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Compare Private Student Loans to PLUS Loans

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PLUS Loans are federally-funded, fixed-rate college loans available to the parents of dependent undergraduate students. They are also available to graduate students to pay for their own education.

private student loans for parents

When your financial aid package falls short of your needs, a private student loan may be a competitive alternative to a PLUS Loan.

  Private Student Loans PLUS Loans
Lender Bank, credit union, financial institution, state agency, college, or university U.S. Department of Education
FAFSA Required? No Yes
Interest Rates Fixed and variable options available Fixed at 7.08% (first disbursed on or after 7/1/19 and before 7/1/20)
Rate Based on Credit Criteria? Yes Yes, but debt-to-income or credit score are not considered
Cosigner Required? Yes, unless borrower has a strong credit history No, but borrower may not have an adverse credit history
Loan Fees Typically 0% to 5%, but varies by lender and borrower 4.236% (first disbursed on or after 10/1/19 and before 10/1/20)
Repayment Plans Vary by lender Many options available
Suspending Repayment Typically 1 year of forbearance, depending on lender 3 years of deferment and 3 years of forbearance available, if eligibility requirements are met
Cancelling Repayment Very limited options Some forgiveness and discharge options available
Eligible for Public Service Loan Forgiveness No Grad PLUS Loans: Yes; Parent PLUS Loans: No
Eligible for Income-Based Repayment No Grad PLUS Loans: Yes; Parent PLUS Loans: No

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