FINANCIAL AID

Private Education Loans

A private education loan is a credit-based consumer loan for the sole purpose of covering education costs. These types of loans tend to cost more than education loans offered by the federal government.

Basics

Private education loans are credit-based consumer loans used solely to cover education costs. These types of loans tend to cost more than student loans offered by the federal government but are less expensive than credit card debt. Federal loans (subsidized and an unsubsidized) offer fixed interest rates that are lower than the variable rates offered by most private education loans. Federal loans also offer better repayment and forgiveness options. For these reasons, you should exhaust your eligibility for federal loans before applying for private student loans. For additional information on federal student loans, interest rates and repayment options go to https://studentaid.ed.gov/types/loans/subsidized-unsubsidized.  For information on the differences between federal vs. private loans go to https://studentaid.ed.gov/types/loans/federal-vs-private.

To find out more about private education loans and lenders who offer private loans, visit the FinAid website.

A private education loan may be right for you if scholarships, grants and federal student loans do not cover your total education-related costs or if you have reached your federal student loan allowable aggregate. 

Lender Information and Certification

It is your responsibility to research private education loan resources, select a lender and apply for a private education loan via the selected lender's process. Once you select your lender and your application is processed, your lender will send the Financial Aid & Scholarship Department a request for certification of your enrollment and cost of attendance.

You must be enrolled for the loan period listed on the request in order for the Financial Aid & Scholarship Department to certify your private education loans. It may take the Financial Aid & Scholarship Department up to two weeks to certify private education loans after the request is received. You should plan on paying for courses by the assigned due date if your private education loans haven't been posted to your portal.

If you have already filed your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and you have been awarded financial aid, the Financial Aid & Scholarship Department will complete the certification request and determine the amount for which you are eligible. The amount we certify may not match what you requested because a student's aid package cannot exceed the cost of attendance.

If you filed your FAFSA but haven't completed your financial aid file (check your "To-Do List" on the myNorthridge Portal), the Financial Aid & Scholarship Department will not complete the certification request until you have submitted the required documents to the Financial Aid & Scholarship Department.

It is not a requirement to apply for financial aid before applying for private education loans but, we encourage you to do so by completing the FAFSA. It is to your benefit to be considered for state and federal aid prior to applying for outside loans.

Loan Periods

Please use the appropriate loan period for the regular term(s) you will be enrolled in. For example, if you are enrolled in fall semester and will also enroll in spring, you must use the August through May loan period. Half of the loan funds will be disbursed in the fall, and the other half will be disbursed in the spring.

If you are only enrolled for spring, you should use the January through May loan period. Summer is a stand-alone term and has its own unique loan period; you must apply for a separate private loan to cover the summer term. Check back in April for specific summer dates. 

Loans by semestersLoan periods for private education loan applications 
SessionsDates
Fall 2014 and Spring 2014 (use if you will be enrolled for both terms)August 25, 2014 – May 15, 2015
Fall 2014 (use if you will be enrolled for fall term only)August 25, 2014 – December 16, 2014 
Spring 2015 (use if you will be enrolled for spring term only)January 20, 2015  - May 15, 2015

Your lender will mail* your private education loan check to the Financial Aid & Scholarship Department. You will be notified via email once the check has been received by the university and is ready to be picked up (may take up to 5 days). All checks are picked up in Bayramian Hall 100R. Private education loan checks are released according to the financial aid disbursement calendar (see Receive Aid Payment).

*If your lender is Discover Student Loans, your loan funds will be deposited to your CSUN account and released according to the financial aid disbursement calendar (see Receive Aid Payment).