Private Alternative Lenders

Important Private Loan Information

  • Students are strongly encouraged to pursue all other types of aid, including federal loans, before applying for a private loan.  Grant money is free and federal loans have a lower, fixed interest rate.
  • A student who has exhausted all other financial aid options may want to consider applying for an alternative educational loan.
  • Students may apply for this type of loan on their own if credit-worthy.  If not, a credit-worthy cosigner will be required.
  • Students may borrow up to total cost of attendance minus other aid received.
  • Payments are deferred as long as the student remains enrolled at least half-time.  Interest does accrue while in school.  The student is strongly encouraged to pay the interest while in school.

Disclosures lenders must provide to borrowers

  • Application and Solicitation Disclosure – Provided when an application is initiated.
  • Borrower Self-Certification Form – Each private loan lender must obtain a signed and completed self-certification form from the borrower BEFORE disbursements can be made.  Although this form should be given to the student by the lender when the initial Application and Solicitation Disclosure is sent, you may obtain a copy of the self-certification form from us.
  • Loan Approved Disclosure – Sent after credit is approved.  This disclosure provides information about terms of the loan.  The borrower must actively accept the loan term within 30 days of receipt of disclosure for the application to proceed.
  • Final Disclosure – Sent after the borrower has accepted the terms of the loan and after the school has certified the loan amount (occurs prior to disbursement).  The loan cannot be disbursed to the school until up to 9 days have passed from the lender sending disclosures to the borrower.

Private Education Loans

Though we encourage students to utilize Federal Work Study Employment opportunities and summer earnings to finance their education, we realize there are some situations where students need to borrow beyond this.  It is our goal to help each student understand the financial obligations they commit themselves to when borrowing.  When selecting a private loan lender, carefully examine the rates and terms associated with the loan.  The borrower’s and/or co-borrower’s credit will be examined to determine approval of the loan.  Eligibility of the loan amount applied for will be determined by cost of education minus the total of financial aid received.

Private Loan Refinancing

If you borrowed to pay for college, it is important to remember that student loans have to be repaid. Refinancing is one option to consider as you begin repayment.

Refi loans combine all your private student loans and possibly federal student loans into one loan and on payment with an interest rate based on your current situation. This option may reduce the amount you pay and/or provide a more manageable monthly payment amount.

Please Note:  If you combine federal loans with private loans, make sure you clearly understand any impact to losing federal loan repayment benefits.

Applying for a Private Loan

Listed below are two application tools that will provide access to multiple lenders.  Both the INvestEd Marketplace and Elm Select will allow you to compare lenders and rates for possible alternative loans.  As a borrower, you have the option to select any lender you choose.  We recommend that you select a lender included in one of the tools below in order to ensure your loans are processed as quickly and smoothly as possible.  Please understand that we will process a loan with a lender that is not listed.  If you have any questions regarding the process used to select the lenders included in the INvestEd Marketplace or in Elm Select, please contact our office.