**If you wish to borrow a different amount than what is offered in your student's initial award package, please contact the OFAS prior to completing the promissory note with the Department of Education.

  1. Student needs to log into the UC Merced Portal and accept the Parent PLUS Loan. If your student is selected for verification, they will not be able to accept awards until this process is completed.


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**Please note that if all steps in Parent PLUS Loan application process are not completed, a delay in processing or disbursing funds could result. Please contact our office if you have any questions or concerns: finaid@ucmerced.edu or 209-228-4243.

If your student's financial aid awards package on the UC Merced Portal does not include a PLUS Loan, the student should contact the OFAS and request that a PLUS Loan be included in their awards. The request may be emailed to finaid@ucmerced.edu.

If you are denied a PLUS Loan, you may still be able to borrow the loan if a credit worthy co-signer is approved by the DOE. If you are denied the PLUS Loan and wish to use a co-signer, please contact the DOE to which you applied. If you are denied the PLUS loan, and do not wish to provide a co-signer, your student may then be eligible to receive additional Unsubsidized Stafford Loan. Your student must contact the OFAS to find out how to receive the additional Unsubsidized Stafford Loan due to PLUS credit denial.

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