Virginia Student Loan Help
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Private Education Loans

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Private Loan Disclosure

Private loans are made and backed by banks, credit unions or state-based organizations with terms and conditions set by the lender. Eligibility requires completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) annually and a review of financial need by your college. The Financial Aid Office at your college or university provides assistance with the private loan application process.

Borrowers in repayment who are struggling with their private education loans can contact the Student Loan Advocate:

Scott W. Kemp, Student Loan Advocate
State Council of Higher Education for Virginia
James Monroe Building, 10th Floor
101 N. 14th Street, Richmond, VA 23219
(804) 786-2832
(804) 225-2604 (fax)

Federal vs. Private Loans

Borrowers who are eligible for federal loans should consider them before taking out private loans. Both types of loans require repayment with interest, but federal loans tend to have lower interest rates, more repayment options and opportunities for loan forgiveness. The Federal Student AID (FSA) website provides a summary chart of the differences between federal student, federal parent and private loans.

Having Trouble with Your Private Education Loan?

In order for Virginia’s Student Loan Advocate to address your student loan issue, complete the Student Complaint Form, skipping any questions that do not seem relevant to your situation. Answer “Yes” to the question about whether your complaint is related to a student loan, and the Student Loan Advocate will follow up with you within 3-5 business days.

You can also contact the Consumer Federal Protection Bureau (CFPB) to submit a complaint about your lender or loan servicer.

Additional Education Loan Content

SCHEV now provides an online module about private loans. Additional student loans modules for future, current and former students can be accessed at the Virginia Student Loan Help website. Access to all content is available for free to anyone, but the homepage organizes the information based on where you are in the college financing process. If at any time, you have questions about your own loan situation, please contact the Student Loan Advocate.

Attention: Providers of Private Education Loans to Students Attending Virginia Institutions of Higher Education

The Office of the Qualified Education Loan Ombudsman at SCHEV created a guidance document for lenders and educational institutions in order to ensure compliance with § 23.1-233.1. - Qualified education loans; certain providers; contact information and summary.

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