Credit Based Loans
We urge you to compare credit-based loan information and terms carefully to determine the best fit for your particular circumstances and we suggest using Credible.com to do so. Credible is a free online loan selection tool that allows you to compare prequalified rates*, terms, and eligibility rules side-be-side in just a few minutes. You can filter your search to sort on key factors most important to you. With your approval, Credible will pull a soft credit inquiry, which will not affect your credit score but will enable you to compare interest rates you qualify for at multiple lenders.
- Medical/Dental students – Please view the Credible Residency loans page for residency loans. The Credible process will include a hard credit inquiry which will be reflected in your credit history.
If you are interested in applying for a credit-based loan, it’s advised that you do so no more than 90 days prior to the start of the enrollment period.
Please note that students may receive a total in financial aid (all sources) up to their cost of attendance each academic year. If you are approved for a loan that exceeds your cost of attendance, the loan will only be approved for the allowable amount.
How to Get a Credit-Based Student Loan: Step by Step
1) Research Your Student Loan Options
Before applying for a credit-based student loan, it’s important to do your research on the private student loan landscape and explore all of the options available to you. Visit Credible to compare lenders.
2) Understand How to Apply
Once you select a lender, you will need to complete an application. Most private student loan applications can be submitted online and take an average of 15 minutes to complete.
3) Get an Approval Decision
After reviewing the disclosure and submitting your application, the approval process begins. Some lenders use a manual review process that could take a few days while others produce an instant decision. During the approval process, the lender evaluates your credit history, among other criteria, to determine whether to approve you for the loan.
4) Accept and Sign Your Loan Terms
Once approved, the next step is to review and accept the terms of the loan. After you finalize the terms of your loan, you receive a second required disclosure, this time with specific information regarding rates, fees, and other terms of the loan. This disclosure shows you all of the information about your specific loan and how much it will cost. After you accept the terms of the loan, you’ll sign the remaining loan documents to continue. Most lenders will let you sign your loan documents electronically so you can skip printing and mailing.
5) Wait for School Certification
During certification, the lender will send your loan details to BU to confirm several things including your enrollment status (half-time or full-time), your anticipated graduation date, and your requested loan amount. The loan cannot exceed the cost of attendance.
BU can certify the loan as is, certify the loan with changes, or not certify the loan at all. When certifying a loan with changes, BU can lower the amount of the loan if it exceeds the maximum cost of attendance (minus other aid), or could adjust things like your expected graduation date.
If BU makes changes to the loan, your lender will often need to generate new disclosures to make sure you have the latest information. You may need to accept the new disclosure, so keep an eye out for communications from your lender.
6) Your Student Loan Provider Disburses Funds to Your School
Once your loan is certified by BU, your loan will be scheduled for disbursement. Student loan disbursement is how BU gets the funds you applied for to your student account. Credit-based student loans are typically sent straight to BU; they are not sent directly to you (the student).
In terms of how long it takes to get your student loan, BU sets the disbursement date, which is typically on the first day of class each semester. It’s best not to wait too long to apply to avoid any unexpected delays.
Typically, your private student loan lender will inform you when your private student loan is disbursed, and will be sent to your school in 2 disbursements if you applied to cover more than one term.
*Prequalified rates are based on the information you provide and a soft credit inquiry. Receiving prequalified rates does not guarantee that the Lender will extend you an offer of credit. You are not yet approved for a loan or a specific rate. All credit decisions, including loan approval, if any, are determined by Lenders, in their sole discretion. Rates and terms are subject to change without notice. Rates from Lenders may differ from prequalified rates due to factors which may include, but are not limited to: (i) changes in your personal credit circumstances; (ii) additional information in your hard credit pull and/or additional information you provide (or are unable to provide) to the Lender during the underwriting process; and/or (iii) changes in APRs (e.g., an increase in the rate index between the time of prequalification and the time of application or loan closing. (Or, if the loan option is a variable rate loan, then the interest rate index used to set the APR is subject to increases or decreases at any time). Lenders reserve the right to change or withdraw the prequalified rates at any time.