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Private Loans

Private loans are available to creditworthy borrowers to meet the cost of education after other sources of aid has been depleted or when federal loan limits have been reached. Private student loans usually have higher interest rates than federal loans. Please note that some lenders may cover additional educational expenses including previous college balances.

Before applying for a private student loan, a student should apply for financial aid, including the Federal Direct Student Loan. If the student has applied for aid as a dependent student, his or her parent can apply for a Federal Direct Parents Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS). If additional funds are needed, the student can apply for a private student loan in an amount up to the cost of attendance minus any other financial aid the student will receive for the loan period.

Note: CSUSM does not endorse any specific lender or group of lenders. The application for a private student loan is made directly through the lending institution. As a part of this process, the Financial Aid Office must certify enrollment and other information for the student borrower. We recommend you compare Federal and Priviate Student Loans before making your final loan decisions.

How to Apply

Many lenders have private student loan options. Check with your bank, lending institution or search the Internet for "Private Student Loans” to find information on participating lenders, application requirements, interest rates, loan limits and repayment options.

Private Education Loan Self-Certification Form

New regulations now require private loan borrowers to complete, sign and return the Private Education Loan Applicant Self-Certification form to their lender before any funds can be disbursed to the student.

The purpose of this form is to promote informed borrowing and to give students information about financial aid and their eligibility for aid; as well as provide lenders of their education expenses and other aid received. To receive this form you may contact your lender or download the form directly from our Web site. Please note that this form does not change or replace the normal school certification process.

Private Education Loan Applican Self-Cerfitication Form

The Self-Certification form requests information about the borrower along with the cost of attendance (COA) for the loan period covered by the loan being requested. You are then required to deduct your estimated financial aid from the estimated COA, which will give you the estimated loan amount that you are able to borrow from your lender. This information may be retrieved via your MyCSUSM student portal or requested from the Financial Aid Office.

The estimated COA may be retrieved by visiting the Tuition Web site. You will need to select your program to view the COA information needed to complete Section 2 of the Private Education Loan Applicant Self-Certification.

Once you have calculated your tuition per credit hour and fees, if receiving financial aid, you may retrieve your estimated financial aid by logging into your MyCSUSM portal. By viewing your financial aid for the specific semester or aid year, you are now able to determine your eligible amount to borrow. To calculate your eligible amount, which is Section 2, question C, of the application, you will need to subtract your total estimated financial aid from your estimated COA.


Undergraduate Living on Campus Student COA: $24600
Estimated Financial Aid: $5500
Difference between A and B: $19100

You are then eligible to borrow up to $19,100 in a private loan.

Once you have completed the Private Education Loan Applicant Self-Certification form, you are required to submit it to your lender. Please note that you will not receive any disbursement until this form has been submitted to your lender.

Questions to Ask Your Student Loan Lender

As with all borrowing, students and parents must carefully consider the terms of a private student loan before borrowing. Some of the questions they should ask a private student loan lender might include:

  • How much may I borrow?
  • What are the fees associated with the loan?
  • What is the interest rate on the loan?
  • How is the interest rate calculated?
  • What are the terms of repayment?
  • How much will my payments be if I borrow $x?
  • Do I need a co-signer?
  • Are there any enrollment requirements to receive the loan?
  • Do I have to be in good academic standing in order to be eligible for the loan?

CSUSM uses the ELM Resources to administer its private program. This allows us to certify and receive your loan from your chosen lender through electronic funds transfer (EFT). Once you have been approved for your private loan, ELM will send us a notification and we can certify your loan and receive your disbursement in a few days.

Learn more about ELM Resources, or to sign up and receive access to your loan information, visit the login page and follow the directions provided.