A student may wish to borrow additional funds to help finance his or her cost of education. The Office of Financial Aid recommends that students use the maximum federal loans for which they are eligible before turning to private loans. Families should discuss the advantages and disadvantages of private loans versus PLUS loans before deciding on a loan product. Families should also consider using the college payment plan before applying for a private loan.
Common Private Loan Features
- The loan is in the student's name.
- A credit check needs to be approved in order to borrow funds.
- Repayment is usually deferred until after graduation, with interest accruing on the loan while the student is enrolled.
- Most loans will require a cosigner. The interest rate and fee charged are based on both the student's as well as the cosigner's credit and the interest rate may be variable or fixed.
- The maximum a student may borrow is the difference between the cost of attendance and total financial aid.
- Application is the student's responsibility. Please keep in mind that the application should be processed in a timely manner so that the funds can be credited to the student's account by the payment due date. Due to lender disclosure regulations, allow for a three week minimum turn around time.
Loan and Lender Information For Students and Parents
To aid families in choosing the best private loan option available, W&J provides ELM Select, a private loan comparison tool. ELM Select offers students and parents the ability to compare and select the loan product that best fits their needs. We encourage families to complete the counseling tool available on ELM Select called Financial Fundamentals, to assist them in choosing the best loan option available. Please note: W&J does not endorse any lender listed within ELM Select. Students and parents have the right to choose any lender for their private loan needs.
If a private loan application is credit approved and a promissory note is completed, the lender will contact W&J for certification. This entails confirming the loan amount and disbursement dates. A revised financial aid award letter will be mailed to the student indicating the certification of the loan when it is completed.
All schools are required to provide the Self-Certification Form to an enrolled or admitted student upon request of the applicant for a private education loan. This form will need to be completed and returned to the lender along with the loan application. Forms are also available from lenders. If information is needed from the Office of Financial Aid to complete this form, please contact us.