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Private Loan Instructions

What is a Private Educational Loan?

These are private lender loans and are not part of the Federal Family Education Loan Program(Stafford and PLUS). These loans have different eligibility requirements and loan terms(repayment, interest rate, etc.). You should always follow the three steps of Financial Aid. International students do not qualify for Federal Loans and can therefore skip to the “What questions should I ask” section below.

The 1,2,3 Steps of Financial Aid

First, always seek free aid such as Work Study, Scholarships, Grants, or any funds that you do not have to repay. This often requires the completion of the FAFSA.

Next, seek Federal Education Loans with interest rate caps, generous repayment terms and various repayment options. These include the Federal Stafford, Parent PLUS, and Grad-PLUS loans.

Last, if you must, apply for Private Education loans. As a part of the application process you will be required to complete a Self-Certification Form. Normally, your lender will provide this form. A link to the required Self-Certification Form is provided here Self Certification Form.pdf

Types of Private Loans

Lenders often have two types of private loans: one that requires schools to certify (or approve)the loan and one that does not require school certification. Normally, students get a better interest rate on the private loans that the school certifies. Regardless of which loan you select, we are required to coordinate your private loan with your other financial aid when we become aware of the loan even if we were not required to certify the private loan.

What does a Private Educational Loan do?

Private loans make up the difference between the cost of attendance and available financial aid.

What questions should I ask?

  • Do you offer any discounts in repayment?
  • What are the interest rates?
  • Is the interest rate based on Prime or LIBOR? (LIBOR tends to be a more stable interest rate over time.)
  • Is a co-signer required?
  • Is there a co-signer release option?
  • How often will the interest rates change?
  • How much above the base rate are you willing to pay?
  • Are there any repayment fees?
  • Is there a lower interest rate with a co-signer?
  • Are there any loan origination fees?
  • Are there any pre-payment fees?
  • Are there late payment fees?
  • If so, when are the late fee accessed?
  • How are my payments applied to my balance?
  • Can I defer payments while in school?
  • Is there a grace period after I leave school before I began repayment?
  • Can I have combined billing with my Stafford loans?
  • What are the repayment options?

How do I apply?

To apply, complete your application via the lender’s web site. When applying, the lender will often ask you what the loan period is. Please use the dates provided below.

Period Start Date End Date
Fall 2011 8/22/2011 12/09/2011
Spring Only 2012 1/09/2012 04/27/2012
Academic Year (Both Fall 2011 and Spring 2012 8/22/2011 04/27/2012


Loans will be split half in the fall and half in the spring unless otherwise indicated. If required,your lender will send APU an electronic request for school certification. For detailed information about these loan programs, please review the lender’s web site. Choosing a lender from our chart will expedite the delivery of your funds. Otherwise, we will be happy to work with any other loan provider you choose who uses the paper check process.