Private Education Loan Overview

Private (alternative) loans are offered by various banks, lending institutions, credit unions, and state agencies. The borrower is the student and in most cases a credit-worthy co-signer is required. These loans are not associated with the federal government.

Interest rates are typically variable and interest will generally start to accrue after the loan funds are disbursed to the school. Depending on the lending institution, interest payments may be required while the student is enrolled in school. Students who receive the best interest rates typically have good credit or have a co-signer with good credit. Many lenders require that students have a co-signer.

A private loan can be used to cover the cost of education minus all other financial aid for each academic year.

Things to Consider When Selecting a Private Education Loan:

Students and parents should consider the following criteria when analyzing a private loan:

 Repayment Terms

  • When does repayment begin?
  • How many years does the student have to repay the loan?
  • Are students required to pay interest while enrolled in school?

Interest Rates

  • Is the interest rate fixed or variable?

Loan Benefits

  • Does the lender offer a principal or interest rate reduction if specific criteria are met?
  • Does the lender offer interest rate reductions if an auto-debit program from a checking/savings account is established?

Deferred Payments

  • What are the criteria for deferring payments on the loan? (e.g., attending graduate school)? 

Lender Information:

Siena College does not recommend or endorse any specific lender. Students and families have the right and ability to select the education loan lender of their choice.

For a list of lenders who have provided private education loans to our students in the last three years, please visit our Lender Information Page.