Private educational loan programs are non-federal loans issued by banks, savings and loan associations, and credit unions. These programs allow students to borrow up to the full cost of attendance* minus other forms of financial aid. Most students will need a creditworthy co-signer such as a parent or other relative in order to obtain a private loan. Private educational loans carry variable interest rates based on the LIBOR rate or the Prime rate and repayment periods may range from 5 to 25 years. Interest rates, origination fees, loan maximums, and repayment terms should be carefully considered when researching and choosing a private loan.
Because each family's financial circumstances will differ, Hood College is unable to recommend a specific program that will best suit an individual family's needs. Before you decide to borrow, carefully investigate all of your options. Make sure that you understand the application procedures, eligibility criteria, interest rate and processing fees, disbursement procedures, and repayment terms for each program you are considering.
To compare rates and terms for over 100 types of private loans please:
Private alternative education loans are typically the most expensive borrowing option, therefore, should only be considered after eligibility for all federal student and parent loan options have been determined.
Once an application is approved by a lender, the school will receive an electronic certification request. The proceeds of private alternative education loans may not be credited to a student's account until the funds are actually received by the College. Therefore, if the loan proceeds will be used to pay a remaining balance due, the loan application process should be completed well in advance of the bill payment due date. Hood College MUST certify the loan prior to any funds being applied to the student’s account.
Hood College does not maintain a preferred lender list for private alternative education loans, nor are we able to recommend specific lenders. However, over the last several years, our students and parents have used the lenders listed in ELM Select to meet their education loan borrowing needs. Using ELM Select, a service provided by ELM Resources, students and parents can compare and contrast the terms and conditions of each loan option and select a private educational loan that best suits their financial circumstances. Students are not limited to the lenders appearing on the ELM Select list and may choose any lender that best suits their educational borrowing needs.
The Project on Student Debt, an initiative of the Institute for College Access & Success, a nonprofit independent research and policy organization, offers sound advice and information to consider when applying for a private alternative educational loan.
*A college's cost of attendance includes actual tuition and fees and standard allowances for room and board, books and supplies, transportation, and personal expenses.
Once an application is approved by a lender, the school will receive an electronic certification request. The proceeds of private alternative education loans may not be credited to a student's account until the funds are actually received by the College. Therefore, if the loan proceeds will be used to pay a remaining balance due, the loan application process should be completed well in advance of the bill payment due date. If the student is unable to register for classes due to a prior balance, loan funds must be credited before the hold will be removed.
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
In the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, Congress established an Ombudsman for private student loans within the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to assist borrowers with private student loan complaints. This means a single federal agency is now responsible for watching out for all students and families who choose to borrow private student loans. The website has a student portal that contains repayment advice, a comment area, and a student can file a complaint online.