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Parent Loan Comparison

Most Northwestern parents choose the Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan because it allows for in-school deferment, which is not a feature offered with the Northwestern Parent Loan. Below we have outlined some of the main differences between the two parent loan programs so that you may consider them side-by-side.
  Federal Parent PLUS Loan Northwestern Parent Loan
Borrower Parents of dependent students can borrow this federal credit-based loan. The U.S. Department of Education is the lender. Parents or legal guardians are the primary borrowers of this credit-based loan, which is administered by Northwestern University's Student Finance Loan Department.
Minimum/Maximum Loan Amount No minimum loan amount  
The maximum loan amount is Northwestern’s cost of attendance less other financial aid received.
There is a minimum loan amount of $2,000 for this loan. 

The maximum loan amount is Northwestern’s annual cost of attendance less other financial aid received.
Interest Rate Fixed variable and rate is announced June 1 for the upcoming academic year. 7.54% for 2022-23. 8.05% for 2023-24

The rate is variable and may change each year on September 1.
 2023-24: The interest rate is 6.5%.

Fees 4.228% of the total loan amount as an origination fee on loans first disbursed after October 1, 2020 and before October 1, 2024. There are no application or origination fees
Repayment/Deferment Repayment begins 60 days after the final disbursement. Parents may choose to defer payments on a PLUS loan until six months after the date the student ceases to be enrolled at least half time. Accruing interest could either be paid by the parent borrower monthly or quarterly, or be capitalized quarterly. Deferment not available. Repayment begins 45 days after the initial disbursement
Denial Options If the parent is denied a PLUS loan, the student may be eligible to borrow additional funds through the Federal Unsubsidized Stafford Loan program. None
Aggregate Limit None Families of undergraduate students are not to exceed a cumulative loan debt equal to the cost of tuition for four years.
Consolidation Eligible for Federal Loan Consolidation None