Before I apply for a private student loan, what do I need to do?
Understand how much you may need to borrow.
Before you apply for student loans, review the financial aid award letter from your school and use their net price calculator, or use one of our calculators.
Choose a loan that meets your needs.
Enter your information to find out which loan product meets your needs.
Find a cosigner.
No matter who the lender is, private student loan applicants may need a cosigner, especially undergraduates or students who don’t have a credit history or steady income. However, a cosigner is not required in order to apply. Even if you have an established credit history, a cosigner may improve your ability to get approved, enable you to secure a lower interest rate, and speed up the credit decision process. Student borrowers that meet these requirements on their own do not need a cosigner (but may still choose to apply with a cosigner).
Collect the information for the application.
See a checklist of what you'll need to apply.
What are the steps for applying online?
Here are a few of the details on the online application experience (this summary is based on a student applicant with a cosigner):
- Complete the application online.
- Either the borrower or the cosigner may initiate the application. After the first person has completed the application, the second person can enter his or her information.
- As part of your online application, you will receive a disclosure showing a range of interest rates that are available for the loan you applied for. Later, you will get another disclosure that shows the specific interest rate you qualified for.
- Provide require documents
- Watch for an email that tells you what your next steps are. Follow the steps and provide the requested information.
- Once all of your required information has been reviewed, you will receive notification to sign your loan documents.
- Sign or electronically sign the documents. Sign an existing loan
- Borrowers must sign the self-certification form to verify the loan amount being requested. Additionally, the school will verify (sometimes referred to as "certify") that the student is enrolled and the requested loan amount does not exceed the cost of attendance minus other aid.
- Both the borrower and the cosigner must sign the consumer credit agreement.
- Once all documents are signed, we will provide you with the Final Loan disclosure.
- Funds will be distributed to your school.
- After the loan is approved, the funds will be sent to your school's financial aid office on the date(s) determined by your school.
Please allow two to three weeks to complete the process, not including any extra time you might need to locate information. We recommend that you allow enough time to be sure that you can complete the process comfortably before funds are due to the school.
When should I apply for a private student loan?
After you have received your award letter, consider other aid (grants, scholarships, federal loans) before applying for a private student loan to help pay for your education.
How do I track the progress of my private student loan application?
You’ll be able to use yourLoanTrackerSM to track your loan application quickly and easily online. Service not available for all products and customers. There you can:
- Provide required documents
- Sign select loan documents
- View funding information
Learn more about how to manage your student loan application with yourLoanTrackerSM
How does loan repayment work?
Can I use private student loans for living expenses?
Yes, in addition to tuition, books, and fees, private student loans may help cover living expenses.
Do private student loan funds go directly to the school?
If the student loan requires school certification, we send the loan funds directly to the school. School certification is completed by the school’s financial aid office and confirms the student’s registration, loan amount, and dates of disbursement.