Private Student Loans
Questions to Answer Before Taking Out Private Student Loans
Taking out a private loan for school is a big commitment that should be considered carefully. To understand the benefits and responsibilities of a private loan, learn as much as you can by exploring the following:
Before you fill a College Funding Gap with Private Student Loans
You’re excited about going to a great college – but you need to figure out how to pay for it.
Paying for your education is a significant financial commitment. So, before you consider a private loan, make sure you get as much financial aid as you’re eligible for:
- Fill out the FAFSA.
- Apply for all the grants and scholarships available to you.
- From the college
- From New York State – Tuition Assistance Program
- From organizations in your community
- Check your eligibility for the government-subsidized Perkins Loan, awarded to qualified students with a high financial need.
- Consult the Financial Aid Award Letter you receive from your school. If you are eligible and decide to borrow, start with the Federal Stafford Loan with its lower interest rate.
- Get information from your school about eligibility and opportunities in the Federal Work-Study Program, which subsidizes your wages for on-or off-campus work.
- Consider a Federal PLUS loan, an option for parents of dependent undergraduate students and for graduate students.
All types of financial aid, including private student loans, must not exceed your total cost of attendance (COA) as defined by the college’s financial aid office. If you receive grants, scholarships, work-study, or federal loans that meet your cost of attendance, you will not have remaining need for an alternative loan.
If you take out a private student loan anyway, your college’s financial aid officer may reduce other forms of financial aid to ensure you do not exceed your total cost of attendance. Make sure you know what you need to borrow, your total cost of attendance and your school’s policy before you request a private student loan.
If after exhausting all of these sources of aid, you find you still have a college funding gap, it is likely the next step is borrowing to make up the difference. Use the Private Student Loan Comparison tool
to help find the loan that is best for you.