Parent FAQ

Am I eligible for a PA Forward Parent Loan?

To qualify, you must:

  • Be a PA resident or a resident of an approved state (DE, MD, NJ, NY, OH, VA, and WV) and be the biological, adoptive parent, or
    legal guardian

    Legal Guardian

    Anyone who is providing support to a dependent student.

    of the student; or
  • Be the spouse of the student’s parent and considered to be a parent in accordance with the instructions on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) for the purposes of reporting income and assets on the FAFSA
  • Have a student who is attending an
    approved school

    Approved School

    Federally-approved educational institution under Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965

    in or out of PA or a student from an approved state (DE, MD, NJ, NY, OH, VA, and WV) attending an approved PA school
  • Have an undergraduate student who is enrolled or plans to be enrolled at least half-time in a degree, certificate, or diploma granting program
  • All borrowers must be citizens or permanent residents of the United States
  • Be a borrower who meets the minimum credit requirements

While the PA Forward Parent Loan and the federal parent PLUS loan help parents and guardians pay for their student's higher education costs, the PA Forward option is a better value. See how our parent loan compares to the federal parent PLUS loan.

How much can I borrow?
  • Each year, you may borrow up to 100% certified cost of attendance (tuition, fees, room, board, books, transportation expenses, and miscellaneous expenses) minus any financial aid your student is receiving (including other loans and work-study) as certified by your student’s financial aid office.
  • Aggregate loan limits

    Aggregate loan limits

    Total amount of PA Forward Student Loans borrowed and disbursed during a student’s academic career.

    for a PA Forward Student Loan ($150,000) apply.
  • The minimum loan amount is $1,500.

No, there is no pre-payment penalty and no application, origination, or late fees.


You can be granted a full refund within 120 days of disbursement.

What is the interest rate on the PA Forward Parent Loan?

We offer competitive, fixed interest rates, which means you never need to worry about your interest rate going up! Check out the rate range today.


Yes, PA Forward has an interest rate reward when you enroll in our free, automatic electronic payment service (Direct Debit) where you could save a total of 0.25% off your fixed interest rate upon Direct Debit approval!

What is Direct Debit?

Direct Debit is a free, automated payment service. It's not only convenient—you don't have to write a check or pay for a stamp—you will also qualify for a 0.25% interest rate reduction when you are approved for Direct Debit.

What are my repayment plan options?
  • Immediate Repayment- If you want to get a head start on paying back your loan right away, this is the option to choose. With this option you will:
    • Be eligible for the lowest interest rate available
    • Pay your loan off earlier by making principal and interest payments while your student is in school
    • Pay the least amount of interest over the life of the loan compared to the other repayment plan options
    NOTE: Your first payment will be due within 30 to 60 days after the date of your final


    Disbursement is the transfer of loan funds from a lender to the school

  • Interest Only- If you want to avoid
    interest capitalization

    Interest Capitalization

    Capitalization is the addition of unpaid interest to the principal balance of a loan. Capitalization of interest results in a higher principal balance and additional finance charges over the course of repayment and may cause your monthly amount to increase.

    this is the repayment option for you! With this option you will:
    • Be responsible to pay the accrued interest while your student is enrolled in school
    • Enter repayment with the starting principal balance of the original amount you borrowed
    NOTE: Interest payments will begin 30 to 60 days after the loan’s first disbursement. Full payments, payments made toward principal and interest, will not begin until the student leaves school or drops below half-time.

The minimum monthly payment for a PA Forward Parent Loan is $50.00 a month, unless you select the Interest Only repayment plan. You have the option to choose between three terms1 to make repayment fit your needs:

  • 5 years
  • 10 years
  • 15 years

NOTE: The longer your term, the more interest you could pay over the life of the loan.

Examples of rates and repayment terms

What do I need to apply?

Below are the items you should have ready when filling out your application:

  • Name, address, and telephone number
  • Date of birth and Social Security number
  • Email address
  • Name and location of the school your student plans on attending
  • Annual income
  • Grade level and anticipated graduation date
  • Academic period for which you would like to receive the loan
  • Mobile phone to receive one-time passcode for electronic signature
How do I save money on simple interest loans?

There are three easy ways to save money on your loan:

  • Pay early: If you make your payment before your due date, more of the payment will be applied toward principal.
  • Pay more frequently: Making payments more frequently, such as making biweekly payments, can help lower your principal balance and interest amount paid. By making payments every 2 weeks you end up making an extra full payment a year.
  • Pay extra: Making a
    lump sum

    Lump Sum

    An amount paid all at once, that is equal to two or more monthly installment payments.

    or paying more than your monthly payment can lower your principal faster, which means you accrue less interest.

1 Repayment Terms (No interest rate discounts were applied to these examples.):

  • A borrower of a $10,000 loan who selects a 5-year (60 months) repayment term may receive an APR between 4.76% and 8.82%, monthly principal and interest payments between $187.66 and $206.86, and a total amount repaid between $11,259.63 and $15,803.88.
  • A borrower of a $10,000 loan who selects a 10-year (120 months) repayment term may receive an APR between 5.96% and 9.32%, monthly principal and interest payments between $110.87 and $128.58, and a total amount repaid between $13,304.39 and $19,013.49.
  • A borrower of a $10,000 loan who selects a 15-year (180 months) repayment term may receive an APR between 6.45% and 10.06%, monthly principal and interest payments between $86.95 and $108.07, and a total amount repaid between $15,650.26 and $23,324.83.

NOTE: Subject to aggregate loan limits.

The PA Forward Student Loan Program is a credit-based loan program. Applicants are subject to credit qualifications, completion of an application and credit agreement, and verification of application information. PHEAA uses applicant FICO score to determine eligibility and interest rates. Higher credit scores may mean an applicant is offered a lower interest rate.

PHEAA reserves the right to discontinue all programs or benefits without prior notice.

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