Private Student Loans
- Interest rates are variable or fixed (depending on the lender/product).
- Interest rates depend upon a credit check.
- Private loans may not be discharged in bankruptcy or death (depending on the lender).
- Payment is sometimes deferred while the student is in school, depending on the lender, but interest accrues while in school.
Private Educational Loans and Direct PLUS Loans should be considered as a last resort, but may be necessary to finance a college education. To learn more about these options, please review the comparison chart for PLUS and Private Loans.
Please follow these guidelines:
- Apply early! Loans can take several weeks to process and disburse. (If you need assistance estimating your account balance, just let us know.)
- Apply for the amount you’ll need for the entire year! This will ensure that you are credit approved for the full year and don’t need to worry about a future credit check. (The loan will generally disburse in two equal disbursements for Fall and Spring but we can always reduce or cancel part of the loan at a later date.)
- Work on improving your credit history (student and/or co-signer). The suggestions at www.myfico.com may be helpful. The better your credit score, the lower your interest rate will be.
- Apply with a credit-worthy co-signer. Most lenders will require a co-signer and fees and interest rates may be higher without a cosigner.
- Consider making payments while the student is enrolled, rather than deferring payment. Choosing to make payments while in school will:
- Help establish the student’s credit history earlier
- Avoid interest capitalization
- Get a lower interest rate from most lenders
- Take advantage of any auto-debit discounts immediately, if offered by lender
- Shop around for a private loan! With the same student and co-signer, your interest rate could vary widely between lenders. If you shop around and apply with a few different lenders within a 30 day period, your FICO should not be negatively affected.
- If you choose a variable rate loan product, budget for the fact that your loan payment will be 3-4% higher than the current monthly repayment rate (because interest rates are at historic lows). Expect your monthly payments to increase as the economy improves.
Geneva’s Preferred Lender Arrangement
- The Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 mandated a number of significant changes to private educational loan disclosure requirements. In order to comply with these regulations, we have created a preferred lender list to give students a starting point in selecting a lender.
- Because private loan interest rates are based on credit and each lender evaluates credit differently, it is the responsibility of you (the consumer) to assess the advantages and disadvantages of these offerings and to make your selection based upon those features that best meet your financial needs. If you are a member of a credit union, you may also want to check with them, as they often have competitive products as well but are not on our preferred list.
- Please know you have the right to use the lender of your choice and are not limited to those on this list.
- What terms, conditions, and provisions make these loans beneficial to students?
- Reputation and track record of lender among Geneva students in the past
- Quality of lender customer service and support to students and school
- Availability to students nationally without membership
- Competitive terms and conditions
- Efficient processing for both students and school
Before signing for the loan, please be sure you understand the interest rates and fees associated with your loan. The lender is required to provide you with several disclosures. Please read these carefully and click here for additional information about what is required from your lender.
You will also need to accept the loan as requested by the lender and complete a Self Certification Form before the loan is approved. For help in completing this form, click here. Once your loan is approved and all requirements are met, the lender will contact the Financial Aid Office. Please keep in touch with your lender throughout the process to ensure timely processing.