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Private Education Loans

Private loans are not federally insured. They are loans made through commercial banks. It is important to consider the following when borrowing a private alternative loan for the purpose of paying education-related expenses:

  • Discuss your borrowing options with a financial aid advisor.
  • Research all applicable fees. Some lenders have no front-end fees, but they add fees once the loan is disbursed or goes into repayment.
  • Understand how the interest rate is calculated on your loan and how often the interest is added to the principal balance.
  • Become familiar with the terms of the loan, especially with repayment timelines and deferment options.
  • Know the difference in your loan costs if you have a co-signer. Most lenders offer better terms to students whose loans are co-signed.
  • Private education loans are considered a resource for education. These loans must be added to a student's financial-aid award and cannot exceed a student's cost of attendance.

To reach a better understanding of private educational loans and to compare lenders from whom Whitworth students have borrowed in the past three years, visit FASTChoice, a website that helps students understand what is important in researching a private educational loan and provides a comparable lender list.

All private lenders will require you to submit a completed Private Education Loan Applicant Self-Certification Form in order for them to process your loan application. Most lenders will provide their borrowers with their own form. However, if you find you need one, please print this Private Education Loan Applicant Self-Certification Form, complete it and forward it to your lender.

If you are considering an alternative private loan for a study-abroad trip, please consult with your financial aid advisor regarding disbursement options.

Application and Disbursement Process

Students apply directly to the lender. If the student is approved for the loan, the Whitworth Financial Aid Office staff will electronically certify the loan and will add the amount of the loan to the student's financial aid award. Students should read all disclosure notices provided by the lender. Certification of these loans will begin in early summer and will continue throughout the academic year.

The loan will be scheduled for disbursement according to the number of terms the student is attending. Funds usually transfer to the student's Whitworth account at the beginning of the term. If you require a different type of disbursement process than the one listed above, please contact your financial aid advisor. Disbursement will not occur if the lender has not received all required documents from the student.