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Private Loan Information

OU Financial Aid Services encourages students to pursue all available types of financial aid including scholarships, federal grants and loans, and employment before borrowing a private loan.

Visit the following websites for more information about these programs:

  • OU Freshman Scholarship - - includes link to application when available.
  • OU Scholarship Search - - also includes links to additional searches.
  • The Smart Student Guide to Financial Aid - - search private loans for consumer information about loans.
  • Graduate and Law Students – READ all the information below. Also check out the OU Graduate and Law websites for additional funding opportunities before applying for a loan.
Student reading

Please review the basic information listed below about private loans. A private education loan is borrowed

from a bank (lender).

NOTE:  We recognize and abide by the College Loan Code of Conduct.

Private Loan Application - Recommended Deadlines

Apply by the following recommended application deadlines for priority processing at OU for funds to be available when classes start. Applications received after these deadlines are processed on a non-priority basis.

SemesterRecommended Deadlines
Summer only April 1st
Fall-Sping June 1st
Fall only June 1st
Spring only November 1st

Note: If you will be attending OU and borrowing for both the fall and spring semesters, apply for the Fall-Spring loan period. Summer information normally becomes available in oZONE and Ask the Sooners by March for the following summer. The summer deadline is April 1.

Private Loan Eligibility

  • ŸUndergraduate, graduate and law students whose Cost of Attendance (COA) has not been met by other aid.
  • ŸEach private loan program has different eligibility requirements such as admit status, hours of enrollment, Satisfactory Academic Progress status, etc.  Confirm your eligibility before applying.
  • ŸSome private loan lenders allow you to borrow to cover a past-due balance from a prior term (up to the COA for that term).  Some require current enrollment and some do not.  Confirm your eligibility with your lender before applying.
  • Private loan approval is based on your credit score.  The majority of students require a credit-worthy co-signer to be approved.

Interest Rates and Loan Limits

  • Interest rates vary by lender. 
  • ŸMost lenders offer both a fixed and a variable rate.
  • ŸSome lenders charge fees such as origination fees and disbursement fees. 
  • ŸInterest accrues while you are in school, generally after the first disbursement is made.

Application Process at OU

  • ŸReview our lender list at ELM Select.
    ŸVisit the lenders’ websites or contact them directly if you have questions before you apply.
  • ŸWe receive a certification request from your lender after they have approved your loan application and you have submitted to them all required loan documentation (promissory note, self-certification form, co-signer form, disclosure form, etc.).
  • ŸIt can take from 1 to 6 weeks, depending on the time of year, for OU to certify your private loan.  Apply early.
  • ŸYou can check the status of your private loan by visiting

Disbursement Information

  • ŸPrivate loan disbursements can take up to two weeks, from the date of school certification, to disburse to your Bursar account.  This is due to general lender processing time as well as a 3-day, federally-mandated, Right-to-Cancel period.
  • ŸPrivate loan funds are applied directly to your Bursar account.  The Bursar will issue you a refund if your private loan more than covers your outstanding balance.

Repayment Information

  • ŸRepayment options vary among lenders.  Carefully review your repayment options when applying.
  • ŸSome lenders offer private loan consolidation loans which offer the convenience of making payments to only one entity.  If the interest rate on the consolidation loan is is higher than on your existing loans, it may not be in your best financial interest to consolidate.
  • ŸKeep your contact information current with your lender(s) to avoid missing payments and defaulting on your loan(s).