After exhausting the opportunities available from federal aid programs, many students will consider private loan programs as a source of funding. As always, taking on debt for any reason should be done deliberately and only for the amounts needed.
Private Loans vs. Federal Loans
The terms and conditions of private loan programs vary, and as such, you should carefully review the details before selecting a private loan program. Private loans are not eligible for federal loan consolidation. Interest rates, fees (both at the time of borrowing and at repayment), credit checks, and annual and aggregate loan limits require careful evaluation. If you do apply for a private loan, you may obtain a better interest rate by applying with a credit worthy co-signer.
We encourage students and families to exhaust all federal loan possibilities prior to seeking alternative loan financing, as federal loans tend to offer more favorable terms and conditions. Learn more about the benefits of utilizing the federal student loan program--and the differences between federal and private loans--from the Department of Education publication, Federal Aid First.
Preferred Private Loan Lenders
We have chosen FASTChoice to host our private loan lender list. This decision was based on their ability to provide an in-depth loan comparison tool that will allow you to compare lenders according to overall cost, interest rate, and repayment benefits. Our list is subject to change as lenders are periodically reviewed to ensure that they are providing competitive loan options and quality customer service. Our office went through an extensive research and review process in order to determine our preferred lenders. For more details on how lenders were selected to be a part of the private loan lender list, please review our lender selection criteria.
After comparing lenders, you will need to apply for a loan directly with the lender of your choice. Apply early, as processing may take several weeks. As part of the application process, you will be required to complete the Private Education Loan Applicant Self-Certification Form, which is also available through each lender's website. Information needed to complete this form, such as cost of attendance, can be obtained from either your award letter or via webCentral.
We will certify loan requests from all lenders, including those that do not appear on our private loan lender list. Once certified, it will disburse to your DU student account no earlier than 10 days prior to the start of the term (as with all other types of financial aid). It will first pay toward your charges, and if you have borrowed an amount greater than your bill, the Bursar's Office will generate a refund to you for the difference.