Private Loans for U.S. Students

AUC also offers private loans through Sallie Mae. The Sallie Mae Smart Option Student Loan and Parent Loan is a private, credit-based, school-certified loan for undergraduate and graduate student borrowers enrolled at least half time in an eligible degree program.

Parents and other credit worthy individuals now have the option when it comes to helping their student to pay for college to borrow Sallie Mae Parent Loan. We do not award or process these loans through AUC, so you will need to deal with Sallie Mae directly.  


Smart Option Student Loan

The Sallie Mae Smart Option Student Loan is a private, credit-based, school-certified student loan for undergraduate and graduate student borrowers enrolled at least half time in an program. In most circumstances, the loan is also available for less-than-half-time students. With this loan, qualified students may be eligible to borrow up to the full cost of their education, less other aid received (US federal loans), as certified by the school. Student borrowers may apply for the loan without a cosigner. If student borrowers do not qualify on their own, they may continue the application with a credit worthy cosigner who is a U.S. citizen or non-citizen permanent resident, which could increase the likelihood of being approved and may help the student access a lower interest rate.


Student Eligibility Requirements

  • Enrolled or accepted for enrollment at AUC either full time, half time, or less than half time.
  • Attain the age of majority in their state of residence; otherwise a creditworthy U.S. citizen or permanent resident cosigner is required.
  • A U.S. citizen or permanent resident or meet applicable citizenship and residency requirements
  • Execute the appropriate application and promissory note without alteration
  • Maintain satisfactory academic progress.
  • All foreign citizen student borrowers must obtain a cosigner who is either a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
  • Meet any other applicable customer identification requirements set forth by Sallie Mae
  • Student borrowers who have defaulted on a previous student loan will be denied credit. The student borrower may still be eligible with a credit worthy cosigner if they provide information showing that the defaulted student loan has been paid in full or they are making satisfactory progress in repaying the student loan.

Student can borrow up to the Cost of Education (also known as the Cost of Attendance determined by the school) less any other financial aid received (US federal loans), as certified by the school. The minimum loan amount is $1,000. The maximum annual loan amount is the published cost of attendance, less financial aid received, as certified by the school.


A few things to know about private student loans:


  • Private student loans are offered by banks and credit unions—not the government. The government offers financial aid and federal loans. Private student loans can help you pay for college after you’ve explored scholarships, and federal loans.
  • Private student loans are credit-based.
    That means the lender looks at your history of borrowing money and paying it back on time. They want to know how creditworthy, or how responsible you are with credit, before approving your student loan application.
  • Your private student loan interest rate depends on multiple factors.
    The interest rate you’re given depends on your creditworthiness—your history of borrowing and repaying money. Depending on your lender, it may also be impacted by some of the loan-related choices you make, like the type of interest rate you choose and how you decide to pay the loan back.
  • Lenders may allow you to choose a fixed or variable interest rate.
    fixed interest rate stays the same for the life of the loan. This means you’ll have predictable monthly student loan payments. A variable interest rate may go up or down due to an increase or decrease to the loan's index. Variable interest rates usually start out lower than fixed rates, but can change, so your monthly student loan payments may vary over time.
  • You can apply for a private student loan with a cosigner.
    Many college-bound high school students haven’t had time to build up their own credit. That’s why they apply with a cosigner, a creditworthy adult who shares the responsibility of the student loan.