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Graduate Financial Aid

» Private/Alternative Loans

Private student loans are credit-based loans made available by private lenders to eligible students. It is recommended that students investigate their federal loan options fully before considering private loans. International students will need to obtain a credit-worthy US cosigner in order to secure a private loan. 

Rates, fees, and terms will vary among lenders (based on market indicators). Borrowers are encouraged to compare the rates and terms of several lenders before completing an application.

Lenders require credit checks and may offer better rates to students with good credit or applicants with cosigners. Students with questionable or bad credit may not be able to borrow this type of loan.

When considering which lender to use, students should inquire about:

  • Are fees charged up front and upon repayment?
  • The interest rate: Is it variable? Is there a rate cap (maximum rate)?
  • Are there any repayment incentives?
  • Can principle and/or interest be deferred, and for how long?
  • How often is the interest capitalized?

Once a student has been approved for a private loan, the lender will communicate with Chapman University electronically. Students should allow 3-4 weeks for loan processing, certification, and disbursement of funds. Students should inform the Office of Graduate Financial Aid of their intent to borrow a private loan. 

Private student loans are counted as aid and are limited to no more than the Cost of Attendance minus other aid the student is receiving. Students who have borrowed their maximum awarded federal loans cannot use private loans to borrow additional funds. 

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