Private loans are unsecured educational loans made by private financial institutions such as a banks or credit unions. These are loans that must be repaid with interest.
- Interest rates, origination and repayment fees for this loan program are based on the credit-worthiness of the borrower and/or co-borrower.
- Undergraduates will generally need to apply with a credit-worthy co-borrower. Graduate students may obtain better rates by applying with a credit-worthy co-borrower.
- Interest rates will vary on a monthly or quarterly basis and may not have a maximum rate.
- Repayment generally begins immediately after full disbursement.
- Some lenders may defer (postpone) repayment during periods of at least half-time enrollment and economic hardship; however, interest will accrue on the loan from the date it is disbursed.
- To reduce the cost of borrowing, consider making in-school interest or interest + principal payments.
- Rules for repayment and deferment vary from lender to lender. Check with your lender for more information.
To apply for a private loan, please read the following information carefully and then click on the links to the USD Lender lists. You will apply for your loan directly with the lender you choose. You have the right to use any lender you wish and do not need to select one from the USD Lender lists.
Exhaust Federal Student Aid Options First
Students who are eligible for federal student aid should complete the FAFSA and exhaust all federal, state, and University aid options, including federal loans, before applying for a private, alternative loan. Federal student loans generally have more favorable terms and conditions than private loans. We recommend that you utilize all federal loan eligibility before turning to private loans.
Recent amendments to the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) require that you complete a self-certification form and submit it to your lender for each alternative loan you apply for after February 14, 2010. If your lender does not provide you with the form, print the Private Loan Self-Certification form and access your Financial Aid Award from the MySanDiego web portal to obtain your cost of attendance and your estimated financial assistance for the period of enrollment covered by the loan. Return the self-certification form to your lender upon completion. If you have not applied for federal aid, please refer to the USD Student Accounts webpage for cost information. TILA also requires lenders to provide you with three disclosures: 1) upon your application, 2) when you are approved, and 3) at least 3 days prior to disbursement. Timing of the last disclosure may delay loan disbursements by an additional 1-2 weeks. Please plan accordingly.
Apply for Your Loan: USD's Private (Alternative) Lender Lists
- FastChoice The FastChoice Electronic list links to a website where you can review possible lenders, their benefits and applications processes.
- California Private Loan Marketplace The Marketplace is a website that presents, side-by-side, the specific loan rates and terms you would see if you applied with each lender directly.
Follow Important Guidelines:
- Apply for your alternative loan within 90 days of the beginning of the semester so your lender’s credit does not expire.
- Schedule ALL of the courses you plan to take BEFORE you apply for your loan so your loan is certified for the correct amount. Increases may not be possible after the loan is certified.
- For summer session(s), you must complete a separate loan application, since it is a separate loan term.
An alternative loan is an agreement between the borrower and cosigner and the lender. The University of San Diego cannot in any way be held liable in the event the borrower is dissatisfied with the rates, terms, or service provided by any lender, nor is USD responsible for any damages incurred by the student as a result of the student's choice of lender.
You have the right to select the alternative lender of your choice.
Do Your Research
Compare the Federal Direct PLUS Loan to Private (Alternative) Loans.
Ask Questions of your lender.
Borrow only what you absolutely need.
Calculate your estimated monthly payment and total repayment amount.