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Financial Aid

Private Education Loans

General Information
CWU Private Education Loan Policies
Code of Conduct
Key Points to Keep in Mind when Choosing a Lender
Steps to Complete to Secure a Private Loan at CWU

CWU General-Information

Private Education (or Alternative) Loans can help when a student must exceed annual or aggregate Federal loan limits, is suspended from receiving federal or state financial aid, or owes a past due balance from a previous term. We recommend you borrow the maximum Federal student loan amounts before considering private education loans. Parents should compare the Federal Parent PLUS Loan with private education loans prior to making a decision.

Central Washington University DOES NOT recommend, promote, or endorse a specific lender's private education loan options. The CWU Financial Aid Department provides information on various private education loan lenders without receiving payment of any kind. The private education lenders listed through the links below are a sample of potential lenders. Many of these lenders have been used by CWU students in the past. Students are encouraged to conduct their own research when seeking a private education loan. 

CWU Private Education Loan Policies

  • The CWU Financial Aid Office reserves the right to refuse certification of a private educational loan if it is determined the student is not making adequate progress toward the completion of a degree.
  • Private education loan recipients must meet institutional Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standards and cannot be academically suspended.
  • CWU private education loan policies may be appealed by completing the Satisfactory Academic Progress appeal process.  Approved appeals may include mandatory contractual performance standards.

Private Education Loan Code of Conduct

Review CWU's Student Loan Code of Conduct

Key Points to Keep in Mind when Choosing a Private Lender

1. The interest rate and fees you pay on a private loan are based on your credit score and the credit score of your co-signer, if any. You can see the current indices  (LIBOR/PRIME) here.
2. Usually, even if you qualify for a loan on your own, you will get a better interest rate if you have a credit worthy cosigner. Thoroughly read the fine print when you are approved for a private education loan.

Private education loans must be reported to CWU’s Financial Aid Office. You can use a private education loan to cover unmet Cost of Attendance (COA); we are only able to certify up to COA minus other aid. You can determine your unmet COA by navigating to the COA Page. Subtract Federal and State Grants, Scholarships and Waivers, and Federal student Loans from your annual COA figure. The difference is the maximum private loan you are eligible to receive.


Federal regulations require a student borrower self-certify their COA by completing a Self Certification form. Most lenders will not process a loan for less than $1,000.


Annual COA for In-State Undergraduate                                       $26,312
Total Amount of Federal/ State/ Institutional Aid                     - $17,480
(Can be found on the Financial Aid tab of your MyCWU account)

Amount of Private Loan Eligibility                                                    $8,832

5. Some lenders charge loan fees that significantly increase the cost of the loan. A loan with a relatively low interest rate and high fees could cost more than a loan with a slightly higher interest rate and no fees.
6. It is important to ask the lender how often the interest is capitalized on the loan. Capitalization occurs when unpaid interest is added into the principal amount of the loan; you pay interest on the interest that has accrued on your original loan amount. The frequency of capitalization can affect the overall cost of the loan and can vary among the different lenders.

Steps to Complete to Secure a Private Loan at CWU


Use Elm Select to view a randomized list of private lenders used by CWU students within the past three years.
Use Credible's private education loan selection tool to compare loans across multiple lenders.

2. Apply online with the lender of your choice.
3. Once you are approved, your lender will submit a request to us for certification.
4. Please review all communications sent to your MyCWU email from Financial Aid. If you have any questions, reach out to: 
5. Once your loan is certified, please allow 2-3 weeks for the funds to be disbursed to your MyCWU account.

If you accept a private education loan that does not require school certification (commonly called "Direct to Consumer"), you need to report the amount to the Financial Aid Office.

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