A Private education loan or alternative loan is a nonfederal
loan issued by a lender such as a bank or a credit union for the
purposes of financing postsecondary expenses.
Private loans should be viewed as a loan of last resort since they
traditionally do not offer the same benefits of federally funded
student loans in terms of interest rates, fees and repayment
Private loans like all loans must be repaid. St.John’s University
does not recommend any specific private lenders and encourages all
students and their families to carefully consider all available
financing options first before considering a private loan.
Education Act of 2008 sought to protect student loan consumers
and amended the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) and established
disclosure requirements for private education loans. (
As a result of this change all private lenders are required to
collect from an applicant a self certification form before a
private loan can be processed. The form is designed to remind
students about other sources of financial assistance and federal
loan options. The form seeks to collect from the student their cost
of attendance and expected financial assistance at St. John’s. This
information will be used by the lender as part of the eligibility
Private Loan Process
Step 1: Select a Lender
Students need to do their home work and research lenders to see
what lender offers them the best options in terms of interest
rates, fees, repayment options and disbursement options (check or
It is important to note that some lenders require students to
immediately go into repayment and untimely payments can affect
future disbursements. Meaning loans disbursed in the fall for which
monthly timely payments are not made can jeopardize a spring
disbursement of that loan regardless of original
Step 2:Download and complete Self
download the form.
- To calculate your cost of attendance you can use the attached
figures or if you have filed a FAFSA you can log on to your
personal UIS account and obtain the required information from the
“Award Package by Aid Year”. Click
here for standard cost of attendance information.
- To calculate your tuition cost go to our Tuition Information web page
or log onto your personal UIS account and view your term bill and
use it to estimate the tuition cost related to the term of your
- Your estimated financial assistance is available on the “Award
Package by Aid Year” page of your personal UIS account.
Important note: The Cost of
Attendance information provided is based on standard enrollments:
full time for undergraduate students, part time for graduate
students and for law based on current classification in school. If
you know you will be attending school part time or full time you
must calculate and adjust your cost of attendance using the budget
Students who plan on filing a FAFSA should do so before
applying for a private loan so that they have an estimate of their
Step 3: Complete the Application
Complete the application, submit self certification form and any
other required paper work to lender, authorize a credit check and
if approved sign promissory note.
Keep the following in mind when applying for your private
- Carefully consider the loan period. Students should select a
period that corresponds to the schools academic year. Since
eligibility is tied to a credit check if a loan is needed for the
full year it is advisable to apply for the loan for the full
academic year rather than apply for a loan for the fall and then
reapply for a loan for the spring. Remember the spring
portion if not needed can be cancelled or returned.
- The loan amount you are certified for will be divided equally
among the terms for which your private loan was applied for and
- Maximum eligibility is your Cost of Attendance, which includes
tuition, fees, and living expenses minus the other financial aid
you are receiving.
- St. John's University will only deduct private loans
from a student’s bill when they are “approved”, meaning that the
credit is acceptable or “ready for school certification”,
promissory note has been signed, and any documentation required by
the lender and university has been submitted. The lender will
notify STJ when the loan is approved.
Step 4 School
Once the loan has been approved St. John’s will receive
notification directly from the lender that the loan has been
approved and that school certification is requested. Since these
loans are designed by the lenders for educational purposes they
require certification that the student is enrolled in a
postsecondary institution. Traditionally they also require the
school to certify the class level ,and credit enrollment and
anticipated graduation date of the borrower.
Step 5 Disbursement of Loan
Loans will be disbursed according to the disclosure statement from
If you choose a lender that does not disburse funds via Electronic
Funds Transfer( EFT), then a paper check will be issued to St.
John’s and the student. The paper check will require endorsement
from the borrower before funds will be credited to the student’s
account. The Office of Student Financial Services will notify
students if they need to endorse a paper check.
We encourage students to ask their lender about having their loan
disbursed EFT since this expedites the payment process. Most
disbursement dates are timed to reflect the start dates of each
Direct to Consumer Loans:
St. John’s University does not encourage students to apply for
Direct to Consumer Loans because the terms tend to be less
favorable than private loans certified by the school. The loan
amount is not automatically deducted from your bill nor can a
temporary credit be placed on the account for the amount of the
loan. The loan amount will be posted to your account once payment
is received. Please keep in mind that Direct to Consumer Loans are
counted as a financial resource and must be disclosed by the
student to St. John’s.