What you need to know
WHO MIGHT APPLY FOR A PRIVATE LOAN?
Private Student Loans may be a viable option for students who:
- Are ineligible for federal student loans (Direct Loans, Perkins Loans, Direct PLUS),
- Require additional funding beyond the financial aid that has been offered, or
- Owe a balance to the TIU Student Accounting Office for prior year attendance. (Federal legislation prohibits an institution from using federal financial aid funds from a current academic year to pay a prior balance in excess of $200. If you are unable to pay for a prior balance using your own funds, you may wish to explore the option of a private student loan.)
PRIVATE STUDENT LOANS AS A LAST RESORT
Private student loans should be considered as an option of last resort, after all other resources, including federal student aid, have been exhausted. Educational debt should be very carefully considered and limited to amounts needed to fill a gap between cost and other sources of finances.
TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF PRIVATE LOANS
Terms and conditions of private student loans vary according to the loan providers. Look for differences in interest rates, fees, credit checks, co-signer requirements, loan limits and terms of repayment. Students are encouraged to engage in smart consumerism practices and evaluate each loan product closely prior to choosing a lender. For additional help in knowing how to evaluate lenders, visit Mapping Your Future’s Private Loan Guide.
Please note that private student loans are not eligible for loan consolidation programs through the federal government.
FINDING A PRIVATE LOAN PROVIDER
Many, but not all, lenders participate in private student loan programs. TIU maintains a historical list of lenders who have provided loans to TIU students within the last 3-5 years. This list, with links to lender websites, is provided for your convenience and is in no way intended as an endorsement of a particular lender(s). Please be aware that you are not obligated to apply for a private student loan, nor are you obligated to choose a lender included on this list. We urge you to consider carefully your decision to take out a private student loan and your choice of a private student loan provider.
APPLYING FOR A PRIVATE STUDENT LOAN
- Be sure to first complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) in order to determine your eligibility for federal loans.
- Each private student loan provider may have its own process for completing a private loan application. However, in each case, you must first complete a Private Education Loan Applicant Self-Certification Form and return it to your lender. This form can also be obtained directly from a lender’s website. Your private student loan application cannot be processed without this form. This form will ask the applicant to provide various kinds of information, including the cost of attendance and other forms/amounts of financial aid received. Cost of attendance information is available above, or may be obtained by contacting the TIU Financial Aid Office.
- Consider applying with a credit worthy co-signer. While a co-signer is not always required, doing so may increase the likelihood of loan approval, and of receiving a more favorable interest rate.
- The lender will conduct a pre-approval credit investigation and notify the applicant (and co-signer) of approval or denial. If approved, the student (and co-signer) will need to review the Master Promissory Note, sign and return it to the lender.
- TIU is required to certify the loan, and will be notified by the lender of a pending certification request.
- Under the Private Loan Regulations (Title X), private lenders must provide disclosures to students at three different times about the terms and conditions of the loan:
- At time of application;
- After initial approval by the lender;
- Upon consummation of the loan. This last disclosure mandates a three-day ‘right-to-cancel’ period before the loan may be disbursed to the school.
- Once approved, the proceeds of the student loan will be deposited into your TIU student account and applied against any remaining charges. Any credit balance is available for withdrawal.