Private Loans

Prior to considering applying for a private student loan, we encourage you to apply for Federal Student Financial Aid through the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). You may be eligible for federal financial aid including grants, work study, and federal loans that may have more favorable terms. Federal loans have terms that may allow for loan forgiveness, deferment, and forbearance; as well as flexible repayment options. To apply for Federal Student aid, please complete the FAFSA at

Private Educational Loans

Private Loans are education loans provided by banks, credit unions, or state-funded student loan programs. There are federal student loan programs that may offer more favorable terms and conditions than private loan programs. Private loans should only be considered as a borrowing option after all other financing options have been exhausted and additional education resources are still required.

Eligibility criteria, loan limits, interest rates, and repayment terms will vary from one program and lender to the next. The approval of private loans is based on the credit worthiness of the borrower and/or co-signer and provisions of each loan program. Interest rates will vary depending on your credit score and/or the credit score of your co-signer (if a co-signer is required). We encourage you to extensively research your private loan lending options to identify the lender whose terms best meet your borrowing needs.

Truth-In-Lending Act

The Truth-In-Lending Act (TILA) requires three consumer disclosures at specific times during the application process, an Applicant Self-Certification form which you will need to sign, and a three day delay in disbursement of your loan funds. This is to ensure borrowers are properly informed regarding the terms and conditions of their private loan. Due to the number of steps involved in the private loan application process, applicants should allow a minimum of three weeks for processing. As a result of the extent of loan processing conducted outside the University, BSU is not able to ensure when any individual private loan funds would become available.

Choosing a Lender

We are providing information on all lenders we have certified private loans for over the last three years.  BSU does not endorse any one lender, nor does it or its employees receive any compensation or benefits from any lender. Students are not limited to those on our lender list and have the right to choose any lender offering a private education loan program. Application processing will not be delayed unnecessarily if you choose a lender not presented. Our lender list is updated annually in June. Please review our Student Loan Code of Conduct for more information.

FASTChoice is an online comparison tool that helps you determine the loan that is right for you by providing detailed information for various loans, as well as the terms and benefits offered by different lenders. Through FASTChoice, you will be able to link directly to the lender of your choice and begin the application process. Access FASTChoice.

  • Credit unions may have additional requirements such as membership. Please check with a particular credit union for details.
  • Currently, some individual credit union lenders are not listed on FASTChoice (American Bank Center, American State Bank, BankStar Financial, Baxter Credit Union, City and County Credit Union, First Dakota National Bank, Heartland Credit Union, Mid Minnesota Federal Credit Union, Novation Credit Union, Royal Credit Union, Think Mutual Bank, and University of Wisconsin Credit Union.)
Lender List
Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union
Alliant Credit Union
American Bank Center
American State Bank
Bank of North Dakota
BankStar Financial
Baxter Credit Union
Citizen’s Equity First Credit Union
Citizen’s One
City and County Credit Union
College Ave
Discover Student Loans
First Dakota National Bank
Great River Federal Credit Union
Heartland Credit Union
Mid Minnesota Federal Credit Union
Minnesota Self
Novation Credit Union
Royal Credit Union
Sallie Mae
The Bank of Elk River
Think Mutual Bank
Thrivent Federal Credit Union
Union Federal
University of Wisconsin Credit Union
Wells Fargo
Westconsin Credit Union