University of California, Santa Barbara

Students and parents are often apprehensive about borrowing loans. While it is important to be cautious of irresponsible borrowing, loans are considered an integral part of a student's Financial Aid package. Please carefully review the different types of loans available below and consider each one as a viable option for financing a college education.

Federal student loans are available to most students regardless of income and provide a range of repayment options including income-based repayment plans and loan forgiveness benefits, which other education loans are not required to provide.

We strongly encourage students to use the Financial Awareness Counseling available through the Department of Education. This tool can be a great help for students to manage their finances and student-related debt.

  • Parent PLUS Loan

    UCSB participates in the Federal Direct Loan program. Funds for the Direct PLUS Parent Loans are provided by the U.S. government directly to parents. Direct loans provide a variety of deferment options and extended repayment terms.

    Interest Rate and Repayment

    The interest rate for a Parent PLUS Loan is fixed at 6.41%. Repayment begins 60 days after the final disbursement of the loan. For example, if a parent borrows a Parent PLUS Loan for their student's first year at college, and the student receives one-third of the loan amount for each quarter (Fall, Winter, Spring), repayment on the loan will begin 60 days after the final third of the loan amount disburses to the student in Spring quarter. Repayment would not begin after the student leaves school, even if the parent borrows a Parent PLUS Loan each year their student is in college.

    If a parent is unable to make loan payments, they may apply for a deferment or forbearance, including a deferment while their student is enrolled at least half-time in college. Visit the Direct Loans website for more information.

    How to Apply

    Parents apply for the Parent PLUS Loan at In order to log into the website, a parent will need their social security number, date of birth, federal student aid PIN, and their student's loan eligibility (see below). Our office receives daily electronic updates for completed loan applications. Please allow five business days for our office to process the loan.

    While applying for the loan, a parent will be asked for the amount they would like to borrow. Parents should ask students to provide them with the PLUS loan eligibility listed on their Financial Aid Award Letter, accessible through My Aid Status. Also, please be aware that the lender charges an origination fee, which is taken out of the proceeds of your loan.

    Parents should carefully consider the disbursement method for their PLUS loan. While applying for the loan, parents will be given two disbursement options (view the disbursement question):

    • Student: The PLUS loan is disbursed to the student's billing account (BARC). Proceeds from the loan first pay any university fees currently charged to the BARC account and the remaining amount is then "refunded" to the student either through direct deposit or a check. This disbursement method is highly encouraged.
    • Parent: The proceeds of the loan are mailed as a check to the parent borrower’s address during the second week of classes for that particular quarter. These checks are not mailed until after the fees on the student's BARC account are paid or deferred. In other words, the check from the PLUS loan will not be available in time to pay for university fees.
  • Deferment and Forbearance

    If you are unable to make your loan payments, you may want to consider deferment or forbearance. Visit the following websites for deferment or forbearance information related to specific types of loans:

  • Short Term Emergency Loan

    Emergency Loans allow students to receive an advance on their pending Financial Aid for the current quarter due to an emergency expense.

    How It Works

    An emergency loan will appear as a charge on your BARC account. Your pending Financial Aid will cover this charge when the aid credits to your BARC account.


    To apply for an Emergency Loan, you must:

    • Have paid or deferred all past due and current BARC changes
    • Have pending Financial Aid, excluding PLUS loans, for the current quarter that will eventually credit to your BARC account

    How to Apply

    To apply for an Emergency Loan, visit our office.

    You can apply for a maximum of $1000 and the loan will be issued as a check that you must pick up from the BARC office after 3PM on the following business day after you apply for the loan.