An education loan is a form of financial aid that must be repaid, with interest. Education loans come in three major categories: Federal Direct Loans, Federal Direct PLUS Loans and Private Education Loans (also called alternative student loans).
Private education loans help bridge the gap between the actual cost of your education and the limited amount the government allows you to borrow in its federal programs. Private education loans tend to cost more than the education loans offered by the federal government but are less expensive than credit card debt. Since federal education loans are less expensive than and offer better terms than private student loans, you should exhaust your eligibility for federal student loans before resorting to private student loans. BORROW FEDERAL FIRST. For a comparison between federal loans and private loans please visit the U.S. Department of Education's Federal Student Aid website.
Listed below is a tool called ISM Marketplace, which allows you to compare lenders and actual rates for possible alternative loans. As a borrower, you have the option to select any lender you choose, and we will process the loan even if it is with a lender that is not listed. Please click this link if you have any questions regarding the process used to select ISM Marketplace as the tool we provide in searching for private loans.
Implemented in February 2010, the Truth in Lending Act has new provisions that have resulted in a number of changes in regards to applying for and receiving private or alternative student loans. Lenders who provide these loans must comply with the following:
- Lenders must provide 3 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 3 business days is required between the time the borrower receives the final loan disclosure and the time the loan is disbursed.
- Students must also sign an Applicant Self-Certification form and submit it to the lender before the loan can be disbursed.
- Your lender should provide you with a copy of the required Applicant Self-Certification Form. If you do not receive one from your lender, you can download an Applicant Self-Certification Form on our website. If you download the form here, we recommend that you contact your lender for your application ID or other identifier that will help the lender match the form with your application.
- You will need to know your cost of attendance and estimated financial assistance, to complete the Applicant Self-Certification form. If you receive financial aid, this information can be found through your MyUSI @ /start/index.asp >Self Service > Financial Aid > Financial Aid Status > Cost of Attendance.
- If you are not receiving financial aid, use the estimated cost of attendance figures on our website. Select the Cost tab and then select the appropriate academic year.
Your loan cannot be disbursed until your lender receives your Applicant Self-Certification Form.
Note: Failure to provide an accurate loan period on your application can result in a delay in processing.
This policy establishes the University of Southern Indiana's (USI) Student Loan Code of Conduct which is applicable to all USI officers, USI employees and USI Agents involved with the administration of student loans or who otherwise have responsibilities related to student loans in accordance with the Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) of 2008.