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Private Loans

Private banks also offer loans to cover your education costs. Interest rates and loan terms vary greatly. Johns Hopkins University recommends that you exhaust your eligibility for all other types of financial aid before considering private loan programs.

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Before You Apply for a Private Loan

If you are uncertain about your eligibility for federal loans, please contact the Financial Aid Office prior to initiating a private loan application.

The university does not endorse or recommend any lender, nor does the university have any financial interest in any lending institution. Students and their families have the right to select the educational loan provider of their choice.

For state or private loans, the borrowing limit is the total cost of education for the academic year (as defined by Johns Hopkins University) less any financial aid.

Know Before You Owe: Comparing Private Loan Programs

You can visit the Johns Hopkins University ElmSelect website to view and compare private education loan programs. ElmSelect provides neutral comparisons of private loan products and lenders as well as links to the lender sites for the application process. (The university does not endorse or recommend any lender, nor does the university have any financial interest in any lending institution.)

Before signing a private loan agreement, be sure to read the Johns Hopkins University Financial Aid Code of Conduct and Policy on Education Loans.

Questions to Ask a Private Lender

  • What is your lowest interest rate and fee combination and how can I get it? Is the rate only for a limited period or is it for the life of the loan?
  • For variable rate loans, is there a limit on how high the variable rate can go? How often is the interest rate adjusted, and how is it determined?
  • What interest rate can I get on a fixed-rate loan?
  • How long will I be repaying the loan? Is there any penalty for paying it off early?
  • When do I have to start making payments? How long can I defer payments while I'm in school? If I go to graduate school and defer payments, how much will I owe when I do start making them?
  • Will I lose my discount for paying on time if I have only one late payment or if I ask for a change in the payment schedule?
  • What proportion of your borrowers get the discounts you offer? Are your discounts guaranteed or are they subject to change later?
  • Would you allow me to defer or reduce my payments temporarily because of economic hardship? Under what circumstances and for how long?

More Consumer Information on Private Student Loans

The following websites offer additional information on borrowing from private lenders:



The Office of Student Enrollment and Account Management (SEAM) works cross-functionally to provide support with financial aid, students accounts, and registration.

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