Private Student Loans


Also known as Alternative Loans, are educational loan programs established by private lenders to supplement the funding that students and parents receive from federal and state sources. Private loans are credit based and often have different lending criteria than government lending programs.

What to Know Before You Borrow...

  • Lenders will look at criteria such as credit history, minimum income requirements and debt-to-income ratio.
  • Private student loans may have more restrictive payment terms and may not offer loan forgiveness programs.
  • It may be in your best interest to obtain a creditworthy co-signer, even if you qualify for a loan on your own, a cosigner may lower your interest rate.
  • Once you have been approved and completed all required paperwork with your lender, an electronic certification will be sent to the financial aid office to complete and submit back to the lender. Most lenders require the school to verify enrollment and to determine how much the student may borrow based on the cost of attendance minus all other aid.
  • If you are attending less-than half-time, your cost of attendance for private student loans will only include tuition, fees, and books.
  • You may review your cost of attendance and aid awarded in the myUCCS portal to determine how much you may need to borrow.

Choosing a Lender

If you determine that you still need additional funds or are not eligible for federal aid, it is important that you carefully compare different lenders.

Here are some suggested questions to ask your lender:

  • Interest rates, fees and terms:
    • What is the interest rate and how is it calculated?
  • Are there any loan fees and are they added or subtracted from the approved loan amount?
  • Is a cosigner required and how does that affect my interest rate?
  • If a cosigner is required, is there an option to have the cosigner released from the loan after a designation timeframe?
  • Loan repayment:
    • How soon does repayment start on the loan?
    • Are interest only payments required while in school?
    • What deferment or forbearance options are available?
  • Early payment:
    • Are there any early payment penalties?
  • Repayment options:
    • What are the repayment plans and options?

Please Use Caution When Applying

Please carefully review all terms and conditions of a loan you are considering. Remember, a loan must be repaid and selecting a loan without the best terms and conditions could cost you more in the long run.

Loan Comparison Chart
Loan Options Current Interest Rates Fees In-School Interest Grace Period
Federal Direct Subsidized Loan* 4.45% 1.066% Paid by the Federal Government Interest paid by Federal Government during six-month grace period
Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan

Undergraduate:  4.45%

Graduate: 6%

1.066% Borrower Responsibility** Varies by Lender
PLUS Loan 7% 4.264% Borrower Responsibility** Six-month grace period, during which interest will accrue
Private Student Loan Varies by Lender Varies by Lender Borrower Responsibility Varies by Lender


*Graduate students are only eligible for unsubsidized loans of $20,500 per year. 

**Borrower has the option to make interest payments while in school or wait until repayment begins. Interest not paid during school enrollment will be capitalized at the end of your grace period.

How to Apply for a Private Student Loan at UCCS

  1. Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to determine eligibility for other financial aid such as grants, Stafford Loans, and scholarships.*
  2. Choose a lender and apply for an private student loan. UCCS does not provide a lender list for private loans.
  3. Complete Private Student Loan Entrance Counseling at Mapping Your Future.

Processing for the 2018-2019 academic year will begin July 1, 2018.  Please be advised that we will not certify a private loan request until the student is enrolled in the term the student is borrowing.

* Students may apply for an private student loan without submitting a FAFSA, however, the student will not be considered for federal aid.

Additional Information Regarding Private Loans

Request for Cost of Attendance Increase

Once your private student loan has been entered in our system and communication with your lender has begun, private loans are no longer eligible for an increase for tuition, fees and books. However, we do encourage you to apply for a second private loan to cover these costs if you are approved for a Cost of Attendance Increase.

Processing Time for a Private Student Loan at UCCS

  • The financial aid office will receive an electronic notification from Mapping Your Future that you have successfully completed the private loan entrance counseling and will then process your certification request within 3-5 business days.
  • Lenders will not send a certification request to our office until you have completed all necessary paperwork to be approved for the loan.
    • Examples of required paperwork include, but not limited to: a signed MPN, completed co-signer paperwork and your Self Certification form.

Disbursement of Private Loans

In general, the first disbursement of a private loan will be sent by the lender to UCCS within 10-14 business days after the loan has been certified. If you have questions regarding the loan terms and conditions and/or the estimated disbursement date(s) of your loan, please contact your lender.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding your pending private loan certification, please feel free to contact the financial aid office.

Private Student Loan for Past Due Balance

  • If you have a past due balance, you may be able to apply for a private student loan to assist you in paying your outstanding bill. Please be aware that only a limited number of lenders will process a past-due balance loan.
  • If a certification request is received after the last day of the term, it will be considered a past-due balance request and may only be used to pay a past-due balance.
  • Some lenders may require you to be currently enrolled or attempting to enroll in classes to be approved for a past due balance loan.
  • After September 30th, 2018 we will no longer certify private student loans to pay an outstanding bill for the 2017-2018 aid year.

Notice: Registration and/or transcript holds for a past due balance cannot be lifted until your past due balance is paid in full.