Frequently Asked Questions

General FAQs

Who is Credit Union Student Choice?2022-01-28T19:03:10-05:00

Student Choice was founded in 2008 by a group of credit unions who wanted to provide innovative private student lending solutions for borrowers. Today we partner with 300 credit union lenders to provide options for your education borrowing needs, and can help match you with one!

Can anyone become a member of a credit union?2022-01-28T21:30:25-05:00

In the past, credit union membership was somewhat limited based on where members lived, worked, worshipped, or attended school. The good news is just about anyone can join a credit union now and take advantage of the benefits of being a member!

Why choose a credit union?2022-01-28T21:29:49-05:00

Credit unions operate to serve their members and communities. One way they do that is by promoting thrift and offering competitive rates with a focus on the best interest of the borrower – in this case students. When you choose your credit union to pay for college, you’ll benefit from great rates, low fees, convenient repayment terms, and most importantly, a life-long relationship with a lender you can trust.

What is a credit union?2022-01-28T18:30:38-05:00

Credit unions are not-for-profit organizations that exist to serve their members rather than maximize corporate profits. Like banks, credit unions provide a variety of financial services, but as member-owned cooperatives, they focus on providing a safe place to save and borrow at reasonable rates while returning income to their members in the form of dividends.

Private Student Loan FAQs

What is a federal Stafford student loan?2022-08-17T18:14:40-04:00

The Department of Education clarifies that the term “Stafford Loan” refers to a subsidized or unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loan made to students on or prior to July 1, 2010. However, many people and schools also informally use “Stafford Loans” or “Direct Stafford Loans” to refer to both direct subsidized and unsubsidized student loans made via the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan) Program. When a school says they offer “Stafford Loans”, this means they offer Direct Subsidized Loans and Direct Unsubsidized Loans. Read the full article on the Federal Student Aid website.

Do I have to know my enrollment status to apply?2022-02-09T14:21:27-05:00

Yes. You must be continually enrolled in a degree-granting program and meet your school’s minimum Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) criteria to be eligible. For fall and spring terms, you must be enrolled at least half-time. For summer term, you may be enrolled less than half-time. Should you drop below half-time in the fall or spring, withdraw during any term, or fail to meet SAP requirements, your funding request can be denied, your line of credit may close, and you may enter repayment.

What is graduated repayment?2024-06-13T16:12:28-04:00

Graduated Repayment is repayment of principal and interest using an extended amortization period intended to lower the monthly payment amount, after which payments are higher and based on the remainder of original term.

Who will service my loan?2022-02-09T14:05:52-05:00

University Accounting Service (UAS) will service your loan. Once your loan has been disbursed or entered repayment, you may contact UAS with questions, or access your account online.

How much can I borrow?2022-01-28T21:46:40-05:00

The maximum amount you can borrow varies by credit union lender. In general, the amount is based on your school’s certified costs minus the amount of other financial aid you have already received (such as federal student aid, scholarships, and grants). You can view loan limits  on our lenders’ websites or within your results from our matching tool.

Can my cosigner be released at a later date?2022-02-25T14:59:13-05:00

Many of our credit union lenders offer a cosigner release option based on on-time payment history and other requirements. We recommend reviewing specific criteria on the credit union lender’s website.

Can I receive a discount for setting up ACH payments?2022-02-09T14:14:22-05:00

Many of our credit union lenders offer a 0.25% interest rate reduction when the borrower signs up for automatic debit payments and is in active repayment. We recommend reviewing the credit union lender’s website for details about a potential discount for automatic payments.

What is the difference between a fixed and variable rate?2022-01-28T21:52:35-05:00

Fixed Interest Rate

A fixed rate loan is exactly as it sounds – the interest rate is fixed, or stays the same, for the entire life of your loan.

Pros: You’ll know what your interest rate is and won’t have to worry about fluctuations down the road.

Cons: The tradeoff for knowing what your rate will be for the long haul is that it is often a higher rate to start than a variable rate option.

Variable Interest Rate

When you select a variable rate loan, your interest rate will fluctuate over time based on the current index rate. Your lender adds a percentage to that base according to your credit score and history, and there is usually a limit or “ceiling rate” on how high your rate can go if the index increases.

Pros: Variable rate options are typically lower than fixed rate at the start of your loan. Additionally, if the index decreases in the future, so will your interest rate.

Cons: There is risk involved; while your rate could go down, it could also increase, meaning you will pay more in interest over time.

Can I use funds to pay for books or off-campus housing?2022-01-28T21:47:04-05:00

Our private student loans can be used for any items listed in your school’s cost of attendance, or other education-related expenses. The amount you are eligible to borrow will be certified by your school, and the funds are sent directly to your college.

If some of the loan will be used to cover items not directly paid through the school, such as books, off campus rent, or a laptop, the school will issue you a refund for the excess amount.

Do I have to apply every year?2022-04-26T14:43:43-04:00

With our undergraduate and graduate line of credit products, you will only have to complete the application process once. However, your loan is subject to annual review and credit qualification, and you must continue to meet your school’s Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) and enrollment requirements.

How long will the process take?2022-02-09T14:20:07-05:00

Processing times vary based on time of year, document submission, and the school’s own certification process. In general, you can expect