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Private loans

Over the years, many of our students and families have successfully secured private/alternative loans with a number of the established lenders listed below. This is NOT a preferred lender list.  This list is provided to assist you in making an informed decision when it comes to choosing a private/alternative student loan.  However, we have entered into a Private Lender Arrangement (PLA) with the PA Private Loan Marketplace listed below.

Messiah College believes that it is important for us to help students navigate the complex task of choosing a private loan lender, which is why we have chosen to participate in the PA Private Loan Marketplace.  The PA Private Loan 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.  A credit check is done by the PA Private Loan 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.  Depending on the lender and which of the three credit bureaus used by the lender versus the PA Private Loan Marketplace, in a very small number of cases, the interest rate may be different when you apply for the loan.  However, we feel that making the PA Private Loan Marketplace available to our students is the best way that we can help you secure a loan at the lowest interest rate, based on your credit history.   

More information on FICO scores

We are required under federal law to submit an annual report to U.S.D.E. since we participate in a PLA. The required report with additional information about the terms, conditions and provisions for each type of loan provided pursuant to the PLA will be made available to students and the public via the Messiah College web page when that report is available.  Much of the information in that report will be provided by the PA Private Loan Marketplace.  A notice of availability of the report will be sent to all current and prospective students at that time.

At this time, the United States Department of Education has not designated a due date for the submission of this report.

The lender list below is not a comprehensive list of all the lenders who currently market private/alternative student loans.  This list is in alphabetical order, not in any order of preference. If you would like to use another lender that is not on this list, you have the right to choose whatever lender you wish. Some states have their own private loans for residents of that state.  Some state specific private/alternative loans include: 

Please check with your state to see if private state loans are available.  The interest rate and fees on private/alternative student loans are dependent upon many variables, one of which is the FICO score of the borrower and/or co-borrower.  

Students should always take Federal student loans first before considering any private student loans.
  Federal Perkins and Stafford loans have a fixed interest rate.  Parent PLUS loans have a fixed interest rate.  Most private student loans require a credit-worthy co-signer.  Please be aware that many of the lenders/loans listed below have variable interest rates and have no cap; these interest rates may change monthly or quarterly depending on the bank/lender. Interest does accrue on private/alternative loans and, depending on the lender, may be deferred while in school or must be paid while in school.

  • We recommend, when possible, to pay any accrued interest while in school and during the six-month grace period.

Please review the information listed below for each bank/lender very carefully before making your choice, and you may want to visit the lender's website for more details.

The PA Private Loan Marketplace

Once you and your family have considered Federal Direct Stafford and Federal Direct Parent PLUS loans, you can use the Pennsylvania Private Loan Marketplace to instantly and accurately compare rates and terms from multiple private loan lenders side-by-side.  This will help you make an informed decision about the most appropriate loan for you.  The Marketplace displays products from local and national lenders, complete with detailed listings of APRs, interest rates, total cost, monthly payments, borrower benefits, fees, and repayment options.

Visit the PA Private Loan Marketplace website

Elm Select

For another way to get you started we are providing a list of lenders that Messiah students have used, a historical lender list, which you can find at Elm Select.

Visit the Elm Select website

Disclosure Requirements

Due to Federal requirements known as Regulation Z, banks/lenders must provide several disclosures and a Self Certification form to the borrower before the loan will be disbursed to the school.  This WILLslow down the approval and disbursement of all private student loans.  PLEASE FOLLOW ALL INSTRUCTIONS FROM THE LENDER AND RESPOND IN A TIMELY WAY SO YOUR LOAN CAN BE PROCESSED AS QUICKLY AS REGULATIONS ALLOW.

  • Private student loans will take approximately three (3) weeks from the start of your application to disbursement.  Your bank/lender will give you a Self Certification form, but here is a lender-neutral form in case you do not receive one.  The student is responsible to complete this form and return it to the bank/lender, not Messiah College.  Information required for this form - Cost of Attendance and Estimated Financial Assistance are all found on your on-line Financial Aid Award Notice.  If you do not understand any of the required documents, you must contact your bank/lender for clarification.

Please don't hesitate to contact the Financial Aid office at (717) 691-6007, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. if you have any questions.