Private Education Loans

Private Education Loans are funded by banks and other private lending institutions. Students who need additional funds to pay educational costs, and who have exhausted their federal Direct Loan eligibility and other funding resources, may consider borrowing private education loan. This option should be carefully considered.

Private Loans:

  • Are non-federal loans and do not have the same terms and conditions as federal loans.
  • Cannot be combined with federal loans when you enter repayment (this means you cannot include them in a federal loan consolidation, and will have separate loan payments each month when you enter repayment).
  • May not offer flexible repayment plans.
  • May have a higher interest rate than your federal loans.
  • Do not offer public service loan forgiveness.

Similar to home and car loans, lenders have flexibility in setting the interest rate, credit criteria that must be met, and repayment terms. 

Lenders may require a co-signer. A co-signer signs the promissory note promising to repay the loan if you don’t. After you enter repayment, some lenders offer a co-signer release. To determine your eligibility for a co-signer release the lender will require a specified number of on-time payments of principle and interest and will pull your credit score and history.   

Interest rates are directly related to the credit rating of you and/or your co-signer, so choose a co-signer who has a good credit score.

Choosing a lender

Many factors vary among lenders so it’s in your best interest to research different private loan products and choose one that best fits your needs and circumstances both in the short and long-term.    

Things to compare among lenders:

  • Interest rates
  • Whether accruing interest is added to the principal amount of the loan while you are enrolled in school
  • Are there any fees associated with the loan? Ask about both up front and backend fees.
  • Are payments required while you are in school? Some lenders require payments while you are in school and some do not. In the long-term, it’s in your best interest to make payments while you are in school but this may not fit in your budget.
  • Does the lender offer a cosigner release? If so, what are the conditions you must meet in order to qualify?

List of Private Loan Lenders

In an effort to help students start the search for a private loan lender and make informed decisions, the University of Missouri-St. Louis Student Financial Aid Office, in a formal review process, reviews loan products from various lenders. We seek out loan products that are in the best interest of our students. Many factors are used to evaluate each loan product and lender. 

The University adheres to a Code of Conduct for Student Loans that prohibits inducements by private lenders. You are not required to select a lender from the link below. You are free to choose any lender and loan product you feel best suits your needs.

To view a list of lenders we selected for comparison click on this link.



List of Private Loan Lenders