Frequently Asked Questions for Colleges


For specific questions about each of the Student Choice Lending Solutions click the appropriate links below.


Graduate Business

Private Consolidation

General FAQ for Colleges - Questions

What is a credit union?

Credit unions, organized under federal and state laws, are member-owned, not-for-profit financial cooperatives that provide savings, credit and other financial services to their members. Each is largely funded by member deposits. Credit union membership is traditionally based on a common bond, a link shared by savers and borrowers who belong to a specific community, organization, religion or place of employment. Credit unions pool their members' savings deposits and shares to finance their own loan portfolios rather than rely on outside investor capital. Members may benefit from higher returns on savings, lower rates on loans and fewer fees on average.

Does the student have to be a member of the Credit Union in order to apply?

Yes. Credit Union Student Choice works with hundreds of credit unions and their millions of members across the United States.  If your students are not already a member of a credit union that offers Student Choice private loan solutions, they (and potentially their co-borrower) will need to join a participating credit union in order to receive a funded loan. Please note, while you can apply for a loan from any of our participating credit unions without being a member of that credit union, in order to receive a funded loan you will need to join the credit union.

Is the lender financially secure?

Yes, credit unions are financially secure. The lender of record is a borrower’s individual credit union. The credit union originates and maintains the student loan relationship. Federally chartered credit unions are supervised by a federal agency called the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) or by their applicable state regulatory agency. The NCUA also administers the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund (NCUSIF), which offers the same coverage levels and U.S. government guarantees as the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) does for banks. The NCUA insures deposits of all federal and most state chartered credit unions.  A small percentage of credit unions – about 2% - are privately insured.

What are the interest rates?

The index used (Prime Rate or LIBOR), margin and rates are determined by the individual credit unions that are the lender of record and originate the loans. For more information please visit the credit union’s specific Student Choice website.

What are the fees?

There are none!  The Student Choice private education line of credit features zero origination, prepayment and application fees.

How can credit unions offer such competitive rates?

A credit union’s first priority is to serve the needs of its members rather than, as with for-profit banks, making aprofit for stockholders. This fundamental difference ensures that credit union profits are reinvested back to the people they belong to – members of the credit union. Credit unions pay dividends, offer lower rates and lower service fees. As member owned and governed institutions, this mission is always a top priority for credit union management.

What are the borrower benefits?

The Student Choice private education line of credit offers zero origination fees and lower interest rates than many other lenders (as set by individual participating credit unions). In addition, borrowers may reduce interest rates by 0.25% during full repayment when they enroll in automatic, electronic payment (ACH). If the borrower's line of credit or loan is subject to a floor rate (also known as a minimum interest rate) as specified in the promissory note, the rate will never be less than the floor rate. Credit unions may elect to provide a co-borrower release option. Please check with the individual credit union for specific details.

What are the student's eligibility requirements?

To be eligible for the Student Choice private education line of credit, students must be enrolled at least half-time in a four year degree-granting program at a public or private non-profit institution and be making satisfactory academic progress according to your school’s policy and professional judgment (please note that half-time status is not required for summer term). Nearly 2,000 schools and campuses across the U.S. are eligible.

What are the repayment options?

Student Choice offers flexible repayment options, including fully deferred payment while in school, interest-only payments during school, or immediate repayment of principal and interest. Borrowers may choose the option that best suits them!

Do you process electronically? Manually? On what platforms?

Yes, Student Choice process electronically and we are set-up to work with all processing systems and disbursement methods.

How does the line of credit structure work?

The Student Choice private education line-of-credit is meant to fill the funding gap after all other lower cost sources of financial aid (scholarships, grants, federal student loans) have been exhausted.

The student borrower completes just one application, and once approved, will qualify for a line of credit for the remainder of their education. Students can borrow from $1,000 up to the cost of attendance less any other financial aid awarded. The amounts are sent directly to the school for certification. The standard total amount the student can borrow throughout their college career is $75,000. The borrower is then allowed regular disbursement draws up to the school-certified amount.

Each year the borrower requests a draw for the amount to be disbursed from the line-of-credit. There is no need for the borrower to reapply each year assuming there are no significant changes to the borrower or co-borrower credit scores.

How does the interest capitalization process work?

The Student choice private education line-of-credit has a variable interest rate that adjusts quarterly. Individual credit unions fund and hold the entire loan balance and determine index. At repayment, there is a one-time capitalization resulting in new principal balance.

How can a student find a credit union lender?

It’s easy! The Student Choice private student loan solution is available from hundreds of credit unions across the country. By clicking on the link below, our easy-to-use CUSelect search engine helps direct your student borrowers to a credit union that's right for them and their families. Please note, while you can apply for a loan from any of our participating credit unions without being a member of that credit union, in order to receive a funded loan you will need to join the credit union.

Click here to find a credit union lender.

Do these loans require a co-borrower?

A borrower is not required to apply with a co-borrower. However, applying with a credit worthy co-borrower may improve the borrower’s chance of meeting the applicable credit union’s approval criteria and potentially qualify the loan or line of credit for a lower interest rate.

Who handles your school support?

Student Choice’s Client Relations and School Services teams work directly with our credit union partners to develop and maintain relationships with college financial aid offices across the United States. Schools working with Student Choice will have both toll-free phone numbers and direct dial numbers and email addresses for their Client Relations and School Services representatives. When working with schools, we share the goal of our credit union partners to build on their school relationships and heighten the awareness of local not-for-profit financial cooperatives.

The Student Choice School Services Line is available Monday-Friday, 9AM-8PM Eastern.  Schools may also contact your dedicated School Account Executive directly.