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Private Student Loans

Private student loans are financing options for education that can either supplement or replace federal student loans. Private student loans are offered by many banks and credit unions.

Interest rates, repayment plans and other conditions can vary between lenders so it is important to research private student loan options carefully.

Annual Amount

  • Up to cost of attendance minus other financial aid (loans, scholarships and federal work study) awarded.

Rates and Fees

  • Variable and fixed rates available.
  • Rates vary by lender and credit worthiness.
  • Having a good credit rating and/or using a credit‐worthy cosigner may dramatically decrease your loan interest rate.
  • Discuss details and conditions with lender.

Grace Period

  • Varies by lender
  • Many allow up to six months after student graduates or ceases to be enrolled at least half-time.


  • Credit check required.
  • Having a co-signer can dramatically improve your interest rate.
  • Discuss details and conditions with lender.

Preferred Lender List

  • PCOM uses the FASTChoice web tool to host our preferred lender list.
    • PCOM maintains a preferred lender list in order to provide a comparison of selected lenders in relatively consistent terms. This helps assist borrowers to make well-informed decisions regarding education debt.
    • PCOM students have the right to select the lender of their choice, regardless of the lenders presented on our preferred lender list. The PCOM Financial Aid Office will process any approved private student loan for a student.
    • The preferred lender list review committee within the Office of Financial Aid gathers and considers information on all available private student loan lenders each calendar year. In considering which lenders are represented on our preferred lender list, the committee evaluates lenders based on the following criteria:
      • Interest rates and borrower fees.
      • Cosigner requirements.
      • Repayment options.
      • Quality of the customer service of the lender.
      • Additional benefits beyond the standard terms and conditions such as cosigner release and deferment options.

Private Student Loan Resources

  • FastChoice
    • Compare private student loans with our preferred lender list.
  • Questions to Ask
    • Review important questions students should ask when comparing private student loans with federal student loans.
  • PLUS vs Private Loans
    • Compare the federal Graduate PLUS loan to private student loans.
  • Prospective and current students may contact the financial aid office to discuss student loan options.