Private Loans

Important!
If you have lost your federal aid eligibility due to past unsatisfactory academic progress, you do have the option to request reinstatement of your eligibility by submitting a Satisfactory Academic Progress appeal. Appeal Forms are available online.

Private loans (also known as alternative student loans or personal student loans) are non-federal loans that students may borrow.  Generally, interest rates on private loans are tied to either the prime rate or the LIBOR index.  Some lenders may charge the borrower an origination fee or a repayment fee.  Students who need to borrow private loans should carefully compare rates and fees.  Students must be credit worthy and most private loans will require a cosigner.  Private loans should be used as a last resort; after students have exhausted all other sources of financial aid including grants, scholarships, work study, and federal loans.  Private loans cannot be consolidated with Federal Stafford or Direct Loans.  Students who borrow through a private loan program should borrow only the amount needed for educational costs.

Alternative Loan Information: PDF

Lenders

The Financial Aid Office at Eastern Oregon University does not endorse, recommend, or promote any lender selection for private loans.  The listings shown in FastChoice and Credible are not preferred lender lists, nor do they represent every lender offering private educational loans.  FastChoice’s lender listings show private loan lenders that Eastern Oregon University students chose to use within the last three years.  Each lender’s website will contain application instructions, borrower and co-borrower requirements, and display loan products offered for educational purposes.

Two options that you can use to review and compare private lenders are FastChoice and Credible, online comparison tools that allow you to connect to loan applications.  Your loan application will be forwarded to the EOU Financial Aid Office after your loan has been credit-approved and you have signed the promissory note.  Your lender will provide you with current interest rates, processing fees and cosigner requirements.  Contact the Financial Aid Office with questions regarding loan eligibility.

For tips on how to pay for college, Credible has published a guide on their website: www.credible.com.

(By clicking on either FastChoice or Credible above, you will be taken to an outside site beyond eou.edu.)

Sample Questions to ask Lenders when searching for alternative or private student loans.
  • Do you lend to students at Eastern Oregon University?
  • Do I need to be a member of a credit union to apply at a credit union?
  • What are your repayment terms (e.g. 10 years, 15 years, up to 25 years)?
  • Do you have repayment incentives?
    • Do you have interest rate reductions with automatic payments? What are they?
    • Do you have interest rate reductions for on-time monthly payments? How many consecutive months?
    • Do you defer principal and interest during the school year, pay only interest during school, or pay principal and interest immediately?
    • Do you have flexible repayment options? What are they?
    • Do you have deferment and forbearance options? What are they?
  • What are the loan amounts?
    • Do you have an annual minimum?
    • What is your aggregate maximum?
  • What is the interest rate? Is it fixed or variable?
  • How is the interest rate calculated?
  • Are there any fees?
    • How are fees assessed?
    • Can I get a loan without any fees?
  • How much will this loan cost in total?
  • Am I required to maintain satisfactory academic progress (SAP)?
  • Do I need to be at least a half-time student?
  • Do I need to have a credit worthy cosigner?
    • None, with approved credit?
    • Yes, depending on credit rating?
  • If I’m approved without a cosigner, can my interest rate be lowered if I get a cosigner?
  • Are there cosigner release benefits?
  • Will my alternative education loan be sold to another lender at any time?
    • If my loan is sold, will any repayment incentives be honored by the purchasing lender?
  • What will my monthly payments be?
    • Can they vary based upon loan amount and interest of loan?
    • Is there a grace period?
  • Other things to consider when selecting a lender:
    • What kind of upfront discounts do they offer?
    • What can you afford?
      • Understand the ultimate cost of the loan over its lifetime. Compare annual percentage rates (APR) versus interest rates and fees to determine the real cost of the loan.
      • Be aware of what the monthly payments will be after graduation or leaving school and how that will affect your lifestyle after college.
    • Get a sense of the lender’s customer service. You may be with them for a long time, and a lender with whom it is easier to work will make it more palatable.
    • Beware of loan scams that focus on students.
    • Find out what the “borrower benefits” really mean to you. How is each benefit achieved and how are they kept throughout repayment? What happens if you miss an “on time” payment?
    • Are there forbearance or deferment options? Understand what additional cost these may have for you.
    • How does the lender capitalize interest (for example, after repayment begins or quarterly)?
    • Notify your lender of any change in address, name, or repayment problems—lack of communication is one of the first steps toward delinquency.
    • Borrowers should always explore federal loan options first as alternative student loans may have higher interest rates and fees. Federal Student Aid can help you compare the two options.
    • Please note that lenders offer better interest rates to borrowers who have a qualified cosigner.
    • Law and graduate students may find that lenders have an alternative loan designed for their field of study.
    Eastern Oregon University does not recommend nor do we have a special affiliation with any lender. We will use any lender you choose.

Self-Certification Information

Private loan borrowers should be aware of two important changes established by the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) 15 USC § 1638(e), both of which will affect the time required to apply for, and receive, a private student loan:

  1. Self-Certification form:  As of February 14th, 2010, when a student applies for a private student loan the lender is required to collect a Self-Certification form from the student.  This form will be available during the online process or the lender will mail a paper copy to the student.  Please note:  private loan funds will not be disbursed until the lender receives the Self-Certification form.
  2. Delays in disbursement:  After the lender has received the Self-Certification form from the student, and the loan approval from the EOU financial aid office, they will send the student a Final Disclosure which details the terms of the loan.  The lender is required to wait up to 6 business days before disbursing the loan to the school.  This delay was included in the TILA to give the student (or cosigner) time to cancel the loan after reviewing the terms of the Final Disclosure.

EOU Financial Aid Code of Conduct

Please click on the following link to read the EOU Financial Aid Office Code of Conduct