The federal Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS) is offered by the Department of Education.  The loan is in the parent's name.  Alternative loans are offered by several different lenders.  The loan is in the student's name along with a co-signer.  

The table below highlights some of the differences between the two loan programs.  Feel free to contact the Office of Student Financial Assistance for additional information.  



Parent Loan



Alternative Loan


Interest Rate


Fixed at 7 percent; rate is set annually every July 1 by Department of Education 


Variable or fixed rate products. Rate is provided after an application has been submitted.





4.276 percent fee


Typically zero fees; check with lender to be informed.



Loan Limits


Up to cost of attendance minus financial aid awarded.



Amount is determined by lender; maximum is up to cost of attendance minus financial aid awarded. 



Application Process


Apply each year online at  Master promissory note (MPN) also needs to be completed for new borrowers.



Apply each year through lender's web site.  Xavier provides a lender list which can be accessed online at



Credit Requirements


Credit check is required.



Applicants and/or co-signers must meet minimum income and debt-to-income ratio requirements.





Repayment begins 60 days after the loan has been fully disbursed. Repayment may be postponed until after student graduates; contact servicer for more information.



Typical repayment begins after student graduates unless other option chosen.



Additional Requirements



Student must have FAFSA on file.


None unless notified by lender.