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Private Loans

  • Requires enrollment at an eligible post secondary institution.
  • Filing a FAFSA is strongly suggested as most will qualify for a Federal Direct Stafford Loan which generally offers better loan terms. 
  • Consider only after all other financing options have been exhausted.
  • Borrowing for less than half-time enrollment will be limited to tuition/fees, books, and transportation.
  • Borrowing for a past term will limit eligibility to the exact amount of the balance due for that term.
  • Code of Conduct
  • Numerous lending institutions throughout the country offer students a variety of private loan programs.
  • These are not subsidized by the government.
  • Students may use these loans to cover educational expenses determined by the Financial Aid Department but not covered by other financial aid programs.
  • Annual maximum limited to student's cost of attendance minus any other financial aid.
  • These are considered consumer loans and are not offered by UWM.
  • Many allow for deferred payment.
  • For information on private loan search tips, please view the Preferred Lender Arrangement - Private Loan Document,  or click on this link: Private Loans.
  • Some private loan lenders require interest only payments during the school period while student is enrolled.
  • Your lender will require you to complete a Private Loan Self-Certification Form as part of your application. This form will be provided to you through your lender, but you can also print a copy from this link: Private Loan Self Certification form
  • It will take approximately two weeks to receive funds after school-certification.

You should start applying no sooner than 90 days before the start of your requested semester(s) (June 15, 2015 for the Fall 2015 term).  Applying any earlier may put you at risk of your credit check expiring before the loan can be processed.  The link below will take you to a tutorial that will provide you with some important information regarding private loans. At the end of the tutorial, you will be given a list of several loan options. The lenders listed have demonstrated that they offer competitive products. In addition, they offer exceptional customer service that includes having an online loan application, online loan certification by an institution, ability for customers to reach a knowledgeable representative quickly, efficient resolution of issues, and online loan management tools. The lenders have not been ranked and are listed in random order. If you wish to borrow from a different lender, please check with them to see if they offer an online application. Please note that some lenders may require interest-only payments while you are in school. Your lender will provide you with a Loan Self-Certification Form that you will have to complete as part of the application. This form is also available here: Private Loan Self Certification Form, and at the front desk of the Financial Aid Office.

Code of Conduct

Comparison of Federal Loans and Private Loans Chart



The SELF loan program is an educational alternative/private loan provided by the Minnesota Office of Higher Education. This program is unique to Minnesota and the Office of Higher Education is the only lender in the program. Minnesota residents attending eligible post-secondary institutions in-state, out-of-state, and nonresidents attending eligible post-secondary institutions within Minnesota are eligible to apply. The loan amount you are allowed to borrow depends on your grade level. For minimum loan amount, maximum and cumulative SELF limits, repayment, eligibility criteria and interest rate information visit All SELF applications are certified by the school and require a completed application by a credit-worthy co-signer. IMPORTANT!!! The SELF loan does not offer a grace period or deferment options to borrowers. For further information about the SELF loan program, please visit the Frequently Asked Questions Page via You are encouraged to exhaust all eligibility for federal aid programs before you consider alternative/private loans.