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 Private Loan Opportunities


Private Education Loans
University of Massachusetts Disclosure Statement Concerning Lenders for Private Education Loans

Suggested Lender List

Massachusetts Board of Higher Education Code of Conduct for Student Loan Programs

Private Education Loans

When choosing what type of loan or how much to borrow, do your homework and compare options to be sure you’re getting the loan that’s right for your needs. We’ve made the process easier with five simple steps.

1. Start with Federal Student Loans.

Federal student loans feature a unique combination of benefits. They are guaranteed with a fixed interest rate, can be consolidated, and offer multiple repayment options.  To qualify for federal student loans, scholarships and grants, you must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at www.fafsa.ed.gov

2. Don’t Borrow More than You Need.

Begin by totaling your tuition, fees, room and board expenses for the entire academic year. Then, subtract any scholarships, grants, loans or deposits made to determine your estimated balance due.  When applying for a private education loan, please be sure to apply for the entire amount that you will need for the full academic year (i.e. Fall 2012 and Spring 2013 semesters).  Pay what you can from savings or enroll in the interest-free Tuition Management Systems (TMS) monthly payment plan at www.afford.com/umassd where you can split the balance into smaller installments. Only use loans as a last resort. 

3. Don’t Borrow More than You Can Afford.

Find out from the lender what interest rate you qualify for, what your monthly repayment will be, and the total cost of the loan. Remember to plan ahead; if you expect to borrow again for future years in college, your cumulative costs are likely to increase substantially.

4. Pay Attention to Fees, Terms and Conditions.

Read the fine print for additional fees, which can boost the APR and increase your overall cost of borrowing. Selecting immediate repayment, choosing a shorter repayment term or having a co-borrower might lower your interest rate. Find out if there are hardship or forbearance options if you encounter financial difficulties during repayment.

5. Get the Advice and Support You Need.

Education loans and lenders aren’t one size fits all. Read the fine print and if you don’t understand something, ask for an explanation. Look for a lender that is transparent about its programs, will help you choose the right loan product for your financial situation, and provides helpful answers when you need them.

Understanding the Fine Print in Education Financing

If you are considering financing any of your educational expenses, learn the vocabulary of financing and be sure to read the fine print on lender application and solicitation disclosures.

Annual Percentage Rate (APR): The APR reflects the total cost of borrowing money over the life of the loan, factoring in the interest rate, fees and length of repayment.

Co-Borrower: A co-borrower is someone who signs the loan application and loan note along with the primary borrower. This might improve your chances of being approved or help you qualify for better terms. Keep in mind that the co-borrower shares full responsibility for repaying the loan if the primary borrower falters during repayment.

Immediate, Interest-Only and Deferred Repayment: With immediate repayment, you’ll receive your first monthly bill soon after the loan funds are fully disbursed to the school. Interest-only loans start with low monthly payments at first; the payment rises once the student graduates. Deferred loans generally don’t begin repayment until after the student has graduated or left school. The sooner you start to repay your loan, the lower the interest rate and total cost of the loan.

Tiered Pricing: With some lenders, the advertised lowest rate may only be available to those with exceptional credit. Borrowers with fair to average credit might be charged an interest rate or fees that are higher than advertised.

Fixed vs. Variable Interest Rate:  A fixed interest rate doesn’t change during its term so your monthly payment will remain the same for the life of the loan. With variable rate loans, the interest and your payments may go up or down over time, depending on the current market interest rates or other benchmarks. A variable interest rate is normally tied to an index such as Prime Rate, LIBOR, U.S. Treasury Bills, or another rate that may fluctuate over time.  There may be no cap on how high the variable interest rate might go.


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University of Massachusetts Disclosure Statement Concerning Lenders for Private Education Loans

Every student/parent/guardian has the right to select their own lender. The lenders listed at this site are independent entities. The University of Massachusetts (University, UMass) makes no representations, warranties, or guarantees, implied or otherwise, as to the lenders listed at this site or that the financing options presented at this site are the most attractive terms available to any particular student, or parent, or guardian of a student seeking financial aid. Also, information may not be updated or timely or may be subject to data entry errors or changes by the lender. Please read carefully final loan agreements or promissory notes and understand their payment terms and other obligations.

The University is not a lender and is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting, financial planning or other related professional services. Any agreements entered into with the lenders whose products are included at this site will exist solely between the lender and the borrower, and UMass assumes no obligation or liability in connection with any such agreements.

The University recommends that borrowers consult with their own expert advisors before making educational financing decisions. Students and their parents/guardians have the right and ability to select the education loan provider of their choice, and are not required to use any of the lenders listed here. There will be no penalty for choosing a lender that is not included as a lender on this site.

The lenders listed on this website responded to a publicly solicited Request for Response (RFR) for private education loans. This request document can be found on the INTERNET by searching for the document number "UP14DF0301." The University reviewed information regarding each lending institution's background, loan program requirements, and customer service and program affiliations. The interest rate, fees, or loan cost offered by these lenders may not be the lowest available. In addition, a lender may change the rates, terms, fees, and other information from that which was presented in their original responses. The University will review the status of each lender at least annually and may add or drop lenders from this list. The University reviewers from UMass campuses at Lowell, Dartmouth, and Boston have declared no personal affiliation, financial interest, benefit, or other personal ties related to these lenders in a signed affidavit maintained on file at the University.

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Elm Select is a lender comparison tool in which students and parents can research the terms and conditions of different lenders on the Suggested Lender List below and choose the loan that best fits their personal financial situation, educational goals and objectives. Visit Elm Select at http://elmselect.com/#/

Suggested Private Education Lender List

Interest Rate
Interest Rate
Academic Progress
Citizens Bank
Student Loan®
Loan Disclosure


cu Student Loan
 cuScholar Private Student Loan

Discover Loan
Loan Disclosure

Massachusetts Educational Financing Authority (MEFA) 
Loan Disclosure


National Education
Smart Option Studnet Loan


New Hampshire Higher Education Loan Corp.
Loan Disclosure


PNC Bank 
PNC Solution Loan
Loan Disclosure

Sallie Mae
Smart Option Student Loan®
Loan Disclosure


SunTrust Bank 
Custom Choice Loan®
Loan Disclosure

U-fi Student Loan

Union Federal Savings Bank
Union Federal Private Student Loan
Loan Disclosure


Wells Fargo 
Wells Fargo
Collegiate® Loan
Loan Disclosure



Before considering private loans, you should first apply for federal, state, and institutional financial aid at www.fafsa.gov/.You are not required to borrow from any of the lenders on UMass Dartmouth's suggested private education lender list. If you choose to borrow from a lender not on the list, we will gladly process the loan for you. For information on how the lenders were selected, please visit www.umassd.edu/financialaid/loans/loans-private/


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Massachusetts Board of Higher Education Code of Conduct for Student Loan Programs

Please refer to http://www.mass.edu/library/Motions/2007/FAAP07-29.pdf for the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education Code of Conduct for Student Loan Programs.

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