Private Loans-Student Financial Aid - Carnegie Mellon University

About 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.

Private Loan Comparisons

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

Pennsylvania Private Loan 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. 

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


FASTChoice is a loan comparison service offered free-of-charge to schools by the Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation. Once in FASTChoice, you will be able to compare various loan programs and link directly to the lender of your choice to begin your application. Lenders will automatically notify Carnegie Mellon when your application is fully approved. Then they will request school certification electronically.

When requested, provide your lender with these identifiers:

  • Name of postsecondary institution: Carnegie Mellon University
  • Federal school code: 003242-00

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

Carnegie Mellon does not accept any revenue sharing funds from any lender.