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Student Loan Planning Steps

Learn how to apply for a private student loan


Before I apply for a private student loan, what do I need to do?

  1. 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.

  2. Choose a loan that meets your needs.

    Enter your information to find out which loan products meet your needs.

  3. 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. 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).

  4. Collect the information for the application.
    1. School information, including school name, major, grade, and school term for which you need the loan
    2. Social Security number
    3. Telephone numbers
    4. Current addresses, both for your home and your school 
    5. Gross income information
    6. Residence information, including whether you own or rent, and the monthly housing payment
    7. Requested loan amount

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.
    • After you’ve completed your part of the student loan application, your cosigner will need to apply. Make sure you share your application number with the cosigner. The cosigner can access your application from at cosign an existing loan application.
    • 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.
    • Watch for an email that tells you what your next steps are. Follow the steps and provide the requested information.
  • Sign or electronically sign the documents. Sign an existing loan
    • Sign the consumer credit agreement.
    • Sign the self-certification form to show you’ve verified the amount you need to borrow. Additionally, your school will verify (sometimes referred to as “certify”) that you’ve enrolled and that your requested loan amount does not exceed the cost of attendance. The school certification may impact the amount you requested.
  • Watch for the final disclosure sent through U.S. mail.
  • Funds will be distributed to 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, use a private student loan to help pay for your education after you’ve considered other aid (grants, scholarships, federal loans)

How do I track my application progress?

When you access your Application Status page, it’s easy to keep track of major milestones, action items, and information about your loan. You can click the link on one of the emails we sent to you or go here.

How does loan repayment work?

When the time comes to repay your loan, consider our interest rate discounts and refer to our information on repaying your loan.

Can I use private student loans for living expenses?

The following Wells Fargo student loans may help cover living expenses: Wells Fargo Collegiate® Loan, Wells Fargo Graduate (SM) Loan, MedCAP® Alternative Loan for Health Professionals, and Wells Fargo Bar Exam (SM) Loan.

Do private student loan funds go directly to the school?

If the student loan requires school certification, the loan funds are sent 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.

Ready to apply? Apply Now
Apply today or contact a
Wells Fargo Student Loan Consultant at 1-800-378-5526