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Private Loan Frequently Asked Questions

 Below you will find a list of frequently asked questions regarding private student loans.

Does a student need to complete the FAFSA before a private loan will be certified?

NDSU strongly encourages students to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) prior to pursuing a private loan.  Federal Direct Loans tend to offer lower fixed interest rates and benefits that private loans may not offer. 

NOTE:  Some lenders require the FAFSA be completed.  

Do international students need to complete a FAFSA prior to certification of a private loan?

No.  International students are not required to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).  

Does a student need to complete the verification process before a private loan is certified?

Yes.  A private loan will not be certified until the verification process is completed.  

Which lender should I use for a private loan?

Per federal regulation, NDSU is prohibited from referring a student to any lender.  However, NDSU does offer a private loan comparison tool on our website called FASTChoice.   FASTChoice lists private loan lenders that NDSU students have used in the past three years.  NDSU does advise students to do some “shopping” to find the loan that works best for them.  

Why was my loan not approved for the amount that I requested?

The maximum private loan a student can borrow is calculated in the following way: 

Cost of Attendance (COA) - Total of all federal or state aid, scholarships, and waivers = Private loan eligibility

The cost of attendance (COA) is not the bill that you may get from NDSU; it is the total estimated amount it will cost you to go to college each year. The COA includes tuition and fees; on-campus room and board (or a housing and food allowance for off-campus students); and allowances for books, supplies, transportation, loan fees, and, if applicable, dependent care. Note: The COA for graduate and professional programs is usually higher than for undergraduate programs.

Private loans must be within a student’s Cost of Attendance (COA).  Depending on the loan period they requested, it may have to be reduced.  If a student is requesting a loan for a single term, NDSU will use only one semester’s COA to approve a loan amount. 

Example:  Student has a full year COA of $18,000.  They have been awarded $5,500 in Federal Direct Loans for the year and a scholarship of $1000 for the fall.  They are requesting a private loan for fall only of $10,000.  The loan can only be certified for $5,250 for a fall only loan.  NDSU would use $9,000 as the COA and subtract the aid received that semester ($3,750) which leaves $5,250 for a private loan maximum. 

What is the time line for a private loan?

This will depend on you and the lender.  Loan approvals can take anywhere from a couple days to a couple weeks.  If the lender has all the paperwork they require to complete the loan, they will send the request for certification to NDSU.  Certification by NDSU can take up to two weeks.  NOTE: August, September and January are the months when volume is very high, please allow additional time during these months.  Some lenders may then request additional paperwork to be completed by the student once they receive the certification from the school.  When the student completes all requirements of the lender, they will start the rescission period.  The rescission period is generally 8 business days.  If the student fails to complete the items the lender requires, the loan funds will not be sent to the school.  If the student would like to know the exact date the lender will send the funds to the school they should contact the lender directly. 

A student dropped off their Self-Certification and Loan Approval Disclosure, who gets these?

The student should return these forms to the lender.  When the lender receives the forms, the rescission period will start and then the loan will be approved to be disbursed.  Returning the forms to the school will delay the disbursement of their loan.         

I applied for the wrong loan period, what can I do?

You will need to contact Tammy Fraase, to request a loan period change on your private loan.  Not all loans can be changed after the certification process is complete. 

What happens to my private loan if I transfer to another school?

Private loans will not transfer with you.  You will need to apply for another loan at the new school using the new school’s information.  

If I applied for a private loan and did not qualify because I was not meeting the Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP), but filed an appeal and am now meeting SAP, will my loan be processed?

You will need to notify Tammy Fraase regarding the processing of your loan.  

I owe a balance for a semester that has ended, what do I do?

Private loans can be used to pay for a balance due from a semester that has ended, these are referred to as look back loans. Refer to the FASTChoice loan comparison tool and click on "Look Back Loans" to review the list of participating lenders. You will want to review each lenders criteria to make sure you are eligible; for example, Satisfactory Academic Progress is a requirement for some look back loans. Please contact Tammy Fraase with any questions. 

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North Dakota State University
Phone: +1 (701) 231-6200 / Fax: (701) 231-8297
Campus address: Memorial Union 176
Physical/delivery address: 1401 Administration Ave., Fargo, ND 58102
Mailing address: NDSU Dept. 2836 / PO Box 6050 / Fargo, ND 58108-6050
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Last Updated: Thursday, July 01, 2021 4:07:59 PM
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