Private Loans

Private loans are designed to meet costs not covered by other forms of financial aid. Students are encouraged to pursue Federal student loans (if eligible) and outside scholarships before applying for private student loans.

Credit-Based Approval

Approval for private loans is based on an individual’s credit worthiness. Students who do not meet a lender’s credit qualifications may need to apply with a credit-worthy co-signer. Interest rates, grace periods, repayment options and fees are determined by the lender and can vary considerably from lender to lender.

Because these loans are approved by lenders based on your credit history, we strongly encourage you to review your credit report prior to applying. You may receive a free credit report once every 12 months by following the steps listed on the FTC Consumer website.

Disclosures and Self-Certification

Title X of HEOA – the Private Student Loan Transparency and Improvement Act – contains information regarding the three loan disclosure forms that are provided by the federal government. The acceptance of these disclosure forms is available to borrowers through the private loan application.

A borrower self-certification form is required to be completed, signed and submitted to the lender before loans can be disbursed. Lenders will provide students with a blank self-certification form by mail and/or online.

Lenders must allow sufficient time for an applicant to receive the Final Disclosure. The Final Disclosure outlines the three business day rescission period, allowing applicants a final opportunity to evaluate their needs for a private student loan and/or cancel the loan without penalty. Based on the time for an applicant to receive the Final Disclosure and carry out the rescission period, a lender will not disburse funds until approximately seven days after the Final Disclosure is issued.

Borrowers should always review the current information and benefits at the lender’s website when selecting a lender.

Disbursements and Refunds

Private student loan funds are disbursed to the College electronically.  All aid - including private student loans - must run through your student account. If the private student loan generates a credit balance on the student account, Student and Departmental Account Services will refund the amount of the credit balance back to you, the borrower/student.

How to Apply

To apply for a private educational loan, you will need to choose a lender and submit an application with that lender. To assist students in searching for private educational loans, we have provided you with ElmSelect’s private loan search tool. This tool allows students to review and compare multiple lenders and loan products without first having to apply. Note that you are not required to choose a lender listed in ElmSelect.

Choosing a lender is an important decision. You are beginning a relationship with a loan provider who works with you for many years over the life of your loan. 

  • Use the ElmSelect search tool or apply directly with the lender of your choice.
  • Private loan funds will be evenly divided over your academic year unless the loan period given on your application indicates differently.

Many lenders offer borrower benefits and incentives for repayment. Review the current benefits as well as interest rate, fees, and repayment requirements when you select a lender.

Feel free to print out the Questions to Ask guide to direct your research.