Private Student Loans

Alternative loans are agreements between the borrower, co-signer, and the lender. Private student alternative loans are managed through private lenders, issued in the student’s name, and require a credit-worthy co-signer. Eligibility, rates, terms, and conditions vary. Approval and interest rates are based on the borrower’s and co-signer’s credit and income. The private lender makes all decisions regarding interest rates and repayment options. Lenders may also have student eligibility criteria, such as enrollment (half-time or more), satisfactory academic progress, degree program, etc.

When submitting your private loan request, please bear in mind that we cannot combine certain terms. We certify loans for the Fall and Spring as one aid period, but Summer is a separate term. Summer loans require a separate loan application from the Fall and Spring semesters.

Temple University does not have a preferred-lender list for private educational alternative loans. However, you can compare lenders used by students through ELM Select, a free resource for comparing lender information and rates.

Important Private Loan Information

Advance Planning

Temple University recommends all students exhaust federal student aid options prior to pursuing private student alternative loans.

Loan debt can accumulate quickly and result in a lifetime burden of high payments and credit denials for automobile purchases, credit cards, and home mortgages.

Be sure to read and understand the terms and conditions of any loan you select to borrow.

The Truth in Lending Act (TILA) requires you to complete and submit a self-certification form to all lenders for each individual application. Studens can find their estimated cost of attendance and aid offer(s) for the period of enrollment covered by the loan in the Financial Aid section of the Costs and Aid tab in the TUportal. 

TILA also requires lenders provide borrowers with three disclosures. These disclosures frequently require the borrower to accept them in their account on the lender's website.

  • upon application;
  • upon approval;
  • at least three days prior to disbursement.

Late action can delay disbursement or risk the loan being cancelled. Please monitor all communications from your lender and act quickly.

Temple University cannot in any way be held liable in the event the borrower is dissatisfied with the rates, terms, or service provided by the lender. Borrowers are responsible for knowing and agreeing to all terms and conditions when applying for a private loan. 

Making Informed Decisions
  • Budget carefully to prevent excessive borrowing.
    • The maximum that can be borrowed each year is a student's total cost of attendance minus all other financial aid awarded. The total cost of attendance is located in the Cost of Attendance section of the Financial Aid Offer letter (accessed via the SFS Channel in the TUportal). Feel free to contact the SFS Office to discuss your cost of attendance and make an informed decision. 
  • Compare federal versus private loan options.
  • Compare lenders to ensure the best options.
    • Compare private student alternative loan options carefully. .
    • If the loan is denied, the borrower and co-signer can contact the lender and request an Adverse Action Credit Letter to determine why.
      • Many alternative lenders will approve a loan for international students who have a creditworthy U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident as a co-signer. Contact the lender to determine eligibility.
  • Review the lender's eligibility requirements carefully.
Applying for a Private Loan
  • Students are responsible for comparing and choosing their private loan lender. We strongly recommend comparing lenders and reading through the eligibility requirements. 
  • Submit the application online via the lender's website no more than 60 days prior to the semester start.
  • We recommend borrowers apply in July once they have seen the fall balance statement (bill). The loan will be certified with equal disbursements for fall and spring terms. Increases may be difficult to obtain after the loan process is complete, therefore be sure to calculate what is needed for the year by reviewing the cost of attendance on the financial aid offer located in the SFS Channel in TUportal. 
  • The private loan process can take anywhere from 3 to 5 weeks (or longer) from application to disbursement, so please plan accordingly.
Loan Term Dates

2022-23 Loan Term Dates

  • Fall/Spring (standard loan period): August 22, 2022 to May 3, 2022
  • Fall only (graduating after fall or studying abroad only): August 22, 2022 to December 14, 2022
  • Spring only (spring new student or studying abroad): January 17, 2023 to May 3, 2023
  • Summer 2023 Loans: Please submit requests after registering for summer.
    • Summer I only: May 2023 to June 2023
    • Summer II only: June 2023 to August 2023
    • Summer I and II: May 2023 to August 2023

Prior Balance (2021-22) Loan Term Dates

  • Fall/Spring (standard loan period): August 23, 2021 to May 4, 2022
  • Fall only (graduating after fall or studying abroad only): August 23, 2021 to December 15, 2021
  • Spring only (spring new student or studying abroad): January 10, 2022 to May 4, 2022
  • Summer 2022 Loans:
    • Summer I only: May 2022 to June 2022
    • Summer II only: June 2022 to August 2022
    • Summer I and II: May 2022 to August 2022
Exceptions to the Full-Year Loan Policy

To ensure that we are providing the best possible service to our students, Student Financial Services certifies Private Alternative Loans for the Full Year (Fall and Spring combined). Summer is considered a seperate loan period and requires a separate loan application.

The only exceptions will be for those students who:

  1. Students who are graduating at the end of the Fall semester. Fall Grads need to confirm their graduation by submitting one of the following to SFS: (This may affect the amount of federal direct loans the student is offered or other aid on the account.)
    • complete and submit the Confirmation of Fall Graduation Date Form;
    • providing a copy of the submitted application to graduate;
    • submitting an email or letter from an academic adviser forward an email or letter to  confirming the student's graduation date
  2. Students admitted for the Spring semester, or who did not attend the Fall semester.
  3. Students participating in a study abroad/away program for a single semester. A copy of the program acceptance letter, current charges on the student account indicating a study abroad program, or a completed consortium agreement on file for the semester requested will be required.
  4. Students who currently have a past due balance from a prior academic year. For example, any returning student for the Fall semester that has a balance from the prior Spring or Summer. Students should confirm with their lender that the funds can be applied to a prior balance.

All private educational loans are processed for the full year. This means they are split evenly between the Fall and Spring semesters.


*For exceptions, see the drop-down above.

Processing Timeframe

We typically begin certifying loans after tuition rates are set for the upcoming year. Loans are typically certified within 2-3 days (non-peak processing) or up to 2-3 weeks (peak processing), depending on when the request is received. However, if several weeks have passed and the loan is still not certified, there may be a problem with the your student account that is preventing certification. Please email us  with concerns and we will research the account as soon possible.

Common reasons why a private loan certification may be delayed include:

  • You are selected for - and have not completed - federal verification. Please review the SFS Channel within the Costs & Aid tab of TUPortal for any outstanding requirements.
  • Your graduation date appears to be inaccurate in Temple’s student information system. You should review your graduation date and contact your academic adviser to update, if necessary. Students expecting to graduate at the end of the Fall semester should review the information for Confirming Fall Graduation.
  • Your FAFSA is received by Temple but remains incomplete. Please review the SFS Channel within the Costs & Aid tab of TUPortal for any outstanding requirements. If you do not intend to complete the necessary requirements, and do not wish to receive federal or institutional aid, please contact our office in writing at  to decline any FAFSA required aid.

Frequently Asked Private Loan Questions

Can SFS recommend a specific lender that’s right for me?

Financial aid offices are prohibited by federal law from maintaining a list of preferred lenders. That said, we can counsel students on whether they meet the academic or enrollment eligibility requirements for specific loans. For example, some lenders require students to be enrolled at least half-time; be in degree seeking programs; or meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress standards, whereas others do not. We can give students information about eligibility criteria, but we cannot determine whether the student and/or their cosigner is likely to be approved for any given loan.

Consider using ELM Select to compare lenders that students have utilized in the past. This is not an exhaustive list, but a place to start your research.

I applied for a private loan. When will I receive the funds?

Private loans are certified (i.e., reviewed and posted to an account) within 2-3 weeks of Temple SFS receiving the request. Periods of high processing volume, such as the start of the Fall and Spring semesters, can delay this process by an additional 2-3 weeks. Students should submit their loan requests at least 4-6 weeks prior to the start of an academic term to ensure the funds are received in time.

Once the loan is certified there is a 14-day “right to cancel” period enforced by a majority of private loan lenders. Funds are disbursed once this period is complete. It then takes 3-5 business days for the funds to be received and paid to the student account.

Do I apply for a loan every semester or for the full year?

Students should be aware that we process loans for the full academic year. This means that we will take the amount requested and split it into two (2) payments - one for Fall, and one for Spring.

Private Alternative Loans for the Fall/Spring loan period will be split equally between the two semesters; the disbursement of a $10,000 Fall/Spring loan would be $5,000 for the fall semester and $5,000 for the spring semester.

Temple rejected the loan certification request sent by my lender. Why?

Once the lender approves an application, the lender will send SFS a loan certification request. Our office then confirms that the student is eligible to receive the loan according to the lender’s eligibility requirements. If the student is not eligible, Temple SFS will reject the loan certification. Students should know their lender's eligibility criteria and contact the lender with any questions.

My loan was posted for the entire year even though I asked for a single-semester loan. Why?

Temple University requires students that borrow private loans do so for the entire academic year. This policy is meant to ensure that students have enough funding in place to cover both semesters and can avoid reapplying (and risking credit denial) each term.

There are limited circumstances in which an exception to this policy may be granted:

  • Students that are graduating at the end of the fall semester. Please submit a Confirmation of Fall Graduation form, this can be found on our website and should be emailed via TUsafesend back to the SFS Office.
  • Students admitted for the spring semester, or that did not attend the fall semester.
  • Students participating in a study abroad/away program for a single semester. A copy of the program acceptance letter, or study away/abroad charges on the student's account, will be required.
  • Students who currently have a past due balance from a prior academic year. For example, any returning student for the fall semester that has a balance from the prior spring or summer semesters. If this scenario applies please complete the Prior Balance Certification Request form available on our website and should be emailed via TUsafesend back to the SFS Office.
  • Students who do not meet one of the above exceptions and still wish to receive a semester-only loan should email their request to for us to review.
I was approved for a private loan to cover a back balance I owe from a prior term. What should I do?

Please complete and submit the Prior Semester Balance Private Loan Certification Request Form and should be emailed via TUsafesend back to the SFS Office.

Please note that not all lenders permit students to borrow loans to cover back balances from prior semesters. Contact the lender to ensure eligibility.

How do I adjust the amount of my private loan?

To Increase Your Loan:

Contact your lender directly to request the increase. Please be advised that a new credit check or application may be required. Please also consider making an appointment with SFS to ensure you have room in your Cost of Attendance for an increase in the loan.

To Decrease Your Loan:

Students must submit the request to decrease their loan in writing to Please email from your Temple account and include the following:

  • Which semester(s) the decrease is for
  • The amount of the loan decrease

Please note: Reductions in financial aid may result in a balanced owed on the account, particularly if a refund was already released. 

To Cancel Your Loan:

Contact the private loan lender to cancel the loan. Then email  from your TU email address asking that we cancel the private loan. Please be advised that the cancellation of loans may result in a balanced owed to the university, especially if a refund was issued. 

If decreasing or cancelling a loan, students should not spend the refund or return it to the lender, as those funds will need to be returned to the university.

I requested a larger loan than what you certified, why?

We can only certify a student's loan up to their total Cost of Attendance (minus any other aid). Students can find their Cost of Attendance on their financial aid offer. 

Students who have education-related expenses higher than what is budgeted in the Cost of Attendance may request a Cost of Attendance Appeal to increase the budget.

How long does it take to process a reduction or cancellation of my private loan?

We try to initiate the reduction or cancellation promptly, but depending on volume it can take up to two (2) weeks to be processed. Once we initiate the process, the Bursar’s office will return the funding to the lender directly.

I received a refund from my private loan that I no longer want. How can I return these funds?

Our office cannot return funds to the lender until those funds have been returned to Temple. For example, if a student wishes SFS to return $2,000 of aprivate loan, the student would first need to return $2,000 of the received refund to the Bursar’s Office and notify them that they wish the funds to be returned to the lender.