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Parents with strong credit scores can borrow money to cover education costs —so your children can focus on what’s really important.

Parent loans made easy

No origination fees. Multiple repayment options. Total security.

Make paying for college easier

Multiple repayment options

Repay the way that's right for you.

$0 origination fee

Taking out a parent loan will cost you zero, nada, zip.

Cover your costs

Get how much you need for what you need.

No prepayment fees

Penalize you for being on the ball? Never.

Have questions? Go to FAQs.

Compare top lenders

Yes

Yes (5 - 12 year)

None

$70,000

$1,000 - Cost of Attendance

Yes

N/A

None

$1,000 - Cost of Attendance

No (10 year only)

No (fixed only)

Yes (5 year, 10 year)

None

$12,000

$1,000 - $170,000

6.62%

fixed rate

5.47%

variable rate

5.74%
fixed rate

5.87% 
variable rate

Offers choice of

fixed and variable rate

Choice of loan term

Fees to apply

Income eligibility

Loan amounts eligible

Interest rates

1

Yes

Yes (5 - 20 year)

None

$60,000

$1,000 - Cost of Attendance

3.50%

fixed rate

3.45%
variable rate

Residency

Only available to Texas residents

All states

All states

All states

5.74%

fixed rate

Compare repayment options

Immediate payment

Deferred repayment

Loan forgiveness

Income based repayment

Interest only payment

 (in the event of student death or permanent disability)

(in the event of student death or permanent disability)

How does it work?

Compare various student lenders and their offerings to find the one that's right for you.

Compare the lenders

2 Minutes

Apply on the 

lender's website

5 Minutes

Provide a little more information by filling out an application on the lender's website.

Wait for your funds to be disbursed

1 Business Day

That's it, you're done! Once you're approved, the lender will send your funds directly to the school you choose.

Select your lender

*

*Brazos is only available to Texas residents

Parent PLUS Loans and private student loans for parents

After your child has maxed out their undergraduate loans, as a parent borrower, you can choose to fund their education by borrowing money in your own name under a parent loan. There are generally two options available: Parent Loans for Undergraduate Students (PLUS) or private loans.


PLUS Loans are federal loans taken out from the U.S. Department of Education. They allow parents to borrow money for any portion of their child’s tuition that isn’t covered by the school’s financial aid package. 


Unlike the PLUS loan program for graduate students, federal PLUS loans taken out by parents aren’t eligible for most income-driven repayment plans. However, parents who take out PLUS loans can combine them in a federal Direct Consolidation Loan and then repay the new consolidation loan under an Income Contingent Repayment (ICR) plan.


Private student loans, however, are taken out from private lenders. Keep in mind, though, that private student loans don’t offer some of the same benefits packaged with federal loans, like access to income-driven repayment (IDR) plans and the potential for loan forgiveness after 10, 20 or 25 years of payments.


But IDR plans themselves have pros and cons. IDR plans can help graduates with modest earnings pay off big loan balances. But they aren’t the best solution for everyone — stretching out your payments over a longer period will in many cases increase the total amount repaid. If you do qualify for loan forgiveness, you might face a large tax bill.


Many private lenders are adopting features like grace periods and optional deferment. Just keep in mind that interest will accrue during these periods, just as it does on unsubsidized federal direct loans and PLUS loans.

Frequently Asked Questions

What can I use a parent student loan for?

Parent loans can help you pay for your child's college tuition and fees, as well as other indirect costs such as housing, books, and other personal expenses.


How do I apply for a parent student loan?

Most universities also allow you to apply for loans online, making the PLUS Loan application process easy. But parents with dependent children can also turn to private lenders to take out private parent student loans to pay for their child's education. 


Before you turn to a federal direct PLUS loan, it’s worth comparing offers from private student lenders, who provide loans to undergraduates, graduate students and parents that are priced competitively with federal PLUS loans.


Lenders will typically need to verify that you don’t have an adverse credit history. They’ll want to check your credit score, proof of income, and other eligibility requirements before they can approve your loan request. 


See rates from private student loan lenders.


Is there a credit check required for a parent loan?

Borrowers applying for private parent student loans must typically pass a credit check and be in good credit standing, as well as meet other eligibility requirements before they can be approved for a loan.


Do I need to submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to apply for a private parent loan?

No. In order to apply for a parent loan from a private lender, you will simply need to fill out the loan application on the lender's website.


What information or documents do I need to apply for a private parent loan?

Generally speaking, to apply for a loan from a private lender, you will need the following information:

  • Personal information: Name, address, phone number, email address, date of birth, Social Security number
  • Employment information: Any recent pay stubs or other proof of income
  • Education information: Name of the school your child is attending, cost of attendance, details about any other student aid, graduation date
  • Loan information: The loan amount you're requesting and the loan period


What sort of interest rates do parent loans have?

When considering the potential savings of taking out a parent student loan with a private lender, parents should keep in mind that federal PLUS loans carry the highest interest rate of any federal loan — 7% for loans taken out during the 2017-18 school year. 


With private parent student loans, the interest rate depends on the borrower or cosigner’s credit risk, and whether you’d rather have a fixed-rate or variable-rate loan. If you pick a variable-rate private student loan, you’ll start out with a better interest rate than you’d get on a fixed-rate private loan with the same repayment term, but the rates are subject to change with the market.


If you’d rather have the certainty of a fixed-rate student loan, most private lenders offer those, too. You’ll pass up the chance to start out making lower monthly payments but if interest rates go up, your monthly payments will remain unchanged. 


Are there any fees when it comes to parent student loans?

Federal PLUS Loans taken out for the 2018-19 school year have a 4.248% loan disbursement fee — a fee that’s taken out of the loan before you even see the money. For loans paid back on the standard 10-year repayment plan, the fee has the same effect as adding about one percentage point to the annual percentage rate (APR).


Private student loans for parents can have origination or prepayment fees. But the good news is that none of the lenders on Credible have fees — none of them will charge an origination fee or prepayment penalty. 


How will I get my money?

Depending on your lender, your funds will either be disbursed to you or be sent directly to your school. CollegeAve, for example, will send funds for tuition and fees directly to the school you choose and send loan funds for other expenses to you.


Can I refinance my parent student loans?

Absolutely. Creditworthy borrowers can refinance federal student loans and parent student loans from private lenders without being subjected to prepayment penalties. Many lenders do not charge origination fees for refinancing.


Can I transfer a parent loan to my son or daughter later on?

Typically, you can’t. However, if you choose to refinance your loans, you might then be able to add on the student as a cosigner, as long as they have graduated. Check with your lender to discuss their policy on transferring your loan to the student.

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