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Private loan options

Learn about private loan lenders, eligibility requirements, deadlines, and more.

Apply for federal loans before considering private ones

You should always consider federal student loans before private loans because:

  • Federal loans are usually much more affordable.
  • Federal loans allow you to put off repaying them until after you graduate.
  • You must have a good credit history or a co-signer with a good credit history to receive a private student loan.
  • The interest rate on a private student loan is variable and depends on your (or your co-signer’s) credit history.

Before you apply for a private loan, complete the FAFSA to see if you qualify for a federal loan. If you would like to apply for a private loan through a private lender and you do not plan to complete a FAFSA to apply for federal and state funding please submit a Private Loan Counseling Form.

How do I know if I’m eligible for a private loan?

If you aren’t eligible for federal aid or weren’t awarded as much federal aid as you need, you might consider taking out a private student loan through a bank, credit union, or another lender.

The eligibility might differ from loan to loan. Some important things to remember:

  • Most lenders will only loan to degree-seeking students.
  • Some lenders require students to meet satisfactory academic progress (SAP) requirements.
  • You may also be able to apply for a private loan to cover a past due balance.

Your loan period can be any of the following:

  • Academic year (fall and spring): August–May
  • Fall only: August–December
  • Spring only: January–May
  • Summer: May–August

It is your responsibility to review your lender’s eligibility requirements before you apply.

How much can I borrow?

Remember, you can borrow only up to your estimated cost of attendance, minus any other financial aid you receive. You can use private student loans to pay for your tuition, fees, housing and food, books, and other education-related expenses. Any funds that remain after these items are paid will be refunded to you.

Find a private lender

IU Indianapolis will process a private educational loan from any lending institution. You can use either tool below to assist in finding a private loan.

  1. The INvestEd Marketplace allows you to compare actual rates from multiple lenders based on a soft credit check.
  2. ELMSelect provides a range of rates from a historical list of lenders that students have used in the past.

Cancelling or reducing your private loan

To cancel or reduce your private loan, you must notify us within 14 days of receiving the funds. Once a loan is reduced or cancelled, IU Indianapolis cannot increase or reinstate the loan. You will need to apply for a new private loan.

Borrow only what you absolutely need. What you borrow today, you’ll have to pay back later and with interest.

When do I have to start repaying my private loan?

Depending on the terms of your loan, you may be required to start repaying the loan before you finish your education.

Please visit your private loan lender for more information regarding repayment.

How do I apply for a private loan?

You should begin the application process 4 to 6 weeks before you need the funds to ensure timely processing.

Funds will be disbursed 10 days prior to the start of the semester or up to 6 weeks after you apply.

Our office cannot certify loans that are submitted too early. The earliest acceptable application dates for each term are:

  • June 15 for an Academic Year (fall/spring) or fall only loan
  • November 15 for a spring only loan
  • March 15 for a summer loan

When will I know if my private loan has been processed?

Once IU Indianapolis has certified your loan, it will take an additional 10–15 business days before your funds arrive. (This process may take slightly longer during peak times.) You can view your financial aid in One.IU to see when your loan has been processed. You must continue to meet eligibility requirements once the funds arrive in order for them to be used to pay your bursar account.

If we’re unable to process your private loan, we’ll contact you through your university email address.

Know your rights

Lenders who provide private loans must comply with these Truth in Lending Act requirements:

  • Your lender must provide three separate loan disclosures to you:
    • One when you apply
    • One when your loan is approved
    • One before your funds are made available
  • Three business days must pass between the time you receive the final disclosure and the time your funds are made available.
  • You must submit a signed self-certification form to the lender before your funds can be made available.

Your lender should provide you with a self-certification form that includes your application ID. You’ll need to know your cost of attendance and estimated financial assistance. If you receive financial aid, this information is available through View/Manage My Financial Aid Information in One.IU.

IU Indianapolis

Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships

Campus Center, Room 250
420 University Blvd

Indianapolis, IN 46202