Financial Aid Office

Private Education Loans

There are non-federal, non-institutional, non-need based, credit-based loans that may be offered by banks, credit unions, private education loan companies, and states. All students should apply for all federal financial aid programs and state grant programs before considering private education loans. Private education loans are supplemental to all other financial aid programs. It is extremely important to research individual private education loans very thoroughly. The terms and conditions such as interest rates, fees, and repayment provisions, may vary from lender to lender.

Please note (Center City students only): if you forgo federal loans and choose to apply only for private education loans, you must complete a Private Education Loan Counseling Form (PDF).

To learn about private education loans and private lenders used by Thomas Jefferson University students, visit ELMselect, an online lender comparison tool. When applying for a private loan, indicate the college code: 01239302.

To apply for private education loans, some lenders, at a minimum, may require:

  • A credit-worthy co-signer
  • Two references, living at different addresses (one reference can be a parent)
  • Driver's license number

The federal Truth in Lending Act requires a lender to obtain a self-certification signed by the applicant before disbursing a private education loan. On the Self-Certification form, students are asked to provide the cost of attendance and a total for estimated financial assistance for the applicable year. Students can access this information via BannerWeb or through the Financial Aid Office.


Student loan refinancing is the process of applying for a new private loan to repay your current student loans (both federal and private). This is usually done to potentially lower your interest rate and/or extend your payoff timeline. Federal loans may be refinanced with private loans, but it is important to note that the refinanced loan will no longer be a federal loan and will not carry any of the original federal loan benefits. Therefore, it is usually recommended that federal loans not be included in a private refinanced loan. If you have private student loans from one or more lenders, you may refinance all of your loans with the current lender or a new lender. Not all private lenders offer refinancing, so this may require some research.