Private Student Loans Tips

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Have you made your adviser aware of all your expenses when certifying a loan?

Loan Amount Certification

When you apply for an education loan through Chase, the lender will contact your school before approving and disbursing the funds. The financial aid department at your college or university must certify, or approve, the amount you have requested.

This is considered a safety net of sorts, designed to make sure that you are borrowing responsibly and not incurring more student loan debt than necessary. When the amount is approved your loan will be disbursed.

The important thing to remember is that a financial aid adviser is not always privy to all of your expenses and needs. The buck doesn't stop with tuition and books. Make sure to meet with someone in the financial aid department and explain that you applied for more money than needed for tuition because your program requires certain supplies that you must purchase on your own.

Now your adviser will take into account all relevant factors when certifying your private student loan amount. This can avoid unnecessary delays in receiving your funds. Delays can cost you lots of time and money when it comes to college, so planning in advance can minimize the hassles inherent in college financing.

Are minimum loan requirements discouraging?

In For A Nickel, In For $30,000?

The need for a loan can arise at any time and for any number of reasons. The amount which you need to borrow will also be relative to what you need the money for. Not every student loan has to be for $30,000. Sometimes students may only need $1,000. Sometimes they might need even less than that. Unfortunately, most loan companies set a minimum of $1,000, or even more in many cases.

Though there are common scenarios related to the college experience and its funding, everyone has their own needs and no one wants to be defined by someone else's circumstances.

The Chase Select Loan can help whether you need a little, a lot, or anything in between. The minimum is amount is set at $500, while the maximum for an undergraduate student can reach as high as $120,000.

You can find out in minutes, either by phone or online, if you are approved and start planning your education from there. Not everyone needs to borrow $120,000 in alternative student loans. That doesn't mean the student who needs $2,000 is any less important or should suffer because of unfair minimums.

Are there student loans available for international students?

International Student Loans

There are very few student aid options available for international students studying in the U.S. Currently, an international student can apply for a student loan but students are required to get a U.S. citizen or permanent resident with good credit to act as co-signer on the note. The international student must also maintain at least a part-time student status at an approved U.S. university.

Can I get a private student loan for a study abroad program?

Private Student Loans For Study Abroad Programs

A study abroad program can enhance the overall educational experience for any college student. However, one of the problems that many encounter is how to pay for all of those expenses (unless there is a huge savings account to dip into). Most private lenders offering these loans do not require you to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) but do require you to complete their own credit application. Your ability to get the loan will depend on your credit worthiness and may require a co-signer. To be considered for these loans, you need to be a U.S. citizen enrolled in an approved U.S. school that participates in the lending process for study abroad programs. A potential advantage to this program is that there may be tax benefits for a loan used to cover college expenses. You should always check with your tax advisor to find out if this applies to you.

Can I get an alternative student loan?

PLUS Loans

The cost of a college education is steep, and it continues to rise on a regular basis. Sometimes the money awarded through federal financial aid is not enough to pay all of your educational costs. To help pay those college bills, some parents turn to a Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS). Your school may participate in one of two programs either one funded directly through the U.S. Department of Education or the Federal Family Education PLUS Loan (FFEL). In the case of the latter, your funding would be obtained through a private lender that your parents would contact directly. These loans do require a credit check, so a parent with negative credit would be required to have a cosigner that meet credit criteria in order to qualify.

Have you gotten scholarships after you already took out private loans?

Keep Your Options Open

You have applied for and received your federal and private student loans. Once you are attending the college of your choice you may think it's all over. Guess again. To get the most affordable college education you should always be on the lookout for alternative funding.

New scholarships and grant money pop up all the time. Many of these are geared toward students who are already in school. Keep tabs on what is available and apply for as much as you can.

Check with your lenders to see if you can cancel at least a portion of your loans in the future. This is possible in most cases, allowing you to substitute that money with alternative sources down the road.

Private education loans are necessary for most college students, but very few people know how to maximize savings and minimize debts. The last thing a loan company wants is for you to default on your account. The most common cause of defaulting on loans is when a student has more debt than he or she can handle.

So get as much free money as possible and paying back what you have in private student loans will be a lot easier to manage.


Eligibility And Requirements For Private Student Loans

Chase Tip: Private student loans also go by another name: alternative student loans. These loans can be used for educational expenses that aren't covered by scholarships, grants and any other financial aid. Alternative student loans, like most loans, can be paid back after graduation and can be used for things like tuition, books and housing. The loan can also be used for previous school fees and computers. The difference with the alternative student loans is that you aren't required to fill out the FAFSA and the money is disbursed directly to the borrower and not to the institution.


Getting A Student Loan Through A Private Lender

Chase Tip: If you decide to obtain a student loan through a private lender, find out information on each student loan company you are considering first. Questions you should ask include: 1. What is the interest rate? 2. What upfront fees (if any) are charged on the loan? 3. What are the terms and conditions of repayment? 4. Can the loan be paid off early without penalty? 5. Are there options for student loan consolidation later? 6. What if you are unable to make your required payments?

Can I qualify for a private student loan?

Eligibility And Requirements For Private Student Loans

Private lenders prefer to have credit worthy applicants even for student loans. Many lenders will be more flexible in providing credit for college expenses, but this is not always the case. A student with no credit experience or a poor credit history may need a co-signer to help get the loan. You also may need to provide proof that you are enrolled in an accredited school on at least a half-time basis. Not all lenders will require this. In fact a benefit of getting a student loan through a private lender is that often the requirements regarding the number of credit hours you are taking and the type of program are not nearly as strict as what the federal government requires.


Getting A Student Loan Through A Private Lender

A number of banks offer private student loans for students or their parents who meet the banks credit criteria. These loans can be used to supplement your savings to cover the cost of college expenses or be used in conjunction with other federal student aid funds. Before going this route, it is a good idea to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to see if you first qualify for any federally sponsored funds. Private lenders often charge a higher rate of interest depending on the loan program and your credit score. In addition, repayment on these loan programs may begin immediately. You can look into some of the programs available for college expenses by obtaining more information on a Citibank student loan, Great Lake student loan, Key Bank student loan, or an AES student loan.

Who is Sallie Mae?

Who Is Sallie Mae?

Sallie Mae was originally created as a government backed agency that worked with banks to make student loans. Since its conception, it has developed into a private company that now makes loans directly to students. Sallie Mae is able to make both federal student loans (Stafford and Perkins) as well as a variety of private student loans. The loans they offer vary significantly but generally are available to supplement the amounts awarded through federal student loans or make funding a college education possible for students whose expected family contribution is to high to qualify for federal student aid funds. In addition, some loans may be available to cover education or training expenses that are not covered by typical federal student aid (i.e. continuing education).


Help Pay For Your Education With Private Student Loans

The cost of education is expensive and increasing every year. There may be times when federal student loans do not cover the cost of your tuition, fees, and living expenses. This is the time to start researching private student loans. Private student loans are credit-based loans that are issued by companies to students to help cover school-related expenses. A good credit history is important when applying for these loans.

The recession has made it increasingly difficult to qualify for private student loans. Banks are not lending money as much. However, there are still notable companies that provide student loans. When looking for companies who provide private student loans, it is important to research their interest rates, loan repayment terms, penalties, and credit requirements. In most cases, students are required to have a co-signer to qualify. Private student loans are typically paid to the borrower, who is then responsible for using the money for school-related expenses.

If you find yourself receiving loans from different lenders over the course of your education, you may want to consider student loan refinancing. This allows you to consolidate your student loans into one payment. Attempt to get a lower interest rate when you apply for student loan refinancing. This will possibly reduce your monthly loan payments.

What is AES?

American Education Services

American Education Services (AES) is one of the largest student loan companies in the country today. They offer a wide variety of student loans through a multitude of lenders. Since 1964 AES has become one of the top providers of private student loans. Their goal has been to offer the most affordable options for funding a college education.

One of the programs offered by AES that has made them so popular is their partnership with Upromise. When you create a free account at and shop at any of the more than 500 retailers listed, either online or in your local store, you receive rebates for your purchases.

These rebates are transferred to your AES student loan accounts as a payment. They do not replace your monthly payment, but they do supplement them. This way you receive rebates for doing shopping you would regularly do anyway, and pay your loans off faster in the process.

You can save thousands of dollars in loans just by having lunch at a certain restaurant or buying paper for your printer at a specific store. Most of the participating retailers are major chains that you probably shop at anyway, so why not let them help you pay off your college debt?


Repaying Private Student Loans

Chase Tip: When you eventually reach the student loan repayment phase of your college financing, you will have to consider if consolidation is an option. If you have more than one loan, it might be wise to consolidate all your loans so you have one payment each month and typically, the interest is lower when you consolidate. This will usually lower the monthly payments significantly. Student loan repayment can be a stressful time for students as they determine what they can afford each month. Talk to your lender about the various student loan repayment options.


Receiving Federal And Private Student Loans

Chase Tip: If you do opt for private student loans, make sure you also check the eligibility requirements. For example, Chase has private school loans that are credit-based, which are great for people who might have other financial aid or even make too much money. However, there are usually other stipulations, such as the school you attend must be approved by the lender. You also need to meet certain credit guidelines and attend school atleast part-time.


Sources For Private Student Loans

Chase Tip: You should be aware that a private education loan does come with a limit for how much you can borrow. For example, Chase requires that the private education loan be a minimum of $1,000. The annual maximum limit to borrow is either $40,000 or the estimated annual cost of the education - whichever is less. You can not borrow more than $150,000 over a lifetime.


Private Student Loans For Study Abroad Programs

Chase Tip: Just like federal loans, many lenders allow you to defer a private student loan. Chase gives undergraduates several deferment options with their private student loan. You can defer interest and principal for up to four years while you're still in school. Approximately four months after graduation, repayment is expected to begin. Another option is to pay only the interest and defer the principal amount for the four years you are in college. The final option is not to defer at all and begin immediate repayment of both the interest and principal. Most students choose to defer the entire amount until after they have graduated from college and have a job to repay the private student loan.


PLUS Loans

Chase Tip: When searching for the perfect school loan, check with a variety of lenders. Many will offer the Federal Plus loans. The parent plus loan is a loan with a low interest rate for parents of an undergraduate student or dependent. The benefits of a parent plus loan is that it can subsidize the entire tuition and repayment can be deferred until after graduation. The interest may even be tax deductible. Ask your lender for details.

When do I start repaying private student loans?

Repaying Private Student Loans

Just like any other loan you may receive in your lifetime, a student loan has to be repaid at some time. Most loans made through private lenders begin the repayment period relatively soon after being disbursed. Depending on the lender you receive the loan through; you may have some choice in your repayment plan. On the other hand, the loan you receive may qualify you for certain tax benefits such as a student loan interest deduction during repayments. It will depend on the type of loan you receive and IRS regulations at the time. Always check with your tax advisor to find out if you are eligible for any incentives on your annual taxes.

Can I take both federal and private student loans?

Receiving Federal And Private Student Loans

When looking at options to help you finance your college education, it is best to see what you could qualify to receive from the federal government first. It makes more sense to see if grants or low-interest loans are even an option first before applying for a private student loan that may be at a high-interest rate and require immediate repayment. Many students make the decision to accept both federal aid and private student loans to pay all of their costs. This is especially true at private schools with a high tuition and overall high cost of attendance.

Are there special loans for law school or medical school?

Student Loans For Professional Degrees

College students pursuing a professional degree in a field like law or medicine know that the tuition to cover the number of years they need to attend can really add up. Covering those college expenses can be a challenge so many students turn to student loan options specifically geared towards students in their field of study. A student loan from federally-backed lenders like Sallie Mae or Chase may be one way to pay for law school or medical school. Since this is a private student loan program, you are required to meet the loan criteria to qualify for these funds.

Are you familiar with the different loans offered through Sallie Mae?

Sallie Mae Loans

Sallie Mae is one of the most well-known student loan companies around. They offer a number of private education loan options and lenders for graduate and undergraduate students.

The Signature Student Loan offered by Sallie Mae is a loan for students attending a community college or a four or five-year school that is accredited by the state. The student must meet credit criteria set forth by the loan company and make consistent progress toward a degree. This is open to students studying in the Unites States, study abroad programs, and international students who apply with a cosigner.

Community college students can borrow a maximum of $50,000, while students attending a four or five-year college can take out as much as $100,000. Graduate students are eligible for up to $150,000, though if the student is focusing on a health field that number goes up to $150,000.

Another popular Sallie Mae student loan choice offered is the Tuition Answer Loan, available to both parents and students. Borrowers must be U.S. residents or eligible permanent citizens with a valid Social Security Number. The set minimum for this Sallie Mae loan is $1,500 and the maximum over the course of a college career is $130,000.

Take a look at the various private student loan options available at With so many options, they are a great source for alternative student loans.

Have you looked at ACS loans for college?

ACS Student Loans

ACS loans are another source of college funding for those in need. ACS stands for Affiliated Computer Services, Inc., an organization specializing business process outsourcing. They handle much of the loan servicing for both the Federal Government and colleges. So your loan, federal or private, may be going through ACS.

When applying for a private loan that is serviced by ACS you will have to meet the standard criteria for credit-based loans. Find out what those parameters may be for the loan you are applying for.

The ACS Web site also allows you to track your loan information. You can follow how much interest has built up, make payments, change your address and other personal information as needed, and many other student loan services.

They also offer guidance in planning your college career and online applications for ACS student loans.


Why Choose Private Loan Consolidation

Private loan consolidation offers a way for you to conveniently and efficiently pay back your college loans. Often when you in college, you will need to take out several loans because of high costs. You may not realize all the debt that you accumulate by opening up these loans until you are finished with your college education. In some cases, it may be hard to find a job immediately and you need to start paying back your college loans, which are accumulating high interest. By setting up an account with a private loan consolidation service, you will be able to significantly lower your student loan interest rates and will be able lower you repayment costs by as much as 50%.

Consolidating student loans can help you responsibly manage your finances. It can also take away the stress of worrying how you will pay back your loans. Look into all your options when choosing a private school loan consolidation service. Some can offer perks such a rebates and cash back options. Do research on consolidating student loans and choose a company that has received good consumer reviews and is well established. By consolidating student loans you will be able to save money. In addition, you will be able to pay off other bills with the extra cash you will have set aside.

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