At First Credit Union, we believe in empowering students to achieve their educational dreams. Our cutting-edge student loan marketplace is designed to help you find the best student loan in a matter of minutes, not months.
We’re here to support students at every stage of their educational journey. Whether you’re a high school senior planning for college, an undergraduate student pursuing your degree, a graduate student advancing your education, or even a borrower seeking to refinance for better terms, we’ve got you covered. Our student loans are available to:
Our student loans are specifically designed to cover all your education-related expenses. From tuition fees and room and board to textbooks, supplies, transportation, and other essential costs, we’ve got you covered. Don’t let financial barriers hold you back from achieving your dreams.
Discovering your pre-qualified rates has never been easier. Simply click the button below and let us guide you through the process.
Private student loans are provided by private lenders — banks, credit unions, and online lenders. You can use private loans to pay for education costs and living expenses, which your federal education loans might not cover. Interest rates and terms on private student loans can vary, depending on your financial situation, credit history, and the lender you choose.
You can use private student loans to pay for education-related costs and living expenses, which your federal school loans might not cover. Some uses include:
Tired of seeing rate ranges and not knowing where you fall in the range? The First Credit Union marketplace allows you to compare real, pre-qualified student loan rates through a single form. Think of it as Expedia or Google Flights of student loans.
With our marketplace, you can compare real repayment plans from multiple lenders side-by-side so you know precisely how each loan stacks up when it comes to APR, monthly repayment, total repayment amount, and repayment options.
Student loan interest works by adding a percentage of the loan amount to your outstanding balance over time. This interest rate represents the cost of borrowing money. When you make monthly payments, a portion of the payment is allocated towards covering the accrued interest, while the remaining amount goes towards reducing the principal balance (the original loan amount). Choosing a lower interest rate can help you save money over the life of the loan and accelerate the process of paying off your debt.
Before you borrow, you’ll need to decide whether you want a fixed- or variable-rate student loan. Here’s the difference between the two:
With a private student loan, you’re eligible to borrow up to 100% of what your school says it costs to enroll and attend classes (the “cost of attendance”), minus other financial aid and loans you’ve already received.
How much you can actually borrow will vary by lender and can include annual or cumulative borrowing limits. Other private lender criteria that can affect how much you can borrow might include your credit history, the credit quality of your cosigner, your school’s certified cost of attendance, the degree you’re earning, and more.
Receiving the funds for your private student loan depends on whether you’re borrowing an in-school loan or refinancing an existing loan.
For in-school private student loans, the funds are typically sent straight to your school to cover tuition. The school then gives the rest of your loan money directly to you, the student, for other expenses related to getting your degree, such as housing.
Your school sets the disbursement date (when you actually receive the money), which is usually around the beginning of the semester. Regardless of when you applied for the loan, your school’s disbursement date will be the same. However, it’s best to apply early so that you can avoid any unexpected confusion or delays.
We suggest giving yourself at least 30 days to be safe, but be sure to contact your financial aid office to learn more about accessing your funds.
For student loan refinancing, no new funds are disbursed. Instead, your new private lender pays off your existing loan(s) and gives you a new loan with new terms. This generally happens within a few days, but always check with your lender(s).
You can apply for private student loans at any time since there’s no deadline tied to them (like filling out the FAFSA for federal loans). But it’s still a good idea to apply for private loans as soon as you know you’ll need them to cover education costs.
Although it varies depending on the lender and your school, it can sometimes take 3 to 5 weeks for you to receive the funds. So, if you’re trying to decide when to apply for a private student loan, be sure to give yourself some time and apply sooner rather than later.
Each lender has different requirements when it comes to qualifying for a private student loan. But typically you must:
You can get a student loan with bad credit, but not necessarily on your own. While federal loans don’t require a credit check, private student loans do. Many students don’t qualify for private loans on their own because they don’t have a credit history or they have bad credit. If that’s your situation, you may need to add a cosigner to qualify for a private loan.
Private student loans require a credit application that examines income, employment, and a credit report. The lower your credit score, the higher the risk for the lender, which translates into higher interest rates. One way to get approved for a loan with a lower rate can be to add a creditworthy cosigner to your loan application.
It depends, but in most cases, yes. You don’t have to add a cosigner unless you’re under the age of majority in your state (usually between 18 and 21). But if you have a limited or poor credit history, lenders may require you to add a creditworthy cosigner to reduce their risk on the loan.
Plus, more than 90% of private student loans taken out by undergraduate students are cosigned. Even if you’re a graduate student and don’t need one, adding a cosigner with good credit can improve your chances of qualifying for a private student loan at a lower rate.
Our marketplace even makes it easy to compare cosigners to see which cosigner can help get you the best rate.
Borrow responsibly. We encourage students and families to start with savings, grants, scholarships, and federal student loans to pay for college. Students and families should evaluate all anticipated monthly loan payments, and how much the student expects to earn in the future, before considering a private student loan.
This student loan marketplace is powered by Sparrow. These loans are made by Sparrow’s lending partners. First Credit Union is not the creditor for these loans and is compensated by Sparrow for the referral of loan customers.
Applications are subject to a requested minimum loan amount of $1,000. Current credit and other eligibility criteria apply.
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