What are private loans?

A private education loan is a non-governmental loan made by a bank. Along with (1) financial aid, (2) federal assistance and (4) payment plans, private loans can help you pay for college-related expenses such as tuition, room and board and other costs.

5 Tips When Looking for a Private Loan

1. Know Your Options 

Unlike federal loans, private loans have variable interest rates, fees and strict credit criteria. Each private loan is different. Use the chart at the bottom of this page to help you compare a list of our trusted lenders.

2. Shop Around

Did you know that you have a 45-day window to shop for private loans before your credit score is affected? Only one inquiry will appear on your credit score within that 45-day window, no matter if you apply for 2 or 12 loans.

3. Make Enough Time

It can take 5-10 business days for initial conditional approval, up to 30 days for a lender's final approval and 3-5 additional days for a lender to notify ORU. Be sure to give yourself enough time when applying for loans. 

4. Get Familiar with Terms

No private loan is created equal, so it’s good to know what to look for. For example, some loans may have a “grace period” that allows you a set amount of time after graduation during which you don’t have to make payments. Loans also range in pay-off time. Some offer longer repayment periods with smaller payments, but these can cost more in interest over time.

5. Weigh Interest Rates and Fees

Lenders typically offer fixed interest rates (the rate never changes) or variable interest rates (rates may change over time). High-interest rates cost more in the long run; however, lenders will charge fees when you borrow money, and if the fees are high enough, they can offset the benefit of a low-interest rate. 

Our Recommended Lender List

We are committed to finding lenders that provide the most competitive pricing, reliable technology and dedication to quality customer service. Explore our recommended list below. There are plenty of private loan options not listed, so we encourage you to shop around and choose a loan that best fits your financial needs. Connect with us if you need help or to let us know of your private loan preferences.

Preferred Lender List

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