Parent Loans

Send your kids to college
Children deserve every opportunity. Parent Loans can help you pay for their education.

When searching for a parent loan, you can expect some serious lender benefits. Some of these benefits include:

  • No fees, period
  • Skip a payment once per year
  • Save with a 0.25% AutoPay discount
  • Inviting a cosigner is easy
  • Longer 9-month grace period
  • Make a $25 in-school payment
  • Talk to a human
  • And more…
Parent Loans

Current Parent Loans


Build a loan that works with your financial situation

Parent Loans
2 Minute Application
Apply online and upload all documents on your phone
Parent Loans
Receive a Decision Fast
Lender decision in 72-hours or less
Parent Loans
Payments that Work for You
Choose a payment plan or pay nothing while in school

Would I be a good candidate for a Parent loan?

Before moving forward and filling out a loan application with one of our lenders, you may want to make sure you have completed all of these free options prior to applying for a parent loan. A few programs that you should look into would be:

If you have exhausted all of the above options, you can select one of the lenders above to work with or head over to our student loans page.

Parent Loans

Top Questions About Parent Loans

  • What do I need to apply?
  • What is the difference between a parent loan and a cosigned student loan?
  • What is a Parent Loan?
  • What is the difference between a Private Parent Loan and a Parent PLUS Loan?
  • How to Certifying the Cost of Attendance for Parent Loans?
  • Will I need access to federal benefits?
  • Am I eligible for Public Service Loan Forgiveness?
  • Deciding between the two loan types:
What do I need to apply?

Review this checklist before you start the application process. For a complete list of requirements, please visit our eligibility page.

You must be:

  • 18 years or older
    • In Alabama and Nebraska, you must be 19 or older, and in Mississippi, 21 or older
  • A U.S. citizen or permanent resident
  • Have a FICO that is at least 650 or greater
  • Make at least $35,000 per year

Note: Open to all states, except Nevada

The student must be:

  • Student is enrolled in school full-time for College Freshmen, Sophomores and Juniors, at least half-time for College Seniors. There’s no enrollment requirement for Graduate students.
  • Student is pursuing a Bachelor’s or Graduate degree.
  • School is a Title IV-qualified, not-for-profit, 4-year institution.
What is the difference between a parent loan and a cosigned student loan?

A parent student loan and cosigned student loan are two different types of loans.

With a cosigned loan, both the borrower and the student are financially responsible for the loan. Both the loan borrower and the student will see the cosigned loan reflected on their credit reports. If any loan payments are missed, both the cosigner and the student might see their credit score impacted.

A parent loan is a loan you take out independently, and you are the only person financially responsible for paying it off. The student is not legally responsible for loan payments and the loan will not appear on their credit report.

What is a Parent Loan?

Parents of dependent students can take out loans to supplement their children’s aid packages. The federal Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS), available through the Direct Loan Program, lets parents borrow money to cover any costs not already covered by the student’s financial aid package, up to the full cost of attendance. There is no cumulative limit.

Parent PLUS loans are the financial responsibility of the parents, not the student. If the student agrees to make payments on the PLUS loan, but fails to make the payments on time, the parents will be held responsible. These days the PLUS loan is referred to as either the Parent PLUS or Grad PLUS loan.

What is the difference between a Private Parent Loan and a Parent PLUS Loan?

A Parent Loan is issued by a private lender, while a Parent PLUS Loan is issued by the government. It’s a federal student loan designed for the parent borrower.

In the case of a Parent PLUS Student Loan, only a biological or adoptive parent (in some cases a stepparent) can take out this loan from the federal government. This loan is sometimes referred to as a Federal Direct Plus Loan or a Direct Plus Loan.

When it comes to a private student loan such as the lenders we offer on this site, the definition is more broad. You do not have to be a parent to apply. You could be a guardian, relative, or someone who wants to send a student to college.

How to Certifying the Cost of Attendance for Parent Loans?

What is the Cost of Attendance?

As defined by Congress, the Cost of Attendance is an estimate of the cost to attend a particular school for one academic year. The Cost of Attendance (budget) includes tuition and fees; on-campus room and board (or a housing and food allowance for off-campus students); and allowances for books, supplies, transportation, loan fees, and if applicable, dependent care. It can also include other expenses like an allowance for the rental or purchase of a personal computer, costs related to a disability, or costs for eligible study-abroad programs.

Where can I find the Cost of Attendance?

The Cost of Attendance is determined, specifically for your situation, by the school you are attending, and may be obtained from the school’s financial aid office. The financial aid office will send you an Award Letter indicating the Cost of Attendance and additional financial aid which could include scholarships, grants, institutional aid and federal loans.

What is a Private Education Loan Self Certification?

During the application process, you will be required to complete and certify a Private Education Loan Self Certification. On this certification, you will be asked to calculate how much you need to borrow in private loans based upon the Cost of Attendance and other financial aid that you have been awarded. This is used to help promote awareness of the amount you are borrowing, as well as to prevent borrowers from borrowing more than what is needed. You should use your Award Letter from your school, as well as other information you can obtain from your financial aid portal, if possible, in completing this certification.

What is the School Certification Process?

In addition to the Private Education Loan Self-Certification, the school will certify certain information related to your enrollment. We will obtain the school certification from the school as a part of the application process. The school you are attending must certify that:

  • the loan amount does not exceed the cost of attendance minus other financial aid received,
  • the loan period which the loan covers,
  • your enrollment status,
  • your grade level,
  • your expected graduation date,
  • the disbursement dates, and
  • the individual disbursement amounts if the loan has multiple disbursement dates.

What happens if a school certifies an amount which differs from the requested loan amount?

Sometimes the school may certify an amount that is different than the loan amount that you request. If the amount the school certifies is higher than the amount you request, the certification will cover the lower amount that you have requested and the loan will be approved for the lower amount that you requested.

If the school certifies an amount less than the amount you have requested, but is within the program limits, the loan amount will be adjusted to match the amount the school certifies. This adjustment will be evident when you receive your Final Approval Disclosure as part of the loan process.

If the school certifies an amount less then the program minimum ($1,000), the loan will be denied.

Will I need access to federal benefits?
  • Parent Loans: Federal student loans are eligible for deferments and forbearance, which allow you to postpone making your payments on your loans for a set period of time without becoming delinquent or damaging your credit. While Parent Loans aren’t eligible for IDR plans as they are, you can consolidate them with a Direct Consolidation Loan. Once you do so, your loans are eligible for Income-Contingent Repayment (ICR) — one of the four IDR plans. By signing up for ICR, you can sometimes reduce your minimum monthly payment. And, after 25 years of making payments, any remaining loan balance can be discharged.
  • Student Loans: Private student loans aren’t eligible for federal benefits — so if you need these perks, make sure you apply for federal loans.
Am I eligible for Public Service Loan Forgiveness?
  • Parent Loans: If you have federal student loans and work for a nonprofit organization or government agency for 10 years and make 120 qualifying payments — and payments made under an ICR plan count — you can qualify for loan forgiveness under PSLF. Parent Loans can qualify for PSLF, but you do have to consolidate them with a Direct Consolidation Loan first and sign up for an ICR plan first. Once you do that, your monthly payments will count towards PSLF, helping you pursue loan forgiveness, which can be a substantial relief.
  • Private student loans: Only federal loans are eligible for PSLF; private student loans don’t qualify.
Deciding between the two loan types:
  • Use Parent Loans if you intend to pursue PSLF or take advantage of an ICR plan.
  • Use parent private student loans if you have good credit and can qualify for a lower interest rate.
  • Use parent private student loans if you’d prefer a loan with a variable interest rate.