Puget Sound encourages students to pursue Federal student loans and grants prior to applying for private educational loans. Private loans are designed to meet educational costs not covered by other forms of financial aid.
To help you and your family navigate through the complex information provided by private lenders, Puget Sound has identified a preferred list of lenders and has partnered with , an online loan comparison tool designed to help you select the lender best suited to your particular needs. Please keep in mind that Puget Sound will work to ensure the prompt processing of private educational loans from any lender you select, including those not listed on FASTChoice.
To determine which lenders to include on our preferred lender list, Puget Sound conducts an annual survey of private educational loan lenders to compare their loan options. Lenders are selected based on criteria such as competitive interest rates, methods employed by the lender to protect borrowers against identify theft, protection of borrower information, information on borrower incentives and benefits and the ability to keep those benefits, and most importantly how they comply with regulations stated in the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008.
Unlike Federal loans, interest rates, grace periods, repayment options, and fees for private educational loans are determined by the lender and can vary considerably from lender to lender. Private loans are based on an individual's credit history and credit worthiness. You are strongly encouraged to review your credit report prior to applying and to apply with a credit-worthy co-signer. You may receive a free credit report at www.annualcreditreport.com.
Puget Sound has always acted in the best interest of our students and their families. In response to mandates outlined in the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008, we have adopted a Code of Conduct for Educational Loans to define our relationship with student private education loan providers.
Puget Sound does not benefit in any way from your choice of lender. We are a member of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA), and as such, conform and adhere to the NASFAA Statement of Ethical Principals and the Code of Conduct for Institutional Financial Aid Professionals, and Puget Sound’s own institutional Code of Conduct.
What is the interest rate; is it fixed or variable; is the rate capped?
What fees must be paid for this loan and when are they due?
How will I receive my loan funds?
When does repayment begin and is there a grace period?
What will my monthly payment be?
What will be the total cost if I use the full repayment period?
Are there penalties for early repayment?
Are there deferment or forbearance options?
Is the loan program well-established?