Private loans are borrowed by the student through a non-federal lender, with each lender setting the terms and conditions of the loan. Most require a credit-worthy co-signor, with U.S. citizenship or permanent resident status.
PLUS Loan vs. Private Loan (chart)
Because of the more favorable interest rates and repayment terms of federal student loans, private loans should only be taken after all Stafford Loans have been used, and the PLUS (parent loan) has been considered. You are free to select any loan program you want to use. The loans on this page are provided as a service of our office and are not meant to endorse any particular loan program or lender.
The most commonly-used private loans by our students are, in alpha order:
State Loan Programs
|Maine||Massachusetts||Minnesota Option 1 Option 2 (2)|
|Montana (2)||New Jersey||North Dakota|
|Rhode Island||South Carolina||South Dakota (2)|
|New Mexico||New Hampshire||Texas Option 1 Option 2|
(1) must use Internet Explorer
(2) all use the Bank of North Dakota
Interest-free Loans (limited number available):
- Central Scholarship Bureau of Maryland (April 1 deadline)
- Military Officers Association of America
- International Association of Hebrew Free Loans (students of all faiths)
- Bill Raskob Foundation
- Leo Rowe Pan-American Fund (residents of Latin America, Caribbean)
- Scholarship Foundation of St. Louis (greater St.Louis area)
- Evalee C. Schwarz Charitable Trust for Education (closed as of April 9)
- Vice Admiral E.P. Travers Loan (Spouse/Children of Sailor/Marine)
Before applying for a private loan:
If you haven’t already applied for “need-based financial aid” you should ask our office if you qualify before completing a private loan application.
Compare private loans with federal parent loans, using the links in the upper, right column of this page.
Be sure you carefully review and understand all repayment terms before agreeing to apply for the loan. If you ever have questions, please contact our office (see Contacts in right column).
To apply for a private loan, you must:
- Determine the amount you need to borrow by carefully reviewing your billing statement.
- Select a lender
- Complete the lender’s application
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Assistant Director of Financial Aid