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Private Education Loans


Private education loans may have significant disadvantages when compared with federal education loans. We strongly encourage you to first borrow any federal loans for which you are eligible. Make sure you understand the differences.

Comparison Chart of Federal and Private Education Loans


Federal Loans

Private Loans

Credit Check Required?

Direct Loan: No
PLUS/Graduate PLUS: Yes


Credit Score or Debt-to-Income Considered?

Direct Loan: No
PLUS/Graduate PLUS: Yes 


Co-signer Required?

Direct Loan: No
PLUS/Graduate PLUS: Usually no

Usually yes

Deferment Options

Several options  

Depends on lender

Grace Period

Direct Loan: 6 months

Depends on lender

Interest Rate


Usually variable 

Loan Fees

Direct Loan: 1%
PLUS: 4%

Depends on lender  

Flexible Repayment Options

Many options available

Generally none

Loan Forgiveness Options

Several options available

Generally none

Penalties for Early Repayment


Depends on lender  

Choosing a Private Loan

When choosing a private education loan, you should compare the loan terms offered by several lenders in order to find the best fit for your situation. One resource for finding active private education loan programs is FinAid. When you choose your lender, make sure that NHU is a participating school in their loan program.

Here are several points you should research when considering a private loan:

  • What is the interest rate? Is it fixed or variable? Is the rate capped?

  • What fees must be paid for this loan? When are they due?

  • How will I receive my loan funds?

  • When does repayment begin? Is there a grace period?

  • What will my monthly payment be?

  • What will be the total cost if I use the full repayment period?

  • Are there penalties for early repayment? 

  • Are there deferment, forbearance, or cancellation options?

Most private loan programs require our office to certify your eligibility before approving your loan. If you receive financial aid, you must notify our office of any private loans you borrow, as it may affect your aid eligibility.

Truth in Lending Act

Under the Federal Truth in Lending Act (TILA), your lender must provide you with:

  • Self-Certification Form: You must complete this form and return it to the lender before receiving the first disbursement of loan funds.

  • Final Disclosure Statement and Right-to-Cancel Period: After you sign the promissory note, the Final Disclosure Statement confirms the terms and conditions of the loan. The “right-to-cancel” period begins when the final disclosure is delivered to you. During this period of three to six days, the loan may be cancelled by contacting the lender. The lender cannot release the first disbursement of loan funds until the end of the right-to-cancel period.

Filling Out FAFSA?
NHU's school code is 016968.