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Consumer Information

Private Loans and Lenders

Private Education Loans

Most of our US eligible students will finance their education through the Department of Education’s Student Loan programs. These programs are able to meet the full cost of attendance without needing to borrow from private source lenders.

Private lenders are not regulated and terms and conditions can vary significantly. We strongly recommend that you talk to us before applying for a private loan as most students find they do not need them.

ICO will work with the lender of the student’s choice, but does not maintain a list of private loan lenders. Upon request, ICO will provide the following information to the private student loan borrower:

  • Cost of Attendance

  • Estimated Financial Assistance

  • Difference between the Cost of Attendance and the Estimated Financial Assistance

It’s important to note that for students receiving federal student aid, ICO awards up to the full cost of attendance. Therefore, private loan lenders are unable to authorize an education loan when the student is also taking out their full eligibility in federal student aid.

Preferred Lender Arrangement

ICO does not participate in any preferred lender arrangements. Current federal regulations require all subsidized, unsubsidized, and graduate plus loans to be processed through the Direct Loan Program.

If you wish to borrow through private education loan lenders, you may select the lender of your choice. 

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