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Private Education Loans

General Information

Consider Federal Direct Student Loans first. Generally, they offer better terms and lower interest rates.

If you find that you need additional funding, do not wish to apply for federal financial aid, or are ineligible for federal aid, you may want to apply for a private loan.  While private loans are not subject to federal financial aid regulations such as having a FAFSA on file, making satisfactory academic progress, completing federal verification, and having limits on the amount borrowed based on the number of credits earned, they are based on the credit-worthiness of the applicant and/or the co-signer.

Private (alternative loan) lenders offer a variety of loan products to undergraduate, graduate, and professional school students; part-time students, continuing education students, and international students.  In most cases, students can apply on-line.  In some cases, the loans can be used to pay past due balances of education costs.

Loan debt can accumulate quickly and take a long time to pay off.  High indebtedness can result in a lifetime burden of loan repayments, and possibly credit denials for credit cards, automobile purchases, and home mortgages.  To avoid these problems, don't over-borrow.  Shop carefully for your loan by comparing the terms and conditions of various loans.  Become a better-educated consumer and an expert at your own personal finances at CashCourse,

When should I apply?

Clarion University cannot certify loans that are submitted too early!  We suggest that you submit your loan application on or after these dates:

  • July 15th for a full academic year (fall and spring) loan
  • December 1st for a spring semester only loan
  • April 15th for a summer loan

Can you recommend a lender?

You have the right to choose any lender you wish.  We do not recommend any particular lenders. However, to assist you in your search, we are providing a list of private loan lenders from whom Clarion University students borrowed most frequently.  Lenders are listed in alphabetical order and are in no way ranked by Clarion University. Lender ratings from SLA (Student Lending Analytics--an independent research and advisory group) are here.

Citizens Bank

Discover Student Loans

Erie Community Credit Union

PNC Bank

Sallie Mae Bank

Wells Fargo EFS

What is the loan application process?  How long will it take for me to get my money?

Apply directly to the lender of your choice.  When you have been approved, your lender will notify Clarion.  Normally, this process takes one to two weeks.  If you meet the eligibility requirements, Clarion  will notify the lender that we have certified your loan. Your lender will then send your loan funds to Clarion University.  The funds are received in the Office of Student Accounts.  Personnel in that office credit the loan proceeds to your account and process a refund if it is due. This part of the process may take an additional week. Please note that some of the legal requirements of the New Truth in Lending Act impact the amount of time it takes for you to receive your loan proceeds.

Why do I need a cosigner?

Most private education lenders require students to have a cosigner for their loans.  In addition to increasing your chances of getting approved for the loan, having another person cosign sometimes helps you get a lower interest rate.  Parents, grandparents, or other family members often serve as cosigners.  However, your co-signer does not have to be a relative. He or she should be someone with a steady income and a good credit history.

FYI:  The New Truth In Lending Requirements

As per the Truth in Lending Act of 2010, lenders who provide private education loans must comply with the following requirements:

Lenders must provide three separate loan disclosures to borrowers--one at the point of application, one when the loan is approved, and one before the loan is disbursed.

A waiting period of three business days is required between the time the borrower receives the final loan disclosure and the time that the loan is disbursed to the University.

The student must also sign a self-certification form and submit it to the lender before the loan can be disbursed.

Your lender should provide you with all of the necessary information about these requirements.

Clarion University Student Lending Code of Conduct

  • Clarion University does not participate in revenue-sharing arrangements with any lender
  • CUP does not permit any officer, employee, or agent of the school who is employed in the Office of Financial Aid or is otherwise involved in the administration of educational loans to accept any gift of greater than a nominal value from any lender, guarantor, or servicer, to accept any fee, payment, or other financial benefit (including a stock purchase option) from a lender or affiliate of a lender as compensation for any type of consulting arrangement or contract to provide services to a lender or on behalf of a lender relating to education loans.
  • CUP does not permit any officer, employee, or agent of the school who is employed in the Office of Financial Aid or is otherwise involved in the administration of educational loans to participate on an advisory board, commission, or other group established by a lender or on behalf of a lender.
  • CUP does not assign a specific lender to a firsttime borrower through the financial aid packaging process, nor does it maintain a preferred lender list.
  • CUP recognizes that a borrower has the right to choose any lender from which to borrow to finance his/her education. CUP will not refuse to certify or otherwise deny or delay certification of a loan based on the borrower's selection of a lender and/or guarantor.
  • CUP will not request or accept any assistance with call center or Aid Office staffing from a lender, or any other group established on behalf of a lender.