Private loans are typically offered by private lenders (educational financing institutions, guarantee agencies, banks) to assist with educational and living expenses not covered by other financial aid. In general, you may borrow up to the cost of education minus all other financial aid you receive.
For many students and parents, private loans represent an important resource to help finance educational expenses. Private loans can help fill the gap between need-based financial aid and your total educational costs. Private loans also can help with “one-time” educational expenses, such as studying abroad. Before considering a private loan, make sure that you have taken advantage of all your federal student loan opportunities.