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Document incorrect information

Review the adverse credit decision for any mistakes. If the information that is resulting in adverse credit is incorrect, you’ll need to document this for the U.S Department of Education and appeal the loan denial.

Bring delinquent accounts current

If you’ve been denied a Parent PLUS Loan because of an adverse action from a delinquent account, you can fix this by making payments to bring that account current. Once you do that you can either re-apply for the Parent PLUS Loan or explain it as an extenuating circumstance. If you re-apply for the Parent PLUS Loan, you may need to wait until the change in the delinquent account’s status is reflected in your credit report.

Have another parent apply

Is there another parent who can apply for the loan? Remember, biological or adoptive parents are eligible for a Parent PLUS loan. Stepparents may be able to apply in some cases, which is an option to consider.

If the other parent doesn’t have an adverse credit history, they may qualify for a Parent PLUS Loan.

Consider private lenders

You may want to consider private student loans and private parent loans. The credit criteria for private loans differ from the U.S. Department of Education. Some lenders, such as credit unions and community banks, may be more flexible than the U.S. Department of Education. If you’ve been denied a Parent PLUS loan because of adverse credit history, another lender may determine that the issue shouldn’t keep you from being approved for a loan.  


Apply for Additional Direct Unsubsidized Loans

If obtaining a Parent PLUS loan isn’t an option, but your student still needs extra money for college, they may be able to qualify for additional federal student loans.

Dependent students whose parents don’t qualify for a Parent PLUS Loan may qualify for additional unsubsidized Federal Direct Stafford Loans, the same limits as are available to independent students.

While you aren’t the borrower, your child is still able to receive the additional funds that they need to pay for their education.

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Saving For College is an unbiased, independent resource for parents and financial professionals, providing them with information and tools to understand the benefits of 529 college savings plans and how to meet the challenge of increasing college costs.