Private Loans-Student Financial Aid - Carnegie Mellon University

Private Loans

Private loan programs offer competitive interest rates and borrower benefits. To increase your chances of approval and possibly improve the rate you receive, you are strongly recommended to apply with a creditworthy co-signer. Some lenders require you to apply with a co-signer regardless of your income or credit rating. You’ll need to look at each loan program for these requirements. Private loans also may enable students to share in the borrowing responsibility and develop a credit history.


  • We encourage students to pay interest while in school to reduce overall indebtedness.
  • Before applying for your private loan, we recommend that you obtain a free copy of your credit report at and resolve any errors that may be listed.
  • Compare the interest rates, fees and repayment terms of all student loan products to determine which are best suited to your needs.
  • Only borrow the amount you need to meet your educational costs.
  • Students should always borrow Federal Student Loans first before considering private loans.

Pennsylvania Private Loan Marketplace

Carnegie Mellon believes that it is important for us to help students navigate the complex task of choosing a private loan provider, which is why we are participating in the Pennsylvania Private Loan Marketplace. Once you and your family have considered all financial aid and have utilized the BorrowSmart counseling tool offered through Tuition Management Systems, you can use the marketplace.

The marketplace provides the borrower with detailed, real time information about each loan offered to the student. The figures presented to you for interest rates, fees and other loan details are not just averages, or ranges, but the actual terms of the loan that will be offered. Loan products from local and national lenders side-by-side, complete with details of APR's, interest rates, total costs, monthly payments, borrower benefits, fees and repayment options.

Your credit report will be pulled by the marketplace in order to instantly simulate the actual rates you could expect to receive were you to apply directly with each lender, saving you lots of time. A credit check is marketplace and also by each lender. There is only one hit to your FICO score, as long as you price shop for student loans within 30 days.

If you find a product that you feel is a good fit, remember to select that product in the marketplace. You will be immediately linked to that lender's website where you should complete the lender's entire loan application. Remember that only by completing the lender's application can you be sure to receive the product rate and terms you select in the marketplace.

Interest does accrue on private/alternative loans and may be deferred while in school, or depending upon the lender, may be required to be paid while in school. We recommend, when possible, that you pay any accrued interest while you are in school and during the grace period.

Carnegie Mellon does not endorse any lender on the Pennsylvania Private Loan Marketplace or any lender listed on our website. You have the right to choose any lender for your private loan.

Note: The Pennsylvania Private Loan Marketplace is available to all Carnegie Mellon students regardless of their state of residence.

Carnegie Mellon does not accept any revenue sharing funds from any lender. We understand that participating lenders pay fees to Overture Technologies for completed promissory notes and that these lenders receive them through the Pennsylvania Private Loan Marketplace. Neither Overture Technologies nor any participating lender pays fees or provides any other compensation or incentive to Carnegie Mellon University for referring students to Overture’s Pennsylvania Private Loan Marketplace.