Federal Grad PLUS Credit Review, Denial & Remediation Options

A credit review is performed by the Department of Education when the Financial Aid Office submits a Grad PLUS loan origination record to the loan processor. 

As part of the enrollment planning process, applicants are strongly encouraged to review their credit history to ensure it is in good standing.  A credit report may be obtained via www.annualcreditreport.com. Report any errors to the credit bureau(s) and continue to use credit wisely.

The school and the student will be notified by the loan processor when a loan is not approved as a result of the the student having an adverse credit history.  While loan denial is a serious concern, many students are able to remediate credit denials. 

The steps necessary to reconcile a loan denial will be communicated to the student from the Department of Education and are also outlined below.  More detailed information is available on the https://studentloans.gov website.

OPTION 1: Seek a Credit Appeal

The Department of Education allows borrowers whose credit was denied the opportunity to document either of the following situations:

Borrowers may appeal the credit decision through one of these means.

  • Log in to www.studentloans.gov and select “Document Extenuating Circumstances” on the left navigation bar. Follow the directions and a representative from the Department of Education’s Applicant Services will contact you with further instructions.
  • Contact the Student Loan Support Center at 1-800-557-7394 between 8a to 8p, Monday through Friday. During the automated introductory message, please dial “3” for more information about appealing the credit decision.

OPTION 2: Utilize an Endorser

An endorser is someone who does not have an adverse credit history and agrees to repay the loan if the borrower does not repay it. The endorser must be 18 years of age or older and must be a U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident.

If you choose to obtain an endorser:

For students who have been previously approved for a Grad PLUS and have now been denied, you will also be required to complete a new Master Promissory Note (MPN).

Any additional PLUS borrowing during the academic year will require a new MPN and endorser addendum (the same endorser can be used).


In addition to pursuing one of the options above, you will be required to complete PLUS Credit Counseling, which is different than the Loan Entrance Counseling you may have already completed.  The first step will be to determine which remediation option is best for your circumstances, followed by completing PLUS Credit Counseling, which you will be able to complete via https://studentloans.gov.   This is sometimes an overlooked requirement, but the school cannot disburse the GradPLUS, even with a credit override, until we receive confirmation from the processor that PLUS Credit Counseling has been completed. The school will receive the results electronically when the requirement has been met.