Federal Master Promissory Note (MPN) Questions

What is the MPN?

The Master Promissory Note (MPN) is a legal document in which you promise to repay your loan(s) and any accrued interest and fees to the U.S. Department of Education. It also explains the terms and conditions of your loan(s); for instance, it will include information on how interest is calculated, when interest is charged, available repayment plans, and deferment and cancellation provisions.

When do I sign my MPN?

You must sign your MPN before you receive your loan funds. If you are taking out a Direct Loan, you must sign an MPN under any of the following circumstances:

  • You have never previously signed an MPN for the type of loan you are taking out.
  • Your school requires you to sign a new MPN each academic year (most schools don't require this).
  • You signed an MPN more than one year ago, but no loan was disbursed.
  • You signed an MPN more than 10 years ago.

For Direct PLUS Loans, if you have an adverse credit history and have to obtain an endorser, you may receive only one loan under the MPN that you sign. If you later want to receive another Direct PLUS Loan, you must sign a new MPN. If you sign an MPN and receive a Direct PLUS Loan without an endorser, but are later determined to have an adverse credit history and obtain an endorser for a future Direct PLUS Loan, you’ll have to sign a new MPN for that loan.

NOTE: Parent borrowers must sign a separate MPN for each student for whom they are borrowing.

How do I sign my MPN?

To complete an MPN online, you will need a username and password called your FSA ID. If you are a parent completing a Direct PLUS Loan MPN online, you must use your own FSA ID and not your child's FSA ID.

The entire MPN process must be completed in a single session on the StudentLoans.gov website, so be sure you have enough time before you start. Each MPN takes approximately 30 minutes to complete.

The MPN process consists of four steps:

  1. Enter your personal and school information.
  2. Enter information about your references.
  3. Read the terms and conditions.
  4. Review, electronically sign, and submit the MPN.

What do I do after I have completed a MPN?

Your school's financial aid office will be notified of the completion and will contact you if further action is needed.

Before your loans are disbursed, you'll receive a disclosure statement from the U.S. Department of Education or your school.

Does the MPN mean I don't have to reapply for a student loan each year?

No. The MPN is only a promise to pay, so each year you must reapply for your loan by completing a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or an alternative school application process. The multi-year feature of the MPN allows you to receive future Federal Direct Loans without completing and signing additional promissory notes as long as you:

  • Remain eligible for Federal Direct Stafford Loans.
  • Did not use an endorser to obtain approval for your loan.