A nongovernment loan option for anyone
If you aren’t eligible for federal aid or weren’t awarded as much federal aid as you actually need, you or your parents might consider taking out a private student loan through a bank, credit union, or other lender.
You should always consider federal student loans before private loans:
- Federal loans are usually much more affordable.
- Federal loans allow you to put off repaying them until after you graduate.
Before you apply for a private loan, complete your FAFSA to see if you qualify for a federal loan.
Requirements vary based on the lender, but in general you must:
- Have a good credit history or a co-signer with a good credit history
- Be enrolled at least half time
- Undergraduate: 6+ credit hours
- Graduate: 4+ credit hours
What your loan pays for
Remember, you can borrow only up to your estimated cost of attendance, minus any other financial aid you receive. You can use private student loans to pay for your tuition, fees, room and board, books, and other education-related expenses. Any funds that remain after these items are paid will be refunded to you.
Learn strategies to borrow less
Repaying your loan
Depending on the terms of your loan, you may be required to start repaying the loan before you finish your education.
Learn more about repaying your loan
Know your rights
Lenders who provide private loans must comply with these Truth in Lending Act requirements:
- Your lender must provide three separate loan disclosures to you:
- One when you apply
- One when your loan is approved
- One before your funds are made available
- Three business days must pass between the time you receive the final disclosure and the time your funds are made available.
- You must submit a signed self-certification form to the lender before your funds can be made available.
Your lender should provide you with a self-certification form that includes your application ID. You’ll need to know your cost of attendance and estimated financial assistance. If you receive financial aid, this information is available through View/Manage My Financial Aid Information