Private loans are bank loans for educational expenses and are not insured by the government. Private loans are made by a bank or lender (not the U.S. Department of Education), and many programs allow students to borrow up to the cost of attendance minus any financial aid received (including federal student loans). Terms of repayment vary depending upon the lending institution.
Lenders may perform a credit check to determine credit worthiness (income, employment, residency, etc.) before approving these loans. Some students may need a co-signer.
Because interest rates may be higher for private loans, it may be beneficial to complete a FAFSA to apply for and determine eligibility for federal loans and grants first, then borrow only what you need to pay the balance of your education costs.
Federal student loans are required by law to provide a range of flexible repayment options, including, but not limited to, income-based repayment and income-contingent repayment plans, and loan forgiveness benefits, which private student loans are not required to provide.
If you are interested in learning more about private loans, speak to your Student Support Advisor. For more information on specific private loan programs contact the lender of your choice. Note that you are not limited in your choice of lenders—feel free to shop around. See below to learn about the application process.
The application process for private loans: