Private, Alternative Student Loan Information

Please file your FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) to receive all of your federal aid before applying for alternative loans.  There are several options for students who wish to borrow money in addition to or for those not eligible to receive federally funded loans. However, there are some important factors to consider when looking at these alternative loans:

  • What is the current interest rate?
  • Is the interest rate fixed or variable? A fixed rate will stay the same for the life of the loan A variable rate usually changes annually. When looking at a loan with a variable rate, ask your lender to which base rate your interest is tied (Prime Rate, LIBOR, 91 Day Treasury Bill).
  • When do I have to start paying back my loan?
  • How long can I take to pay back the loan after I graduate?
  • What happens if I decide to pursue a master’s degree?
  • What are the loan fees?
  • How are they assessed? (Some loan fees are taken out of the approved loan amount, while others have fees added to the loan balance.)
  • Who applies for the loan (parent or student)?
  • What are the co-signer requirements?
  • For an estimate of your monthly repayment on your private loans, before taking them out, try using a budgeting calculator from such places as

Private Student Loan Transparency Statement

  • NMU encourages students to use all Federal aid eligibility, including Federal Direct Loans, before requesting private student loans.
  • Northern Michigan University is not affiliated with any private student loan lenders.
  • NMU provides a list of private student loan products without prejudice and for the sole benefit of students and families.
  • Private student loan lenders listed on NMU's Financial Aid web page are based on high quality servicing of such loans, monitored through student usage of private student loans, which includes feedback related to servicing.  Also, the list includes loan products that will meet unique circumstances, such as students still eligible even if not making Satisfactory Academic Progress or enrollment below half-time.  The lenders are listed as a starting point, not a suggestion of where to borrow from.  Please consult the individual lenders for current interest rates and loan fee amounts.
  • NMU will process private loan requests sent to Northern Michigan University from any lender, without delay of certification based on lender choice, up to the student's budget limit (highest amount one can receive for the requested loan period).  While we will not refuse to certify any private loan requests, individual lenders have program eligibility requirements that if not met by the student, may not allow us to process the loan request.
  • NMU does not receive any gifts or compensation from any lenders.  Gifts include, but are not limited to: gratuity, favors, discounts, entertainment, hospitality, loans, or other items worth more than a negligible amount.
  • NMU does not participate in revenue-sharing or education loan arrangements with any lender.

Private Student Loans

  • The Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 (HEOA) [PL 110-35] added section 128(e) to the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) which among other things, changed the timing of disbursements sent to schools.  After a loan is certified at the school level, the lender must mail a final disclosure to the student giving them a three day cancelation period of said loan.  Minimum mailing and processing times are also included under federal regulations, and depending on lender interpretation delays the minimum time to disburse a loan to around 7-10 days.
  • Below is a third party site to help you compare private loans.  This tool is for your convenience and is not represented as a full comprehensive list.
  • This list was generated based on active private loan companies that students have borrowed with while at NMU over the last three years.

Private Loan Return Policy

  • If a student is over awarded with a private loan on their account, the loan amount in excess of that semester's budget will be returned to the lender and subsequent semesters will be adjusted if necessary.
  • If a student withdraws from their classes and there is an overage on their account that includes private loan funds, that portion of the overage, up to the amount borrowed for the semester, will be returned to the lender.  If you know you will not be attending, please let our office know so we can send your private loan back immediately.
  • If a student is not enrolled when we receive a private loan check, it will be held until after the last day of the drop/add period (approximately 10 days into the semester) and if still not enrolled, will be returned minus any charges on the student's account for that semester.
  • If a student requests private loan funds to be returned to the lender after they have disbursed, they must make arrangements directly with the lender to return payment unless one of the previous three situations apply.
  • If a student withdraws from Northern Michigan University, and this withdrawal results in excess funds on the student's account, these proceeds will be returned to the lender.
  • Before private loan funds are returned to lenders, Northern Michigan University will deduct any documented educational expenses on a student's account for that semester before returning the overage.