Before borrowing a private loan, carefully consider your debt and repayment obligations on all loans. Determine how much you need to borrow by working out a budget for your educational costs and subtracting all of your available resources for those costs.
Borrow only what you need. You should not – and may not be permitted to – enter into a private loan for more than your cost of attendance for the period of enrollment (usually the school year) minus any federal, state, and institutional aid you have been or will be awarded for that period.
The NSLDS lets you view a summary of all of your federal student loans and obtain the contact information for the holders and servicers of your loans
If you decide to apply for a private loan, here are the steps to follow to begin the application process:
- Contact your school’s financial aid office to inform them of your interest in a private loan and to obtain a Private Education Loan Applicant Self-Certification Form.
- Check with your lender regarding an online application and promissory note process. Ask what documentation the lender needs to determine whether you qualify for the loan. If an online promissory note is not available and the lender instead sends you a paper promissory note and a Private Education Loan Applicant Self-Certification Form, follow the directions for completing and returning the forms. The promissory note describes your rights and responsibilities associated with your private loan.
- Your lender will provide you with several loan disclosures before funding your private loan. Read them carefully, as they provide you with important information about accepting and cancelling your loan. Upon approval of your loan, you’ll receive a disclosure from the lender that requires you to accept the terms and conditions of the loan within a specified deadline. At this point you should again consider whether you really need a private loan. Prior to disbursement of your loan, you’ll receive one last disclosure. You’ll have three business days after this disclosure to make your decision. After the three-day period, if you haven’t indicated that you want to cancel the loan, the lender will disburse your loan money.
- Contact your lender’s customer service center with questions regarding interest rates and loan terms.
- Be an informed borrower. Know the total amount you’ve borrowed, the interest rate applicable to your loans, and your repayment requirements for all of your loans. Maintain your application, promissory note, and other loan-related records in one place for easy access to all the documents about your loan obligations.
FFELP loans disbursed prior to , continue to be serviced according to the terms and conditions of the FFELP Master Promissory Note each borrower signed when they obtained their loans.
FFELP Purchased Loans
FFEL Purchased Loans are loans that lenders made under FFELP, but that were subsequently purchased by the US Department of Education (ED). These loans are commonly referred to as “PUT” loans.
ED, as the holder of FFEL Purchased Loans, assigns a servicer to handle the responsibilities associated with managing each loan. The servicer handles all requests associated with repayment plans, deferments, and forbearances; assists with questions concerning borrower accounts; and collects monthly student loan payments.
The school may try to meet that need by awarding grants, scholarships, college work study, and/or federal student loans. For many students, however, the amount of aid awarded by the school isn’t enough to enable them to pay all the costs of their education.
- Repayment incentives: Are there any rewards for a certain number of on-time payments in terms of principal reductions, interest rate reductions, or forgiveness of remaining balances below a certain amount?