Private Student Loans FAQs:
Q: What do I need to apply?
For most student loans, you can apply online within a matter of minutes if you have the right documentation on hand. The information you might want to have at the ready includes:
✔ Contact info
✔ Dates of birth
✔ Name of the school
✔ Social security number
✔ Your financial information, including a recent pay stub or other proof of income
✔ Proof of mortgage or rental payment amounts
✔ Contact info for your employer (if applicable)
✔ The financial aid award letter from the school you plan to attend
✔ The total cost of attendance
✔ Total financial aid offered
✔ Anticipated graduation date
✔ A personal reference
Note: If you’re applying with a cosigner, you’ll need the above info as it pertains to him or her as well.
Q: What else do I need to think about when applying for student loans?
Before applying for private student loans, be sure to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, otherwise known as FAFSA. Doing so will help determine your eligibility for federal grants and loans, as well as some scholarships. Accept all of your grants and scholarship money, followed federal loans, before applying for a private student loan. Then use our Free NitroScore tool to determine how much money you need to borrow before applying for loans.
Q: Does it cost money to apply for a private student loan?
Some banks may charge an application fee. However, all application fees are waived if you apply through Nitro.
Q: How long does it take to get approved for a student loan?
Most lenders will require certain kinds of documentation, including your (and your cosigner’s) social security number, address, and employment or income info.
If you have your paperwork in hand, it should take about 15 minutes to go through the application process. Some banks may approve you within a few minutes. If you have to provide additional documentation, that process may take several days.
Q: What’s the difference between a federal student loan and a private student loan? Is one better than the other?
Federal student loans are issued by the government and often feature lower interest rates than loans offered by private lenders. It’s a good idea to utilize all federal loan money that’s offered to you before applying for private student loans.
Q: Should I opt for a variable or fixed interest rate?
A fixed interest rate will remain the same for the life of the loan. A variable interest may fluctuate based on market conditions. That may affect your monthly payment, as well as your overall loan amount.
Fixed interest rates are generally a safer bet, although finding a good deal on a variable rate might make sense if you’re only taking the loan for a short period of time, or if interest rates are expected to fall.