Private Student Loans

Private loans are education loans that are not funded by the federal government.

We understand that meeting the cost of your education can be a major concern. We first encourage you to complete a FAFSA to determine your eligibility for federal, state, and institutional aid. If your awards are lower than your COA, you may want to consider a private education loan.

If you are considering student loans offered by private lenders such as banks or credit unions, please discuss the pros and cons with your family before applying. Remember, there are important differences between federal and private student loans:

  • Interest rates - Interest rates for private student loans are usually higher than those for federal student loans and are generally not fixed.
  • Loan fees - Private lenders may charge additional fees such as origination fees, monthly service charges, or late fees.
  • Eligibility - In general, private student loans have stricter eligibility requirements. Lenders may require a good credit score and a co-signer.
  • Loan amounts - The maximum amount you can apply for is your cost of attendance minus any other financial aid you are receiving.
  • Repayment plans - Private lenders may not offer repayment plans that are as flexible as those offered for federal student loans, such as income-based or extended payment plans.
  • Other differences - Visit Federal Student Aid on the Web for more information on federal versus private loans.

Be aware the interest rate or APR you are charged on private loans will vary based on the Prime or LIBOR market interest rates. This means your monthly payment will change based on the current rates.

Private education loans are subject to credit approval and may be denied. To increase your chances of getting approved for a private loan, consider having a credit worthy person cosign for the loan. 

How to Apply

If you are considering borrowing through a private lender, we encourage you to:

  • Be sure you have exhausted all other possible sources of financial aid, including federal loans first.
  • Look for ways to reduce your expenses before you decide how much to borrow.  
  • Borrow only what you absolutely need.
  • Ask questions and compare the rates and terms offered by different lenders. 
  • Apply directly through the lender of your choice.
  • Apply for a single term loan if you only plan to enroll for a single semester in the academic year. Please apply for graduation and then notify us by completing the Private Education Loan Fall Only Clarification form. If we are not notified the award will be split over the full year.

When choosing a lender it may be helpful to ask if they are compatible with ELM. ELM is an electronic student loan management system used to expedite loan applications and disbursements. Lenders not compatible with ELM may take additional processing time. See Arizona State University’s Loan Code of Conduct.

You must apply directly through a lender. You are free to choose any lender you wish. Most Arizona State University students who obtained private loans borrowed from one of the following lenders:

  • Wells Fargo
  • Sallie Mae
  • Discover Student Loans

ASU does not recommend or promote any of these lenders. The list simply represents lenders who provided five or more loans to students at Arizona State University. It is up to you to decide which lender to use to obtain your private loan.

Loan Certification

ASU cannot certify private education loans that overlap multiple academic years or terms. If we receive a request to certify a private loan that overlaps multiple terms and/or academic years, we will place your private loan certification request on hold, and require you to complete an Overlapping Private Education Loan Clarification form.

Disbursement Information

Here's how loan disbursement works.

  • If your loan period is for both the fall and spring semester, the first half of your funds will disburse in the fall semester. The second half will disburse in the spring semester.
  • If you are graduating at the end of the fall semester, your private education loan will be disbursed entirely in one disbursement. Only a single term student is eligible to receive a fall only loan.
  • The Private Education Loan Applicant Self-Certification form must be completed by the student borrower and submitted to the lender before disbursement can occur. Most lenders include this form in their application process.
  • Federal regulations require all lenders of private education loans to provide borrowers three business days from the time you receive the Loan Consummation Disclosure Statement to change your mind and cancel your private education loan.
  • Your private education loan will disburse within 8 to 10 business days from the date you receive the Loan Consummation Disclosure Statement. Lenders and schools are prohibited by federal regulations from disbursing funds until the cancellation period has passed.

Fall Graduation

For students graduating in the fall, please apply for graduation and then notify us by completing the Private Education Loan Fall Only Clarification form. If we are not notified, your loan disbursement will be split over the full year.