What is a Private/ Alternative Educational Loan?
A private educational loan is a non-federal educational loan through a private lending institution. Each lender has different eligibility requirements (e.g., degree status, enrollment status, US citizenship status), loan rates, repayment terms and conditions. Some lenders may also require payment of interest while students are in school.
Consider Federal Aid First
We highly recommend you complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and apply for any student financial aid for which you are eligible. Private educational loans should be considered after state and federal sources of financial aid have been utilized. Before choosing a private loan, review information for the Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS).
- You have a 30-day window to apply for a private educational loan and a PLUS loan to choose the best rate. This is called the “shopping period”. Once the 30 days are up, the credit checks for all of these loans will be consolidated to one credit check.
Things to Remember About Choosing a Private Loan
- Students who are not meeting SAP should always check their lender’s SAP borrowing policy before applying.
- If using ELMSelect to research lenders, students should use the Sort & Filter option and indicate: “Satisfactory Academic Progress: Not Required” before considering the lenders listed there.
- Register for ALL of the courses you plan to take BEFORE you apply for your loan to assure your loan is certified for the correct amount. Increases may not be possible after the loan is certified.
- Apply for the private educational loan within 90 days of the end of the semester to ensure your credit does not expire. If your credit check expires, you will need to complete a new application.
- After the application approval, choose the lender that fits your needs the best.
- A separate loan application is required for summer session(s) and for each academic year.
Montclair State University does not endorse particular private loan providers. The list of lenders provided have successfully conducted business with Montclair State University in the past. Neither Montclair State University nor the Financial Aid Office promote, endorse or recommend any of these loan products or lenders by including them on the list. You have the right to select the private educational lender of your choice.
Private Educational Loan Application
ELMSelect provides you with a list of historical private lenders, from which you can choose to apply for a private educational loan. If your chosen lender is not listed on ELMSelect’s website, you should contact your lending institution of choice. Please note that all lenders may not work with our ELMSelect partner, so the certification process and disbursement of funds may be delayed.
If you have received a refund after all your loans have been disbursed the following options are available:
- You may keep the refund and use for winter or summer classes and/or educational expenses.
- You can request for a reduction of their loan in the current semester, cash the check and then pay student accounts the balance owed from the loan reduction (Recommended).
- You can request a reduction of the loan for the upcoming semester and use the refund to pay the balance for the upcoming semester.
- You can also use the money to pay the lender back directly. If you choose this option, make sure you will not need the excess later as we may not be able to increase your cost of attendance to allow for an increase in the loan. (Consult a loan counselor to ensure this is the best option)