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As a parent, you know that it’s your job to get your child engaged with challenging activities to help them develop. Sometimes public schools just aren’t able to challenge your children and a private school is what they need. The only problem is that private school gets real expensive, real fast. We want the best for our kids and in order to send them to private school, you may need to take out a private school loan to pay for tuition.
These are loans taken out by parents or guardians for the explicit purpose of paying for their child’s tuition at a private K-12 school. Private school student loans are long term loans that typically have low interest rates since you’ll most likely be financing $10,000 or more.
One thing that they are not is that they aren’t subsidized or funded by the Federal government. So if you apply, you’ll have to qualify on your own merits and credit history rather than the government encouraging financial institutions to fund more of these loans. Naturally, that makes it slightly more difficult for the average Joe to qualify.
You don’t have to pack your kid off to a boarding school in Upstate New York to send them to a private school. There are probably more than a dozen within driving distance of your home! A private school loan can be used at any of the institutions below.
Outside of the previously mentioned point about helping your child reach their potential, private schools are very popular among college bound students. This is mainly because private schools offer college prep courses where public school offer broad education classes and private schools are viewed more favorably by larger college and universities. These higher education institutions see tens if not hundreds of thousands of applications every semester and anything your child can do to separate themselves from the pack is in their best interest.
Furthermore, tuition at a private school can range anywhere from $2,000 to $50,000 a year depending on its location and pedigree. You are, quite literally, paying the same amount as you would if they were attending college which is why it’s important to at least look to see if you qualify for a private school student loan. Some private schools even offer financial aid or scholarships just like colleges and universities so it’s in your best interest to apply for those as well to drive the overall cost down so you don’t have to borrow as much.
You might be thinking that you could apply for a Pell Grant or a Stafford loan since the money would be going to pay your child’s tuition. There isn’t any difference, right? Wrong. The government does not subsidize or encourage lenders to fund student loans to pay for tuition at non-higher education institutions. Which means that you wouldn’t be able to apply for them in the first place. This is why it can be difficult to be approved. Your application will have to stand on its own merits and your own financial standing.
When it comes to getting loans to pay for tuition, there are fewer lenders for private school loans than there are for college student loans. The lack of subsidized support is one reason and the other is that there is far less demand for these loans. Only ~10% of students attend private schools in the US and that number isn’t seeing much growth. So when you’re shopping around for a loan, there are two main places that you’ll want to look; 1) traditional banks / credit unions, and 2) online lenders.
There are a few ways to finance your child’s tuition at a private school and not all of them are with a loan with that in mind. Naturally, you can get a private student loan to pay for tuition, but you can also apply for a personal loan to acquire financing or use a credit card to pay for it. The latter usually has far higher interest rates than a personal loan or an education loan so you may want to keep that as a last resort. Unless you’re able to get a competitive interest rate that beats your other options.
Applying for a private school loan is very similar to applying for a car loan or a mortgage. You submit an application to a lender, be it an online lender or a bank, that has your pertinent financial information so they can evaluate your credit score, history, and current financial standing. You won’t have to worry about putting up any of your assets as collateral, but your credit score, history, and financials are very important to whether or not you’ll qualify.
Because lenders aren’t being pressured by the government to fund these loans, they’ll only approve the best candidates who meet their stringent criteria with the highest likelihood of paying the loan back in full. Typically, households that have a combined household income of $150,000 have no problem of being approved. Don’t be discouraged if you make less than this. Apply regardless. You can still be approved.