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California State University, Long Beach

All staff members of the Office of Financial Aid at California State University, Long Beach adhere to the guidelines restricting activity that could lead to a conflict of interest in the area of student lending.

For detailed information please refer to the Student Lending Code of Conduct that applies to all CSU campuses.

Private Loans: Financing Options

Private Education Loans

There are a variety of lenders that offer non-federal, or private, education loans. These loans are typically borrowed by students who are not eligible or do not qualify for federal loans or who have exhausted their federal loan eligibility. Private loans often carry higher interest rates and fees than federal loans and may have less attractive repayment terms. Approval of the loan is typically based on your credit rating and debt-to-income ratio and may require a co-signer. The interest rates are variable, meaning they can change on a monthly basis, and are determined by the information in your credit report.

If after exhausting all sources of federal funding you decide to borrow a private loan, ask questions and compare lenders to ensure you are making the best choice for you.

Looking for a Private Loan?

Here Are Some Questions You Should Ask:

  • Interest Rate:
    • What is the current rate?
    • Is it fixed or variable?
    • If variable, how often will it be adjusted?
    • Is there an interest rate cap?
    • Are there reduced interest rates for on-time payments?
    • When does interest capitalize and how often?
    • Will I need to pay the interest while enrolled in school?
    • Will having a co-signer lower the interest rate?
  • Fees:
    • Is there an application fee?
    • Is there a disbursement fee?
    • Are there any repayment fees?
  • Is a co-signer required?
  • Are there any enrollment requirements (Full-Time, Half-time, less-than half-time, Satisfactory Academic Progress)?
  • Repayment:
    • When does repayment begin?
    • What is the length of the repayment term?
    • What will the minimum payment be?
    • Is there a pre-payment penalty?
    • Are there options available to postpone payment in the event of financial hardship?
  • Disbursement of Funds:
    • How long does it take for the funds to disburse to the school?
    • Will the loan funds be sent electronically or by check?
    • If sent as a check, will it be payable to the student, or the school?

New Truth in Lending requirements:

New provisions in the Truth in Lending Act, implemented February 14, 2010, have resulted in a number of changes in the process for applying for and receiving private education loans. Lenders who provide these loans must comply with the following requirements:

  • Lenders must provide three separate loan disclosures to borrowers--one at the point of application, one when the loan is approved, and one before the loan is disbursed.
  • A waiting period of three business days is required between the time the borrower receives the final loan disclosure and the time that the loan is disbursed.
  • Students must also sign a self-certification form and submit it to the lender before the loan can be disbursed.

Your lender should provide you with all of the information you need to know about these requirements, but if you have questions, feel free to contact our office.

Private Education Loan Self-Certification:

  1. Your lender should provide you with a copy of the required Private Education Loan Self-Certification Form. If you do not receive one from your lender, you can download the form here . If you download the form here, we recommend that you contact your lender for your application ID or other identifier that will help the lender match the form with your application.
  2. To complete your Private Education Loan Self-Certification Form, you will need to know your cost of attendance and estimated financial assistance. If you receive financial aid, this information can be found on your financial aid award notice in MyCSULB.

You can also determine your cost of attendance from CSULB's Estimated Student Budgets.

Remember to send your completed self-certification form to your lender. Your loan cannot be disbursed until your lender receives it.