Private education loans (also called alternative or non-federal education loans) may be available to students who do not qualify for federal loans, such as international students, or to students who wish to borrow private loans in lieu of federal loans. It is important to note that there is no income limit on borrowing some types of federal education loans, therefore, eligible borrowers are always encouraged to review and understand the costs, loan features and benefits of federal student loans and compare those costs and benefits to those of alternative loans before opting to borrow non-federal loans.
The interest rates on private education loans may be variable or fixed and the credit requirements, loan terms, loan fees, applicable grace period, application requirements, in-school payment requirements, etc. vary from lender to lender. International students are required to have a credit worthy cosigner who is a US citizen or permanent resident of the US.
The maximum eligibility for private education loans is the average cost of attendance less financial aid from all sources. Individual lenders may have additional limits on the amount of private education loans that a student may borrow.
Students may choose any private education loan lender they wish. Students who need help in selecting a lender may refer to the 2012-13 Suggested Private Lender List