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Private Student Loans

After taking into account the Monthly Payment Plan and Direct Student Loan, students and parents may find the need for additional financing. Two main sources to consider are the Parent PLUS Loan and/or a Private Student Loan.

A Private Student Loan is offered through a bank or another lending institution. For those families that choose to borrow a private education loan, keep in mind that it is usually beneficial to obtain a co-borrower. Having a creditworthy co-borrower can significantly reduce the rates and fees for most borrowers.

Getting Started

Your first step is to determine an amount that you will need to apply for in a private loan. We suggest you speak to the our office before applying so we can properly advise on the amount you need or are eligible to receive.

The next step would be for the student borrower to secure a co-borrower. As mentioned before, most private student lenders are not going to extend credit to a college student unless they have a credit worthy co-borrower. This co-borrower can be anyone, but in most cases it is a parent or relative.

Now that you know what amount you need and you have a secured co-borrower, it is time to locate a private student loan lender.

Locating Private Lenders

At Elizabethtown College, we do not have a recommended or suggested lender list. Federal Regulations prohibit us from disclosing specific lenders because our institution is not engaged in any federally defined preferred lending arrangements with lenders. We do not participate in preferred lending arrangements because our office feels that when possible a student or family should have a variety of lending options for them to choose from, and should research these rather than be directed to a specific few.

It is important to remember that our office will still provide detailed counsel on private loans, so if you have questions or concerns do not hesitate to contact the office. We will answer your questions to the best of our ability. We are unable to recommend specific lenders or advise on one lender over another. However, please be do not hesitate to contact our office to confirm validity of a lender. If you are unsure whether or not a potential lender is an authentic student loan lender, please contact our office.

There are a variety of sources available to you help you locate private loan lenders.

  • Utilize the numerous search engines on the internet. Type in phrases such as "Private Student Loans", or "Alternative Student Loans." Beware of lenders promising things such as “fast cash” or “bad credit okay.” These are generally not reputable private student loan lenders.  
  • Check with your local bank, or if you are a member of a Credit Union, see if they offer private loans or have suggestions to aid you in your search.
  • Speak to friends or relatives who have borrowed private loans in the past to see if they can recommend loan programs they have utilized in the past.

Once you have located several potential lenders we then suggest you compare them to see which lender might be the best for you. Create a spreadsheet to list all the benefits and drawbacks of lenders you have researched. Here are some factors you would want to consider when comparing these lenders.

  • Interest Rates - What sort of interest rate range does the lender offer? What interest rate might I be charged? Is the interest rate fixed or variable?
  • Fees - Compare what fees the lender might charge, such as origination or repayment fees.
  • Repayment Options - What sort of different payment plans does the lender offer?
  • Deferment of Payment - Are you able to defer the loan for payment while the student is in school? Be advised some lenders may require you to pay interest while you are still in school.
  • Cosigner Information - Can the cosigner be released from liability of the loan after some amount of successful loan repayment?

 

IMPORTANT NOTICE

Please remember that it is ultimately your responsibility to apply for a private loan and complete the application process prior to the billing due date and the start of classes. Our office recommends allowing at least 4-6 weeks for this process.

If you have additional questions or concerns regarding private loan please do not hesitate to contact our office by phone at 717-361-1404, or via email at finaid@etown.edu.

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