Need additional funds beyond scholarships and federal aid?
Private student loans are a means of financing educational expenses not covered by other sources of financial aid.
Be sure that you have applied for federal loans via the FAFSA before considering private loans. Federal Unsubsidized Loans are not based on financial need, so definitely explore this option before applying for private loans.
Choosing a Lender
- UAH does not maintain a preferred lender list. Since private loan lenders are profit-oriented, our office cannot recommend one lender over another.
- One way to identify lenders is to search the internet. Most lenders provide information concerning their student loan programs online and also provide an online application process.
- Loan terms, fees, interest rates, and eligibility criteria vary widely between lenders. Compare rates and terms before choosing a lender. Read the fine print to insure you are making an educated choice.
- The application process for a private student loan is between you and the lender: UAH is not involved in the initial application process.
- As part of the application process, the lender will do a credit check. If you have not built a credit history, or if your credit rating is low, the lender will require you to have a credit-worthy co-signer. Adding a co-signer will help increase the chances for approval, and could lower the interest rate on the loan.
- Most lenders provide an online application process. However, some lenders may require additional documentation (such as a Self-Certification form) and signatures. Be sure to react promptly to any requests for information or signatures from your lender in order to keep the application process moving.
Cost of Attendance and Loan Amounts
Private loan applications include a question about the estimated Cost of Attendance (COA). Below is a chart containing the UAH COA figures for 2014-2015.
2014-2015 UAH Cost of Attendance (includes estimated living expenses)
Your maximum eligible loan amount is determined by subtracting the total of your financial aid and scholarships for the loan period from the estimated UAH Cost of Attendance for the loan period.
Borrow only what you need! This is a loan that must be repaid with interest.
The loan period you select on the application is very important. It indicates which COA figure from the chart above will be used to determine eligible loan amounts.
The loan period will also determine the number of disbursements (payments) for the loan. For example, if the specified loan period is 8/01/2014 thru 5/1/2015, then a two semester COA will be assumed and the loan amount will be disbursed in two payments (one per semester).
The loan period must fall within a single academic year. The academic year at UAH begins with the Fall semester and ends with the Summer semester.
After a student has been pre-approved for a private loan, the lender will send a certification request to UAH for processing. As part of the certification process, our office will provide the following information:verification that the student is registered for classes at UAH during the specified loan period
- the number of credit hours in which the student is enrolled
- the amount of financial aid/scholarships the student is receiving
- approved loan amount
- disbursement dates
Please note: our office will not certify private loans for an amount that exceeds the cost of attendance minus other financial aid or that require funding or financial guarantees by the university. If the requested loan amount exceeds eligibility limits, the loan amount will be reduced to the maximum eligible amount on the loan certification.
Disbursement dates indicate when the lender will send the funds to UAH. Our office will provide the following disbursement dates to all lenders as part of the certification process for academic year 2014-2015:
- Fall 2014 Semester: August 11, 2014
- Spring 2015 Semester: January 2, 2015
- Summer 2015 Semester: May 16, 2015
If an applicable disbursement date has already passed by the time the loan is certified, then the lender will schedule the first possible disbursement date, taking into consideration a mandatory 3 day right-to-cancel period as well as their processing schedules. If you have completed the final sign-off of the terms of your loan, you can contact your lender to find out the scheduled disbursement dates for your loan funds.
Receipt of Loan Funds
When your loan funds are received by UAH, the funds will first be applied to any outstanding charges on your UAH bill. Any remaining funds will be refunded to you by paper check, by direct deposit, or by a credit back to your credit card if a credit card was used to make a payment for that semester. Students are strongly encouraged to sign up for direct deposit when expecting a refund.
Still have questions?
Contact: Joy Moody, Office of Student Financial Services, UC 212, 256.824.6865
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