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You are here: Home / Types of Aid / Loans / Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan / If a Parent is in Default on a Federal Loan

If a Parent is in Default on a Federal Loan

Default is a legal term used when a borrower fails to repay a loan according to the terms of the signed promissory note.


When The National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) indicates that you are in DEFAULT on a federal student loan, a parent cannot receive federal financial aid until he or she resolves the default. Once you can show that the default has been resolved, you can re-apply for the PLUS loan.

The default may not show on your credit history when the credit check is performed, so in some cases, you may be preliminarily approved for the PLUS. However, once the school is notified that you have a FSA loan that is in default, your PLUS loan will be cancelled. In it's place we can offer the student an additional unsubsidized loan in the amount of $4000 or $5000 based on your student's grade-level.

Once you can show that your FSA default has been cleared, then you can re-apply for the PLUS loan. If approved, any additional unsubsidized loan that has not been disbursed, will be cancelled.

Below is a list of acceptable documentation which you may submit to Penn State to document that your defaulted loan has been resolved:

1. Paid In Full Letter

A letter from lender stating your loan has been paid in full and you are no longer in default.

2. Satisfactory Repayment Arrangement Letter

A parent in default on a federal student loan can be eligible for federal financial aid if he/she has made repayment arrangements that are satisfactory to the loan holder. After the student makes six consecutive, full, voluntary payments on time, he regains eligibility for federal financial aid. The parent must provide documentation by submitting a written statement from the loan holder indicating that the student has made satisfactory repayment arrangements as documentation of the arrangement.

3. Loans have been consolidated or are in deferment

A letter from the lender stating loans are in deferment or have been consolidated.


All default resolution letters must be from the holder of the loan or from the Department of Education call 1-800-621-3115 for assistance.

Although a parent can regain eligibility for all federal financial aid funds by making satisfactory repayment arrangements, the loan is still in default. After the parent makes more payments, the loan may be rehabilitated, that is, it will not be in default anymore.

For additional information about how to resolve a FSA loan in default visit:

Federal Loans and Default

Understanding Delinquency and Default


Penn State Federal School Code



Action Steps to Aid










Aid Calculator


Money Manager


Loan Repayment