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CollegeData - Investigating Private College Loans

Investigating Private College Loans

Many families find that the loans in their aid package fall short of meeting their need. That's when the wide world of private college loans opens up.

Do your homework before choosing a private lender. The more you shop around, the more likely you are to find a good deal.

Starting Your Loan Search

Private college loans are widely available at banks and credit unions. You can also search online for student loan companies that take online applications.

Comparing Offers from Private Lenders

The Project on Student Debt suggests that borrowers compare lenders by asking the following questions:

Interest rate

Payments

Discounts

Typical Terms for a Private College Loan

The amount students may borrow may not exceed the total cost of educational expenses minus any financial aid the student receives. (If the loan exceeds this amount, the excess will reduce the amount of financial aid offered by the college.)

The fees, interest rates, and other terms of private college loans are tied to the credit qualifications of the borrower and cosigner, the number of years allowed for repayment, and when repayment begins. In all cases, interest begins accruing immediately—even if repayment is deferred.

What's Next?

Note: Financial information provided on this site is of a general nature and may not apply to your situation. Contact a financial or tax advisor before acting on such information.