Private Education Loans

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Private Education Loans


Private education loans—loans issued through banks or credit unions—can help bridge the gap when savings, grants, scholarships, and federal loans do not meet your college costs.

Be aware that private education loans are generally more expensive than federal loans. And the rules for paying them back are usually more strict. Consider private education loans ONLY when you have exhausted all other sources of funding.


Approval is based in part on creditworthiness.

To increase your chances of approval, apply with a co-signer. Having a co-signer also improves the likelihood that you'll be eligible for lower rates and fees.

What's a co-signer? A co-signer is a person who promises to repay the loan if you fail to do so or if you are unable do so. Many private education loan applications lacking a co-signer are denied.

How to Apply

Private education loans offer a range of interest rates and other fees, so take the time to compare the rates available at different banks or credit unions.

The application process may vary, depending on whom you select as your lender. In general, you can expect the following:

  • No application deadlines; apply at any time
  • Fast online preliminary approval

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