Understanding Your Options

Click here for our Suggested Lender List

Private loans are not part of the federal loan program and are typically more expensive for the borrower.  Because private loans are not guaranteed by the federal government, they must be privately insured.  This extra cost is often passed on to the borrower in the form of higher fees and interest rates.

The Office of Financial Aid understands that students and their families may need to utilize private loans to cover educational expenses.  The purpose of this webpage is to assist you in determining which loan program is the best option for helping you cover educational expenses.  You can also visit our Publication Section to view or print the How to Approach Financing tip sheet.

Exhaust Federal Aid Options First: 

Before considering a private loan, students should always consider the lowest-cost options first, including grants, scholarships and federal student loans.  Students and their families only have to complete a FAFSA to be considered for federal eligibility.  Some lenders require that students have a FAFSA application on file before the school can certify a private loan.  Others require the financial aid office to, at a minimum, counsel students and their families on available federal opportunities.  Please visit our Applications & Deadlines section for information on applying for federal and/or institutional need-based aid.

Consider Multiple Options: 

There is no one right way to finance your education.  The financing option you choose is ultimately up to you and your family.  Since your choice will be influenced by your financial circumstances, comfort level and need, each family’s financing plans will be unique and tailored to their circumstances.  After exhausting the lowest-cost options, families can consider Monthly Payment PlansParent PLUS loan or private loans to cover educational expenses not covered by financial aid.

How Much Can I Borrow: 

You will need to have some idea of the amount you would like to finance since it could influence which lender you choose.  Remember: you can borrow as little or as much as you want (with lender approval) as long as it does not exceed your cost of attendance minus any other financial aid or resources you are receiving.  Read Loan Amount in the Points to Consider section for more helpful information.

Points to Consider: 

We encourage all of our students and families to carefully research lenders before selecting a private loan.  You should feel well informed and confident about the choice you make.  The links below contain questions, information and tips to help guide you towards a loan product that is a good fit financially.

Click here for Points to Consider

Suggested Lender List:

For the 2023-2024 academic year, Providence College selected ELMSelect to present and process private loans.  Lenders are recommended based upon their historical lending with our students or are based upon the quality of products and services they provide to students and families. We have carefully considered our selections in order to provide you with the best possible list of suggested lenders.

Click here for our Suggested Lender List

The Choice Is Yours: 

Please be aware you are not required to use a lender listed on ELMSelect.  The Office of Financial Aid supports your right to choose and will process loans from any eligible lender you select.

Code of Conduct: 

Our office does not enter into contracts with lenders promising them a specific amount of loan volume in return for any benefits to the College.  In addition, lender benefits to the College are not considered in order to be included in our ELMSelect portal.  The College strictly adheres to the following Code of Conduct.  Lastly, to maintain impartiality, the lender within ELMSelect are presented alphabetically.

Evaluation and Feedback: 

We encourage you to provide us with positive and/or negative feedback regarding your experiences with a particular lender.  Feedback can be submitted at finaid@providence.edu.