Affordable Choice, Unbeatable Value - Financial Aid

Credit Based Education Loans

Choosing the correct loan


Your initial financial aid award package may be insufficient to cover all your academic year charges. If this proves to be true after performing an academic year budget analysis you may consider applying for additional credit based loans. There are two categories of credit based loans that students and their supporting individuals may consider:

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Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan

Direct Parent PLUS Loans are federal loans that parents of dependent undergraduate students can use to help pay education expenses. The individual applying for the loan must be the parent (biological, adoptive, or in some cases, stepparent) of a dependent undergraduate student enrolled at least half-time (6 hours minimum during the Fall and Spring terms and 3 hours minimum during the Summer term). The parent borrower may not have adverse credit history and must meet the general eligibility requirements for federal student aid. The student must also meet these eligibility requirements as the beneficiary of the loan. Specific details relating to the terms of the Parent PLUS Loan program, as well as current interest rates and repayment options, can be found on the Federal Student Aid website here.

We recommend that you wait until after April 1, 2016 to apply for a PLUS loan for the 2016-2017 academic year. Applying too early for a PLUS loan could cause your credit check to expire before the loan is processed.

To apply for a Direct Parent PLUS Loan the parent borrower must:

  1. Complete the FAFSA with your student.
  2. Determine the amount to borrow based on your student’s award notification and the Cost Information Worksheet.
  3. Log on to the Federal Student Loan website to complete the Federal Parent PLUS Direct Loan Application, submit to a credit check, and complete the Direct Parent PLUS Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN). You will need your FSA ID used to sign your child's FAFSA to access both items.
  4. Access, complete and submit the MSU Parent PLUS Loan Application.

NOTE: YOU MUST COMPLETE THE ONLINE CREDIT CHECK BEFORE SUBMITTING THE PARENT PLUS APPLICATION. FAILURE TO COMPLETE THE CREDIT CHECK WILL DELAY PROCESSING.

Certifying your loan

Completing these steps will indicate the amount you wish to borrow and will provide the office of student financial aid with the information needed to certify the loan—a process which is completed electronically. When we are notified of your credit approval, we will schedule disbursements according to established policy each semester after your student registers for classes.

If the credit check is not approved, we will notify your student of additional unsubsidized loan eligibility. Your student will be required to accept the additional unsubsidized loan funds from the PLUS denial either on My Missouri State or by submitting an Adjustment to Direct Loans Form. If you receive a credit denial after completing the Parent PLUS Direct Loan Application on the federal website, the Missouri State form needs to be submitted with the word “Denied” written on the loan amount requested line.

Cancelling a Direct Parent PLUS Loan

Complete and submit the Aid Cancellation or Reduction Request Form.

Alternative Loans

Alternative Loans are private loans designed to help students with educational expenses that exceed other available assistance. Various lenders provide different types of loans as well as broad terms and interest rates. For this reason, we advise all borrowers considering alternative loans to research the market and choose the loan program that is right for their specific circumstances. These loans are credit based and as such are not guaranteed to all borrowers. Additionally, they cannot be consolidated with Federal Student Loans and the interest rates are based on credit and lender policy.

It is equally important to note that various lenders make loans available to different types of borrowers. Some alternative loans require the student to be the borrower, though allowing co-signers if the student's credit is insufficient to qualify. Other loans allow parents or other supporting individuals to borrow loan funds on the student's behalf. It is important to understand who the borrower would be for each alternative loan considered.

Missouri State University's FASTChoice Preferred Lender List is a tool for you to compare the benefits and services of lenders that have provided alternative loans to our students in the past. Missouri State University does not endorse or promote any lenders that offer private alternative loans. A list of lenders is provided based on product, performance and customer service. Missouri State University does not have any agreements with these lenders, nor do we receive any benefits from the use of their private loans by our students. The lenders names are provided in random rotating order. If you wish to use an alternative loan lender that is not on this list, you have the right to do so.

IMPORTANT NOTE: It is the policy of the Financial Aid Office at Missouri State University that a student MUST be enrolled at least HALF-TIME in current grade level courses at Missouri State before an alternative loan will be processed for the student.

IMPORTANT NOTE: If a student is requesting alternative loan funds to pay a past-due account balance from a previous term at Missouri State University (known as a retroactive loan), the loan funds certified cannot exceed the account balance owed by the borrower for that term. No refunds are issued to borrowers when processing retroactive loans. Additionally, students must have completed a minimum of half-time current grade level courses for the term(s) in question to qualify for a retroactive loan.