What's Next?

Private lenders, usually banks, offer a variety of loans, often referred to as private loans, to graduate students.

Because future Optometrists are seen as good financial risks, banks are willing to loan money for your educational expenses even though the loans are not guaranteed by the federal government. These are the most expensive loans available to graduate students. Private alternative loans must be certified by the Financial Aid Office. The amount borrowed must fit within the cost of attendance established by the school.

Even though the terms and conditions of private loans will vary by program, the following information applies to all programs:

  • Interest is based on credit score.
  • Interest is not subsidized and begins accruing upon disbursement; borrower has the option to pay the interest during enrollment or to allow it to accrue.
  • Unpaid interest will be capitalized by the lender and added to the principal of the loan.
  • Loan amount may be up to cost of attendance.
  • Not need-based.
  • Student borrows directly from a private lender.
  • Usually provides deferment for residency (approximately 3 to 4 years).
  • Dependent upon total borrowed, repayment may extend up to 25 years.
  • Borrowers must be credit-worthy to be approved for these loans; lenders will not approve a loan if the borrower has a poor credit history or excessive consumer debt; the absence of a credit history is not viewed as negative.


The participants in these programs and their terms change frequently, so it is wise to get up-to-date information and read it carefully. Please click here to check out Private Loan options.