Private Loans

Private Loan Lenders

Private educational loans, also known as alternative loans, are available to students who are not eligible for financial aid or who need additional funds to meet educational expenses; however, Federal Title IV funds may be more favorable than private loans. The student's eligibility is determined by the cost of attendance minus other financial aid or the annual loan maximum amount as determined by the lender.

Because alternative loans are not guaranteed by the federal government, they must be insured privately. This extra cost is passed on to the borrower in the form of higher fees and interest rates. Additionally, the lender will evaluate your credit history as well as other factors to determine if they will lend to you. You may be denied by one lender and approved by another because of the different ways they interpret your information.

The Office of Financial Aid does not post or verbalize to students the names of private loan lenders. Students are encouraged to visit multiple lenders’ web pages to verify the interest rate, repayment options, fees charged, and borrower benefits. Our office does not endorse any lenders, receive any incentives, or have any arrangements or agreements with any lenders.

Considerations Before Accepting a Private Loans

  • If eligible, accept Federal Direct Student Loans first. They have fixed interest rates and various repayment options. The FAFSA must be filed to be considered for Federal Direct Student Loans.
  • We encourage students to consider all financial options before applying for a private loan. Whenever possible, borrow only what is needed to pay for educational expenses and remember – you can always refuse awarded loan amounts or request lower awards.
  • Questions to ask a potential lender:
    • What is the interest rate? Is it fixed or variable?
    • How is the interest rate calculated and capitalized?
    • What fees are applied?
    • Can principal and interest be deferred?
    • Are there minimum enrollment requirements?
    • Is a cosigner required?
    • When does repayment begin?