Private loans credit-based, non-federal educational loans through private lenders (banks) which allow students or parents to borrow additional funds after federal student loans have been exhausted.
Who Is Eligible to Apply for Private Loans?
The borrower for private loans may be the student or the parent, depending on the lender. Each lender has different eligibility requirements, interest rates, fees, and repayment terms. For example some lenders may require students to be enrolled at least half-time in a degree-granting program, while other lenders may allow students who are non-degree or enrolled less than half-time to borrow.
Some lenders also require that a student maintain satisfactory academic progress for financial aid eligibility to receive their loans.
Should I Accept Other Financial Aid Before Applying for Private Loans?
Students should accept their federal, state, and institutional financial aid before pursuing private loans. It is usually in a student's best interest to borrow their maximum amount of federal student loans before borrowing from private lenders.
How Do I Apply for Private Loans
You have the right to select the private lender of your choice, and application requirements can vary depending on the lender.
ELMSelect is a private loan search engine where you can compare different lenders and loan products. Neither WVU nor Student Financial Services intends any specific endorsement of these lenders. Students are not limited to the loans listed by ELMSelect and may pursue private educational loans from lenders of their choosing.
Private Loans Available by State Agencies
Connecticut, Maine, New Jersey, and Rhode Island offer private loans to their residents.
- Connecticut Higher Education Supplemental Loan Authority (CHESLA)
- Maine Educational Loan Authority (MELA)
- New Jersey Class Loan
- Rhode Island Student Loan Authority (RISLA) Family Education Loan
When Should I Apply for Private Loans?
- Do not apply too early for a private loan because lenders have an expiration date on the credit check.
- Your application cannot be certified until after you are registered for classes and accepted or declined any other financial aid you have been offered.
- Submit your application between early May and mid-June for the upcoming academic year (fall and spring semesters) to have funds available for your fall bill. If you are applying for the spring semester only, please complete your application between early October and mid-November.
- A separate loan application is required for the summer term and for each academic year.
Are There Additional Requirements I Must Complete?
Funds cannot be disbursed to the student's account until all requirements are complete. Students applying for any private (non-federal) educational loan must complete a self-certification form. More information available on the Private Loan Self-Certification page.
Will I Need an Endorser or Cosigner to Apply for Private Loans?
Often students have not built a credit history, so it is possible that the lender will require an endorser for the loan to be approved. Even if an endorser is not needed, students may consider applying with a creditworthy endorser to ensure the best rates and terms (if the endorser has a better credit rating).
How Much Can I Borrow?
The maximum amount that can be borrowed in private loans is the cost of attendance minus any other financial aid and resources.
To determine the maximum amount that can be borrowed, you can:
- Log into portal.wvu.edu with your WVU login
- Click on "Financial Aid Information"
- Click on "Award"
- Select aid year
- Click on "Award Overview Tab"
- Take the "Cost of Attendance" for the year and subtract any anticipated financial aid and outside resources
What Are Differences Between the PLUS Loan and Private Loans?See the Comparing PLUS and Private Loans page for comparison charts.
When Will My Private Loan Disburse?
Private loan funds usually do not disburse to the institution until approximately two weeks after the certification is complete. Please note that loans certified well before the start of the semester often do not disburse until closer to the start of the start of the semester. Once loan funds are received, the refund process will begin if the loan (and other aid) is more than the student's institutional charges.
When Do I Repay My Private Loans?
Private loan repayment varies by lender. Some lenders may require payments while students are still enrolled. Contact your lender for repayment requirements and options.
Please note that private loans cannot be consolidated with federal loans as a federal consolidated loan.