Evaluating Lenders

To help you choose a private lender, we evaluate potential lenders each year. Here are our current preferred lenders and the criteria we take into account when recommending lenders.

All of our preferred lenders meet these expectations:

  • They’re committed to helping borrowers avoid going into default (e.g., proactively contacting borrowers who are late on payments, providing resources that help borrowers manage their money and avoid borrowing too much).
  • They’re committed to providing educational loans for the long term.
  • They clearly communicate the terms and conditions of their educational loans.
  • They provide a high level of customer service, including, but not limited to, online loan applications, access to loan status online, disbursement of funds through electronic funds transfer, and prompt response to any loan processing issues identified by our borrowers or our staff.

Students are free to select any lender for their educational loans. However, after a thorough review of available lenders, we encourage our students to consider our recommended lenders to ensure they receive the highest level of customer service, avoid delays, and have access to the best borrower benefits available.

Current Preferred Lenders

  • Bank of North Dakota: DEAL (Dakota Education Alternative Loan)
  • Charter One: TruFit Student Loans
  • Discover: Discover Student Loans
  • Minnesota Office of Higher Education:  SELF (Student Education Loan Fund)
  • Sallie Mae: Sallie Mae Smart Option Student Loan
  • Wells Fargo:
    • Wells Fargo Collegiate Loan (variable or fixed rate)
    • Wells Fargo MedCAP Alternative Loan for Health Professionals
    • Wells Fargo Graduate Loan

Applying for Private Loans

Once you've decided on a lender, make sure you complete the private loan process at least 30 days before you start class.