Private Loans FAQ for Undergraduate and Graduate Students

If all of your federal aid can't meet your online education finance needs, or you just need a little extra to make ends meet, a private loan may be the answer you're looking for. Private loans help you to finance additional expenses that you did not anticipate, such as computers, tutors, books, last-minute tuition hikes and transportation.

To help cover these types of expenses, one type of private loan is the Act Education loan, which is available to undergraduate and graduate students.

What is an Act Education Loan?

Also called private education loans or alternative student loans, Act Education loans differ in many ways from traditional or government education loan programs:

  • These loans can be preliminarily approved in as little as 15 minutes and can take as little as five business days to fund.
  • The Act Education loan program is credit-based and does not require you to go through the typical financial aid qualification process.
  • The Act Education loan is an unsecured loan, which means that no collateral is required.
  • Act Education loans are accepted at more than 6,000 schools. (You will want to check with your school to be sure they accept this loan.)
  • Repayment can be deferred until after you've graduated. (Repayment of graduate loans is deferred until six months after graduation or ceasing to be enrolled at least half-time. Repayment of continuing education loans varies with enrollment status and program type.)

Why should I choose the Act Education Loan?

  • You can defer payments of principal and interest until after you graduate or cease to be enrolled at least half-time.
  • Funds are sent directly to you in as few as five business days.
  • Funds can be used for any education related expense.

Do I need a co-signer?

It depends. Even if you meet the established credit guidelines below, it may be in your best interest to apply with a qualified co-signer. Benefits of applying with a credit-worthy co-signer may include the following:

  • Increased chance of approval
  • Lower origination fees
  • Lower interest rates
  • Smaller monthly payments
  • Less interest paid over the term of the loan

Credit Guidelines and Recommendations

A credit-worthy applicant demonstrates a current ability to repay a loan. To be eligible, you must meet all of the criteria listed below:

  • Employment history of at least two years (if self-employed, in business for at least two years)
  • Proof of current income
  • At least 21 months of credit experience and satisfactory credit history
  • Residence at your current and immediately preceding addresses for a total of at least 12 months
  • U.S. citizen, or be a permanent resident and resided in the U.S. for the previous two years