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Federal Parent (PLUS) Loan 2020-21

Federal Direct Parent Loans are credit-based loans borrowed by parents for dependent students who are enrolled at least half time. The interest rate as of July 1, 2020, through June 30, 2021, for Federal Parent Loans will be 5.3 percent. A parent can be a student's biological or adoptive parent or the student's stepparent, if the biological or adoptive parent has remarried at the time of application. Federal Direct Parent Loans are loans that do require credit approval. Interest is charged at the time of disbursement. The parent can choose to pay the interest or defer it as long as the student remains in school at least half time. Repayment begins within 60 days from when the student is no longer enrolled.

Read more about and apply for the Federal Parent Loan Program.

Parents who are interested in borrowing a Federal Parent Loan for the 2020-21 academic year should complete the following checklist:

  1. Determine how much to borrow; visit our online 2020-21 Cost Estimator. We encourage parents to apply for the total amount of parent loan needed for the entire academic year. By doing just one parent loan for the academic year, a parent's credit will only be checked once and the funds are guaranteed. Parent loans borrowed for the academic year are disbursed according to the number of terms the student is attending, once the student's financial aid file is complete. (Interest is charged only on the amount disbursed.) An origination fee (4.228%) is deducted from each disbursement. Once you know the net amount you require, divide that number by 0.95772 to determine the gross amount you must apply for in order to receive that net amount after the origination fee is taken off the top.
  2. Using your FSA ID, log into and complete the 2020-21 Parent Loan Request process. Parent borrowers will be notified immediately if they are approved or denied for the loan.

Approved borrowers:

  1. Complete an electronic PLUS Master Promissory Note, available at for parents borrowing for the first time for a student.
  2. Indicate the amount you want to borrow based on Step 1 in the online request process. (Whitworth does not calculate how much is owed to determine the loan amount.) The parent borrower determines the amount to borrow by entering one of the following in the request process:
    • an amount owed for the year (factoring in loan fees);
    • an amount that works with other resources; or
    • MAX - Whitworth will calculate the maximum the parent is eligible for based on his/her student's cost of attendance minus other financial aid resources. This amount may or may not exceed the amount owed.
  3. Print, complete and return the Parent Loan Self-Certification Form. This form is required for all new loans and for all parent borrowers. Whitworth must confirm parent borrowers meet all parent loan eligibility requirements before disbursing funds to a student's account.

Denied borrowers will be given the following options during the online process:

  • Find an endorser/co-signer. The endorser should not have any adverse credit history and is required to complete an online addendum.
  • Request the additional Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan for the student. Students are eligible for additional unsubsidized loan funds if the parent is denied a parent loan.
  • First- and second-year students can borrow an additional $4,000.
  • Third- and fourth-year students can borrow an additional $5,000.
  • Appeal/Challenge the Credit Decision. Parent borrowers who choose to appeal the credit decision, and are approved, will be required to complete PLUS credit counseling before the school can disburse any funds on his/her behalf. Complete the PLUS credit counseling at

If you have questions related to online processes for the Federal Parent Loan, please contact U.S. Department of Education Applicant Services at 800.557.7394.

For information and resources about student loan repayment visit

If you have questions related to loan processes at Whitworth University, please contact the financial aid office at 509.777.3215. To submit a complaint related to your student loans or student loan servicer, please visit or contact the Student Loan Advocate at

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