When considering private loans from a personal finance standpoint, it is extremely important that you have first exhausted all other financing options such as grants, scholarships, and all types of federal student loan options. Without excellent credit histories, you will likely need to find willing and creditworthy individuals to co-sign your private loan applications. Applying with a worthy co-signer will likely increase your chances of approval and partially lower your interest rate.
We recommend you request a free copy of your credit report from each of the three credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) at www.annualcreditreport.com, as you are entitled annually by law. While you will be required to pay a fee to each one of the three credit bureaus to obtain your actual credit score(s), it is important to at least check your credit report(s) annually for any errors or illegal use.
Please refer to the Private Loan application process below. If you have any additional questions you may contact the Financial Aid Office for more information.
Make sure you have completed the FAFSA, accepted your annual maximum in Direct Federal Student Loans, and exhausted all other financing options first.
Take time to learn more about the different lender options and any regulations associated with private loans. If you are having trouble choosing a lender, view the list of preferred lenders that we have compiled on FASTChoice! This list is created by a board of professionals, comprised of competitive lenders, and reviewed biannually. Lenders are added, or removed, based on criteria about historical data collected and information provided about specific loan products.
This list is created by a board of professional and is comprised of lenders that the board has deemed competitive. This list is reviewed biannually and lenders are added, or removed, based on criteria about historical data collected and information provided about specific loan products. Carefully review and compare the loan information on FASTChoice, and apply with the lender that best suits your eligibility and needs. You may also use a lender that is not on the list.
Private Loan Regulations
Regulation Z Requirements | Private Loan Regulations (Title X of the Higher Education Opportunity Act): As of February 14, 2010, both private lenders and institutions offering private loans to students must comply with a new set of regulations per the Federal Reserve Board. Under the new laws, a lender offering private loans for postsecondary educational expenses must first provide a disclosure about loan terms and features at the time of application and must disclose information about federal student loan programs that may offer less costly alternatives.
If the initial application reaches an approval status, a second loan disclosure statement must be provided to the student at that time. If a student accepts the loan terms provided in the second disclosure statement, a third final disclosure must be provided when the loan is consummated.
An additional piece of the new private loan regulations requires an applicant to complete a “self-certification form” and return it to the lender before they may disburse the loan to the school. The “self-certification form” may be found on the lender’s website. Each private lender may have a slightly different application process, so it is best to contact your private loan lender directly if you have any questions.
Last, a lender must provide the student with a 3 day rescission or “right-to-cancel” period after the final loan disclosure form is sent to the student. The 3 day rescission period means that once the school has certified your loan and it is ready to be disbursed, there is a mandatory 3 business day waiting period before the lender may disburse loan funds to the school. If a lender only offers a mailed Final Disclosure (not online), then they must wait 6 days to disburse the loan to the school (3 days for mail time and an additional 3 day “rescission or “right-to-cancel” period).
Apply online with the lender of your choice. You, and/or your co-signer, will receive the Application Disclosure Statement and the Self-Certification form that must be completed and returned to the lender.
The lender, with whom with you and/or co-signer applied with, will conduct a pre-approval credit investigation and notify the applicant(s) as to approval or denial. If approved by a lender for a private loan, you, and/or co-signer, will need to review the Master Promissory Note (MPN) for accuracy, sign, and return to the lender. Most lenders offer an e-sign option online in place of the MPN.
You, and/or co-signer, will receive a Final Disclosure Statement. This will allow you up to three (3) days to cancel the loan before it is disbursed to the school.
The loan proceeds will be sent directly to the PBA and will be applied to your account to clear any balances. Any remaining funds will be refunded directly to the borrower.
You will need to renew your Private Loan application with your lender each academic year.
Loans for International Students
While you may not be eligible for federal aid, international students have options to help make PBA affordable for you. Some private loan solutions may be available to you via Student Loans For International Students – MPOWER Financing