EMU recommends that you file your FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) and exhaust your federal aid prior to applying for a private loan.
Private Loans are credit-based student loans offered by a number of educational loan companies (lenders). Because these loans are not guaranteed by the federal government, interest rates, origination fees and application fees are usually higher than for the Direct Stafford Loan program. A co-borrower may be required, depending on your credit history and credit worthiness.
Private loans are not for everyone. You should exhaust all of your Stafford loan eligibility before considering private loans. Since a credit check is performed, not everyone is approved for private loans. Generally, borrowers with better credit histories receive better loan terms.
To assist students in choosing a private loan lender EMU suggests using the ELM Select Loan Comparison Tool. Eastern Michigan University does not endorse any private educational loan lender or lending program. A borrower has the right to choose any lender, whether it is on EMU’s list or not.
Lender Selection Methodology
Following a Request for Information, Eastern Michigan University selected lenders for the following reasons:
- Good customer service for borrowers and EMU staff
- Competitive rates and terms
- Lender strength and stability in the lending industry
- Participation in EFT (Electronic Funds Transfer)
- Products that meet individual circumstances of EMU borrows, including:
- Extending loans to students not meeting SAP at EMU
- Less than half time enrollment
- International students
- Loans to cover past due balances
- Co-signer release options
EMU reserves the right to add or remove any lender from our list at any time. EMU will review our lender list periodically and will take into consideration feedback from students.
The Application Process
The application process for alternative student loans includes a credit check. During this process your lender will provide you with a disclosure statement detailing your interest rate and confirming your acceptance of the loan.
Once the lender has approved your loan, the lender will contact EMU to request loan certification. EMU will certify your loan within two weeks of notification from lender. Please note that loan certification can take longer during the beginning of a semester, so it is recommended you apply at least one month prior to the start of a semester. After EMU certifies your loan, the lender must mail a final disclosure to you, giving you a three day cancellation period of the loan. The lender is required to allow a minimum mailing and processing time for the final disclosure to be received by you before they can send funds to EMU. This requirement can result in 7-10 days for loan funds to be sent to EMU once the certification has been completed.
Your loan funds will be sent to EMU electronically and applied to your student account. Any credit balance remaining will be refunded to your EagleOne card preference.
Private Education Loan Applicant Self-Certification Forms
Private loan lenders are required to provide loan disclosures to borrowers as well as collect the Private Education Loan Applicant Self-Certification Form, which includes the following:
- Cost of attendance: your cost of attendance is available 24/7 through the Financial Aid tab on your my.emich
- Estimated financial assistance: includes all federal, state, institutional (school), private and other sources of aid. The aid awarded to you is available 24/7 through the Financial Aid tab on your my.emich. If the private loan you are currently applying for has already been listed as an award, do not include it as current aid on the self-certification form.
The Self-Certification Form must be submitted directly to the lender and will be a part of the application process. Do not submit the form to EMU’s Office of Financial Aid.
Graduate and Professional Degree Students
Students pursuing a graduate or professional degree are encouraged to apply for a Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan. The Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan has a fixed interest rate of 7.9%.
Parents of Undergraduates
Parents of undergraduates are encouraged to consider a Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan. The Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan has a fixed interest rate of 7.9%.