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Private Student Loans

If federal aid, along with scholarships, state grants, tuition waivers and personal savings is not enough to cover your educational expenses, you may wish to consider borrowing a private student loan.  Below you will find information which should help guide you are you decide whether a private student loan is right for you.

What is it?

Private student loans are non-federal, interest-bearing loans through private lenders. Approval is not guaranteed and the student may need a co-signer with good credit to apply. There are a variety of private student loans available and it’s up to the student and co-signer to choose the one that is best for them.

Who is eligibile?

Private student loans are available to undergraduate and graduate students.  Lender requirements may vary; contact the lender directly for all eligibility requirements.

How much can I apply for?

Instead of asking "How much can I apply for?" consider how much you really need.  The answer to this questions is going to be different for each student based on your cost to attend NDSU (tuition, room and board, books, etc.) and the financial aid you are already receiving.  Students should only borrow what is necessary to cover college costs.  There is a maximum amount students are allowed to apply for; below are the steps to determine what the maximum private loan amount is for the academic year (fall/spring) and summer semester.

  1. Log into Campus Connection.

    • NOTE - You must complete the NDSU New Student Setup to activate your User ID, or you will be unable to log into Campus Connection. Follow the step-by-step instructions to activate your Campus Connection User ID. The normal format for this ID is firstname.lastname.  If you are unsure whether or not you have claimed your User ID, check through the Have I Claimed My Account page.
    • If you have previously attended another North Dakota University System (NDUS) institution you may already have an existing Campus Connection User ID. Please continue using this existing User ID to access Campus Connection at NDSU.
    • If you experience problems or have questions about your System ID, please call the N.D. University System Help Desk at 866-457-6387 or submit a Help Desk ticket: helpdesk.ndus.edu

  2. Click on the Financial Aid tile
  3. Click Financial Aid Summary on the left side bar
  4. Click Need Summary on the left side bar
  5. Select Academic Year or Summer at the top of the page
  6. Subtract Total Aid from Estimated Cost of Attendance to determine the maximum private loan amount you are eligible to borrow for either the Academic Year (fall/spring) or Summer.  If this amount is not enough to cover your expenses, you may want to consider applying for a Budget Increase.

    • Example:  The student has a Estimated Cost of Attendance for the Academic Year of $23,868 and Total Aid of $10,895 which means the maximum private loan amount they could borrow is $12,973.

FASTChoice (Private Student Loan Comparison Tool)

NDSU offers an online private student loan comparison tool for you to use called FASTChoice.  FASTChoice is designed to assist you in making the private student loan choice that is best for you. FASTChoice is not a lender.  Please keep in mind that you may select any lender of your choice, even if they do not appear on FASTChoice.

Private Student Loan Deadlines

While there is no specific deadline for applying for a private loan during the semester you are attending; please be aware processing can take up to three weeks once NDSU receives the request.  You should apply as soon as possible to allow enough time for lender to process your application, loan approval, school processing, follow-up paperwork (if applicable), and funds to be applied to you/your students NDSU student account.

Recommended application dates are as follows:

  • Summer 2019 Semester Only - May 15, 2019
  • 2019-2020 Academic Year - July 15, 2019
  • Fall 2019 Semester Only - July 15, 2019
  • Spring 2020 Semester Only - November 15, 2019

Contact Tammy Fraase for further questions.

Other Private Student Loan Options

There are other private student loan options.  If your parents prefer to be the primary borrower of the loan rather than the co-signer, then you may want to consider the Federal Direct PLUS Loan .  If you are a North Dakota resident, you may meet the requirements for the Gabriel Brown Trust Loan.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here you can find a list of private loan frequently asked questions.

NDSU Financial Aid and Scholarships and its staff do not endorse or accept any incentives, financial or otherwise, from the lenders listed on FASTChoice.  Lender information is provided as a courtesy and in no way should it be interpreted as a requirement to use one of the listed lenders.  NDSU will process loans from any lender that participates in any educational loan programs.


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North Dakota State University
Phone: +1 (701) 231-6200 / Fax: (701) 231-8297
Campus address: Memorial Union 176
Physical/delivery address: 1401 Administration Ave., Fargo, ND 58102
Mailing address: NDSU Dept. 2836 / PO Box 6050 / Fargo, ND 58108-6050
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Last Updated: Wednesday, July 10, 2019 10:08:14 AM
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