Orange barPrivate education loans are another option to consider when supplementing your federal aid offer, or if you are not eligible for federal aid, to finance your education.

Since private loans are not part of the Federal loan program, a FAFSA is generally not required. Private educational loans require credit approval (most will require students to apply with a co-signer). Federal loans may have more flexible repayment options, and other benefits, including deferment and cancelation clauses which may not be available through private loans.

We recommend students apply for financial aid and maximize their Federal loan borrowing before borrowing through private loans. Go to to view a chart showing a summary of the differences between Federal student loans and private loans.

Find your Lender

We encourage students to research and compare private loan options before applying. Please keep in mind the following:

  • Terms and conditions may vary widely among lenders
  • Make sure that you are eligible for the loan which you are seeking to apply for
  • Contact your state higher education agency which may offer financial assistance (grants and/or loans)
  • Calculate any loan fees prior to finalizing your loan request (lenders often deduct loan fees before disbursement)
  • Borrow only what you need
  • UVM does not promote or endorse any private education loan lenders. To help guide you, UVM offers a loan comparison tool to help you select the private educational loan best for you. ELMSelect (powered by a not-for-profit organization), offers a neutral lender and product comparison tool allowing you to compare a historical list of lenders that our students and families have used.

Be an informed borrower! - Questions to ask when shopping

It's important to ask questions and compare lenders so you can make the best choice for you.

  • What is the interest rate? - Is it fixed or variable?
    • If variable, does it have a maximum interest rate?
    • If variable, how often will it change? (in-school versus repayment)
  • Is the rate received based on credit?
  • Is a co-signer required? Will having a co-signer lower my interest rate?
  • If a co-signer is required, do they offer a co-signer release option after a certain number of on-time payments?
  • When is accrued interest capitalized (added to the principal balance)?
  • Is there any application, origination, disbursement, repayment, default, or late payment fees?
  • What will the minimum payment be?
  • How long will I have to repay the loan? Is there a pre-payment penalty?
  • Are payments required while I am in school?
  • What options are available if I have trouble making payments due to a job loss, or economic hardship?
    • If deferment or forbearance is allowed, are there any consequences, like increases to the interest rate?