Private Education Loans for Students

The Office of Financial Assistance strongly recommends that all eligible students apply for Federal Direct Loans prior to submitting private loan applications. Federal Direct Loans, including Graduate and Parent PLUS Loans, generally have low guaranteed interest rates and multiple repayment plan options. You can begin this process simply by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). There is no application fee, and our staff is available to assist you with this process. Private educational loans are available from private lenders and should usually only be considered as a resource after a student has exhausted all other state and federal sources for funding.

How to Apply

To apply for a Private Loan, the borrower will need to apply through the lender’s website. Our office will receive the application electronically from the lender. You may find a lender on your own or choose one through our Private Educational Loan Lender Comparison List. The lenders on our commonly used lenders list were chosen based on commonly utilized programs for the past few years at UIS. We will, however, process any loan application from any lender the borrower chooses. The lenders in the linked list are not all-inclusive, and borrowers have the right to choose the lender of their choice. Carefully choose the lender that best meets your needs.


Each private loan program has different eligibility requirements such as admission status, hours of enrollment, Satisfactory Academic Progress status, etc. In addition, some private loan lenders allow you to borrow to cover a past-due balance from a prior term. Some require current enrollment, and some do not. Confirm your eligibility before applying. Please carefully read and understand the terms and conditions of all loans.

Current Interest Rates & Fees

Interest rates and fees for private loans will vary based on the terms of the loan determined by the lender you choose. You may select between competitive variable or fixed interest rates. Check with your lender for the interest rates of your loan.

How Will I Receive My Loan?

UIS will first apply loan funds to the student’s account to pay for tuition, fees, housing and meal plans, and other school charges. Any excess funds will result in a refund that will be disbursed to the student.

When Will Repayment Begin?

Repayment will vary based on the repayment plan chosen at the time of application. Carefully review your repayment options when applying. Some private education loans require payments while the student is enrolled.

Beware of Unsolicited Loan Offers

UIS students should avoid lenders that don’t require UIS to certify their loan application and should be suspicious of unsolicited loan offers. Private loans may also reduce eligibility for more desirable federal, state and college aid programs. Please borrow responsibly.

Other Resources

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Student Loan information

Federal Trade Commission Consumer Advice – Credit, Loans, and Debt

Federal Student Aid Federal Versus Private Loans

amount varies
Grant Source
Banks and Lenders