Private education loans may be available to students who are not eligible for federal student aid, or who are seeking loan assistance above and beyond the federal financial aid programs. They are used to cover "gaps" that may exist between education costs and the amount of financial aid received (if any).
Charter Oak State College requires all eligible students to apply for federal financial aid first, exhausting all student financial assistance options, prior to borrowing a private education loan.
Charter Oak State College does not have a preferred lender list for private education loans. Students and their families need to do their own due diligence to determine what loan best suits their borrowing needs. There are many types of private education loans, each are calculated with different interest rates, fees, deferment options, repayment terms, co-borrower, and credit criteria. Items to consider when applying for a loan are:
- Is the interest rate fixed or variable?
- Is there a cap on the maximum interest rate if variable?
- Are there loan fees?
- Are there co-signer requirements?
- Are payments required while in-school?
- Is satisfactory academic progress a requirement?
- What is the minimum credit load that a student must carry?
Private education loan borrowers, pursuant to revisions in the Truth in Lending Act, are required to complete a Private Education Loan Applicant Self-Certification Form before their loan can be approved. The lender will provide the borrower with this form. The form can also be downloaded using the above link. However, the Office of Financial recommends that the applicant complete the self-certification form that the lender provides. The self-certification form should be completed promptly and returned to the lender and not to the Office of Financial Aid. Some lenders may ask for Charter Oak's OPE ID # which is 03234300.
In order to complete the self-certification form, the private loan applicant will need to know their cost of attendance and estimated financial aid assistance (if any) for the period of enrollment covered by the loan. This information is available by logging into MyCharterOak and clicking on the "Financial Aid" tab. From this view, click on the "My Financial Aid" link. Use the arrow down key on the RHS of the screen to toggle between the approprite academic years.