Private Student Loan Help and FAQs

Do you have questions about private student loans? Here you'll find answers to some of the most common private loan questions, from the application process to getting the funds.

Whose credit history is checked for loan approval, the cosigner's or the borrower's?

If a borrower is applying for a private student loan with a cosigner, both credit histories are checked. If applying without a cosigner, only the borrower's credit will be checked. We always recommend adding a cosigner to help increase the chance for loan approval.

How long does it take to get a private loan?

The exact time varies by lender and time of year, but in general, the application process can take anywhere from about 15 to 90 days.

How long does it take to get the loan check after I am approved?

This depends a great deal on how quickly the borrower and cosigner sign and mail their loan documents and also on how quickly the school certifies the loan. Once both are complete, the funds will be disbursed to the school. The actual timing of disbursement coincides with the start date for the enrollment/loan period, and usually is dictated by the school's financial aid officer.

If I obtained a loan last year, do I have to reapply again this year?

Yes. You must reapply each academic year.

When is the best time to apply for a loan?

You should apply for a loan as soon as you have received your acceptance letter from the school you plan to attend and have determined how much money you need. However, you can apply for private student loans at any time during your college education.

Is E-Signature an option for private student loan applications?

Yes - you can E-Sign your private student loan application. We recommend having your cosigner and reference information available when you apply to help speed up the process. If you choose not to E-Sign your application, you will have the option to sign a paper application.

As an applicant, do I need to have a Social Security number to apply for a loan?

The borrower and any cosigner are required to have a valid Social Security number.

Do I need to be accepted to a school before I can get a loan?

You must be enrolled at an eligible institution to be approved for and receive a loan. Enrollment is verified after you submit an application, as part of the loan approval process.

If an applicant receives grants or scholarships, does this affect the amount that can be borrowed through the Lender?

Your school's financial aid office determines your school's Cost of Attendance (COA). Grants and scholarships are subtracted from this total. You can use a private student loan to pay for the difference.

Is there any other paperwork I need to complete after my loan is approved?

After your loan approval, you will need to sign and return the Promissory Note and any other information that might be requested.

If I am conditionally approved, will I automatically be approved for a loan?

Not necessarily, however, most applicants who are conditionally approved will be approved for a loan provided the student's enrollment is verified for at least a half-time basis and all necessary documents are returned. If your application is not approved, you will receive a letter explaining why. At that time you may supply additional information and reapply.


Still have questions? Check out FinancialAidForum.com for other private loan questions, or submit your own!