Spring at UMass Amherst
Financial Aid

Parent Education Loans

What is a PLUS Loan?

Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan

  • Loan for parents of dependent students. A PLUS loan can be used to cover all or part of the amount due the university.
  • Before applying for a Parent PLUS loan the student must submit the 2019-2020 FAFSA at: studentaid.gov.
  • Interest rate is 7.08 percent (subject to change).
  • Origination fee retained by the federal government is a 4.262 percent (subject to change).
  • Borrower is responsible for paying all the interest.
  • PLUS Loans are not based on need but on parental credit worthiness.
  • PLUS Loans are disbursed directly to the student’s university account, generally in two disbursements.
  • The U.S. government is the lender; payment is owed to the U.S. government.
  • Repayment starts 60 days after the final disbursement.
  • Parent may apply to defer repayment if student is enrolled at least half time in a degree program.
  • If the PLUS loan is denied, the student becomes eligible for an additional unsubsidized Direct Loan.

To apply for a Parent PLUS Loan

Complete the Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan Application on the Forms section of this site and fax it to Financial Aid Services. 

If the PLUS loan is approved, the parent borrower must complete a PLUS Loan Master Promissory Note at: studentaid.gov.

For more information regarding the Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan, visit studentaid.gov or contact Financial Aid Services at (413) 545-0801.

MEFA Undergraduate Loan

MEFA is a nonprofit state authority offering low fixed interest rate loans to families of students attending Massachusetts colleges or universities. The MEFA loan can be used to cover all or part of the amount due to the university. When parents want to help finance a student’s education, the MEFA Undergraduate Loan is an excellent loan program. MEFA loans are disbursed directly to the school in two installments. Please visit www.mefa.org  for 2020-2021 rates.

Current Fixed Interest Rate Ranges

  • Immediate Repayment Option
    • 10 year repayment—3.95% - 5.95%
    • 15 year repayment—4.25% - 6.20%
  • Deferred Option—5.75%- 7.10%
  • Interest-Only Option–5.45%-7.30%
  • Parent must meet MEFA’s credit standards
  • Repayment starts 45 days after final disbursement for immediate repayment and interest only option

Apply online for a MEFA Undergraduate Loan at: www.mefa.org, or call 1-800-449-MEFA (6332).

Alternative Loans

First: Have you filed a FAFSA?

Before considering private loan options, you should apply for federal, state and institutional financial aid, including federal student loans. Students considering educational private loans should apply only after they have applied for financial aid and received notification from the Financial Aid Office. Go to studentaid.gov for more information.

Financial Aid Services at the University of Massachusetts Amherst strongly recommends that you fully research the alternative loan program and lender that best suits your financing needs. Please compare the benefits and costs of several alternative loan programs before you apply. To get the best interest rate and terms apply with a credit-worthy cosigner. To find out how to apply for an alternative loan visit the lender's website.

Visit the Alternative Loan Options page to explore links to several alternative educational loans for students and parents.