Private Loans

Private loans are a student or parent loan from a commercial, state-affiliated or institutional lender used to pay for up to the annual Cost of Attendance, less any financial aid received. Private loans are not federally guaranteed and do not require that the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) be completed. Private loans have varying interest rates, fees and repayment options and usually require the applicant to be creditworthy, or have a creditworthy cosigner. Repayment generally begins immediately.

Miami certifies private loans from any lender and disburses loans to the student’s Miami Bursar account. Those interested in private loans should carefully research and choose a lender to best meet their needs.

When selecting a private loan provider, we recommend considering the following factors:

  • Which academic levels (graduate vs. undergraduate) are eligible
  • Origination or repayment fees
  • Borrowing limits
  • Financial indicators for interest (e.g., LIBOR, Prime)
  • Citizenship requirements
  • Cosigner release options
  • Whether or not funding is needed for past due balances to Miami
  • Availability of electronic documents
  • Prepayment penalties
  • Maximum repayment term
  • Enrollment requirements
  • Repayment options

Also consider: It's a good idea to apply with a cosigner even if the student is approved for the loan on their own. A cosigner may lower the interest rate of the loan since the loan will also be based on the cosigner's credit rating. A lower interest rate will lead to a lower monthly payment, in turn making the overall loan indebtedness less. Students with poor credit history or no credit at all, may be required by some banks to have a cosigner. 

FastChoice

To find the best loan option, try the online private loan comparison tool, FastChoice.

FastChoice provides a list of lenders based on historical borrowing data at Miami University. Additionally, FastChoice provides tips for successfully repaying private loans.

Before pursuing a private loan, students and parents are encouraged to explore options under the Federal Direct Loan programs. The conditions under the Federal Direct Loan programs may be more favorable than those of private education loans. Students are encouraged to exhaust all Federal Student Loan eligibility prior to private education loans. Miami certifies private loans from any lender, including those not presented, and disburses loans to the student’s Miami Bursar account. If a lender that is not presented is selected, please contact the One Stop. Application processing will not be delayed unnecessarily in these instances. We maintain professional relationships with all lenders. Our officials are prohibited from accepting financial or other benefits in exchange for displaying lenders and loan options in FastChoice. These include: receiving compensation to serve on any lender board of directors or advisory boards; accepting gifts including trips, meals, and entertainment; allowing lenders to staff our institution’s financial aid office; allowing lenders to place our institution’s name or logo on any of their products; and owning lenders’ stock (for those college officials who make loan decisions for our institution).

Helpful Tips

  • Students may qualify for loans or other assistance under the Federal Title IV programs. The conditions under the Federal Title IV loan programs may be more favorable than those of private education loans.
  • Exhaust all federal student loan eligibility before considering private loans.
  • Consider ways to keep costs down to reduce student loan debt.
  • Monitor loan debt and the amount that will need to be repaid and only borrow what is needed.

Self-Certification Form

New Federal Regulation requires students who apply for a private loan to complete a self-certification form. Most lenders will provide the self-certification form during the online application process. The form must be completed and submitted to the lender prior to any disbursements being made to your student account at Miami. The student’s Cost of Attendance (COA) and Estimated Financial Assistance (EFA) information needed to complete the form can be obtained from the student’s financial aid offer or in myMiami.


Student Loan Code of Conduct

The guiding principles for ensuring the integrity of the student aid process and the ethical conduct of employees in regard to student loan practices are provided in the Miami University Student Loan Code of Conduct.