Private loans are an option for the students who need additional resources to attend college above and beyond any federal or institutional aid they may have received. All loans carry the obligation to repay the amount borrowed with interest and we encourage all students and families to borrow responsibly.
If this is your first time learning about private loans, we strongly encourage you to review this entire website before navigating to the private loan search options, specifically the disclosures relating to federal student aid and the SB 1289 Disclosure Statement.
Primer on Private Loans
- Most private loans are credit-based and may require a cosigner for the borrower to be approved.
- The interest rate can be variable or fixed. This rate may be higher or lower than the interest rate of a Federal Direct Loan.
- The maximum amount that can be borrowed, in most cases, cannot exceed the cost of attendance minus other financial aid.
- For students who have borrowed multiple private loans and/or federal loans, there are consolidation loans available. If considering consolidating federal loans into a private loan, pay attention to interest rates and there could be a loss of grace period and/or loan forgiveness options.
Private Loan Search
Make School offers a comprehensive list to assist students and families as they research the private loan options available. You are not required to select any of these lenders or products. Before borrowing a private loan, we strongly recommend that you maximize your Federal Direct Loan eligibility.
This list was compiled based on a thorough review of borrower benefits, customer service, a request for information (RFI) process, other students using a lender or product, and/or other factors.
To review the preferred lender product list, please click here.
Disclosures Relating to Federal Student Aid
We strongly encourage all students to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) prior to borrowing private loans to determine eligibility for and amount of Federal, State, and Institutional aid for which they may be eligible. By completing the FAFSA, a student could be eligible for Federal, State, or Institutional Grants, Federal Work-Study, or Federal Loans.
In addition, we strongly encourage students and parents to consider borrowing federal loans prior to borrowing private loans. The terms and conditions of federal loans (Direct Subsidized Loan, Direct Unsubsidized Loan, and Direct PLUS Loan) may be more favorable than the terms and conditions of private loans.
Before Applying for a Private Loan
(SB 1289 Disclosure Statement)
Students and families considering loans to assist with funding educational expenses need to be aware of the differences between federal loans and private loans:
- Federal loans are required by law to provide a range of flexible repayment options including, but not limited to, income-based and income-contingent repayment plans, as well as loan forgiveness benefits that private lenders are not required to provide.
- Federal loans are available to most students regardless of income. Other qualification criteria do apply.
- Private lenders can offer variable interest rates that can increase or decrease over time, depending on market conditions.
- The interest rate on a private loan may depend on the borrower's and/or cosigner's credit rating.
- Private loans have a range of interest rates and fees and the borrower should determine the interest rate of, and any fees associated with, the private loan included in their financial aid award before accepting the loan. Students should contact the lender of the private loan or the Office of Financial Aid if there are any questions about a private loan.
Before applying for a private loan, we encourage students and families to research all options and make sure you understand the interest rate, fees, terms, and conditions of any loan before applying.
There is a range of interest rates and fees available and we strongly encourage students to apply with a creditworthy cosigner to potentially obtain a better interest rate and increase the chance of being approved.
In addition, you may apply with multiple lenders to find the best loan for you. Student loans are provided special protections under credit reporting rules (similar to mortgages) — as long as you conduct your 'shopping' within a 30-day period, there should be no impact on your FICO score or loan terms (Make School does not guarantee this, but that is our understanding).
Make School does not endorse any specific lender or any specific product. The lenders and products listed are not ranked and these lists are meant to serve only as a guide for students and families looking for additional options to assist with educational expenses. Make School does not receive any benefits in exchange for placing a lender on the preferred private loan list.
Make School is always evaluating the lenders, products, and websites it uses to assist students and families with the private loan search process. A lender will remain on the lender list unless Make School has a reason to remove it (such as but not limited to, poor customer service, change in borrower benefits or rates, etc.).
Make School requests updated information from the lenders on the preferred lender list periodically. The evaluation process for a lender to be added to and remain on the list includes, but is not limited to a review of the fees associated with the loan, the competitiveness of interest rates, the customer service provided, the electronic application and processing capabilities, the borrower benefits that differentiate the loan product from others, historical use by Make School students, lender reputation, and/or any unique factors that separate the loan product and/or lender from others.