The U.S. Department of Education announced that it will implement changes to the adverse credit history provisions for the determination of an applicant’s eligibility for a Direct PLUS Loan. The regulations added a requirement that PLUS Counseling must be completed by Direct PLUS Loan applicants (by parents of dependent undergraduate students as well as graduate/professional students) with an adverse credit history who qualify for a Direct PLUS Loan by obtaining an endorser who does not have an adverse credit history, or who document to the satisfaction of the Department that there are extenuating circumstances related to the adverse credit information.
The new PLUS Counseling requirement will apply to all Direct PLUS Loan applicants with an adverse credit decision date on or after March 29, 2015, regardless of the academic year or loan period associated with the Direct PLUS Loan. Applicants who are required to complete the new PLUS Loan counseling must do so on the StudentLoans.gov Web site. Note: The new mandatory PLUS counseling is a separate module and does not fulfill the entrance counseling requirement for first-time graduate/professional student Direct PLUS Loan applicants. Depending on a graduate/professional student’s circumstances, he/she may have to complete both modules.
Direct PLUS Loan applicants with an adverse credit decision date prior to March 29, 2015 will not be required to complete the new PLUS Counseling. The duration of a credit check has changed from 90 days to 180 days. The change to 180 days will also apply to credit checks performed prior to March 29, 2015.
The Department of Education will notify the Direct PLUS Loan applicant of any adverse credit decisions and the requirement to complete the mandatory PLUS counseling. Any questions should be directed to [email protected]
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