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Private Student Loans

Private student loans are designed to help students who need additional assistance with educational costs. In most cases, it is advantageous for students to pursue Federal Direct Loans and for parents to pursue Federal Direct PLUS Loans before seeking private educational loans. A major advantage of these programs is that the federal government caps the interest rates on the loans. Additionally, private student loans typically do not offer the same benefits as federal loans, such as consolidation, service cancellations and military repayment.

If assistance beyond what is available through the federal loan programs is needed, there are a number of private lenders who offer private loans to cover educational expenses. Loan approval is based on creditworthiness and ability to repay and for students; a credit-worthy, employed cosigner may be required. Each lender offers different interest rates, fees, repayment terms, and approval requirements. To get the best rates and terms, it is strongly suggested that you obtain a cosigner with a good credit rating prior to applying.  For more information on private loan options and lenders, visit https://www.elmresources.com/.


How to Apply for a Private Loan

The following is a listing of lenders that offer private educational loan programs that our students have found success working with: (Clicking the links will take you to the lenders’ web sites). Students are required to submit the Federal Private Education Loan Applicant Self-Certification Form to their lender to when they apply for a private loan. 

Ascent Student Loans

Nelnet Student Loans

Lendkey Student  Loans

Citizens One Student Loan

Discover Student Loans  

KHESLC Advantage Loans

Regions Bank

Sallie Mae Student Loans

Cognition Financial 

Trustmark National Bank 

PNC On Campus

College AVE Student Loans

SoFI Student Loans 


The University of West Alabama does not promote, endorse, or recommend any private loan lender. The lenders listed above are merely a listing of lenders our students have used. Students are not obligated to use them. The credit check performed by many lenders expires after 90 – 120 days. Therefore, students should not apply for a private loan more than 3 months prior to the start of the term. However, due to processing time, students should apply as soon as possible within the 3 month window. In order for funds to be available to pay tuition and fees, applications should be submitted to your lender by:

  • June 1st for fall terms  

  • November 1st  spring terms  

  • March 1st for summer terms  


Most private loan disbursements are made via Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) from your lender to the University. These funds will be applied to the student's account with any excess, after all University fees are satisfied, being mailed to the student’s local mailing address.

Changing Loan Amounts

Students are encouraged to only borrow needed funds. If the loan approval is more than is desired, students can reduce the amount of the loan by e-mailing the Financial Aid Center at financialaid@uwa.edu or by contacting their lender when they receive the lender’s disclosure statements.

Prior Institutions

We strongly encourage students who have borrowed private loans at other institutions to retain their previous lenders. This will avoid making multiple loan repayments in the future.

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