Private Education Loans
Private Loan Disclosure
Private loans are made and backed by banks, credit unions or state-based organizations with terms and conditions set by the lender. Eligibility requires completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) annually and a review of financial need by your college. The Financial Aid Office at your college or university provides assistance with the private loan application process.
Borrowers in repayment who are struggling with their private education loans can contact the Student Loan Advocate:
Scott W. Kemp, Student Loan Advocate
Mailing Address: State Council of Higher Education for Virginia, James Monroe Building, 10th Floor, 101 N. 14th Street, Richmond, VA 23219
Federal versus Private Loans
Borrowers who are eligible for federal loans should consider them before taking out private loans. Both types of loans require repayment with interest, but federal loans tend to have lower interest rates, more repayment options and opportunities for loan
forgiveness. The Federal Student AID (FSA) website provides a summary chart of the differences between federal student, federal parent and private loans.
Having Trouble with Your Private Education Loan?
In order for Virginia’s Student Loan Advocate to address your student loan issue, complete the Student Complaint Form, skipping any questions
that do not seem relevant to your situation. Answer “Yes” to the question about whether your complaint is related to a student loan, and the Student Loan Advocate will follow up with you within 3-5 business days. You can also contact the
Consumer Federal Protection Bureau (CFPB) to submit a complaint about your lender or loan servicer at https://www.consumerfinance.gov/complaint/.
Additional Education Loan Content:
The Office provides future, current and former students with a concise overview of the federal and private student loan borrower process. Links to the modules are on the right sidebar. It is organized so that you can review the content from the loan exploration
process to the loan repayment process, or you can select the content that is most relevant to where you are in the student loan borrowing process. If at any time, you have questions about your own loan situation, please contact the Student Loan Advocate.
If you are ready, you can proceed to the first module: Understanding Student Loans.
ATTENTION: Providers of Private Education Loans to Students Attending Virginia Institutions of Higher Education
The Office of the Qualified Education Loan Ombudsman at SCHEV created a guidance document for lenders and educational institutions in order to ensure compliance with § 23.1-233.1. - Qualified education loans; certain providers; contact information and summary.