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.
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 Direct loans (subsidized and an unsubsidized) offer fixed interest rates that are lower than the variable rates offered by most private education loans. Federal Direct 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 Direct 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 to find lenders who offer private education loans, visit the FinAid website at www.finaid.org. 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 an electronic request for certification of your eligibility, enrollment and cost of attendance.
You will also be required by your lender to submit a Private Education Loan Applicant Self-Certification Form. This form will be provided by your lender but it is also available on our website at http://www.csun.edu/financialaid/forms-documents under the Loan Documents tab. The form will ask you to provide your Cost of Attendance and your Estimated Financial Assistance. To see your Cost of Attendance, go to http://www.csun.edu/financialaid/cost-attendance. To see your financial aid award, log in to the myNorthridge Portal, and select the Financial Matters tab. Then, go to the Financial Aid Essentials box, and select the Check your awards link.
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.
What happens after I apply for a Private Education Loan?
If you filed your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and you have already been awarded financial aid, the Financial Aid & Scholarship Department will complete the lender 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. You must be enrolled in the minimum amount of units required by your lender. Review the requirements of your selected lender to make sure you meet all of the requirements for the private loan. It may take 10-15 business days before your loan is certified.
If you filed your FAFSA but you 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. The certification request will not be completed until you have submitted the required documents to the Financial Aid & Scholarship Department and your financial aid has been processed.
Once you have been awarded financial aid and you are enrolled in the minimum number of units (check with your lender), it may take the Financial Aid & Scholarship Department 10-15 working days to certify a private education loan after the request is received (or your financial aid has been processed). After your loan has been certified, you will see the amount listed on the myNorthridge Portal. If you do not see your private loan amount listed in the portal by your designated payment due date then it is your responsibility to pay for your classes using your own resources.
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. If you decide that you will not complete a FAFSA, and you have applied for a Private Education Loan, you must submit a letter to the Financial Aid & Scholarship Department requesting that we certify your loan and confirming that you will not be completing a FAFSA. We must have confirmation of your choice before we will certify the loan request.
Loan Periods and Deadlines
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.
Loan periods to use when applying for private education loans
Loan Period Dates
|Deadline to Apply|
Fall 2015 and Spring 2016 (you must use if you will be enrolled for both terms)
August 24, 2015 – May 20, 2016
You must apply for a private loan by May 2, 2016.
Fall 2015 (use if you will only be enrolled for fall term only)
August 24, 2015 – December 15, 2015
You must apply for a private loan by November 30, 2015
January 25, 2016 – May 20, 2016
You must apply for a private loan by May 2, 2016
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 made payable to the student are picked up in Bayramian Hall 100R. Private education loan checks are released according to the financial aid disbursement calendar (see Receive Aid Payment).
*Some lenders (Discover Student Loans for example) send loan checks made payable to CSUN. These types of loan checks are deposited and posted to your CSUN account. They will be disbursed according to the financial aid disbursement calendar (see Receive Aid Payment).