Types of Financial Aid

Private Student Loan Application Process & Timeline

It's important to understand that the application and disbursement process for a private student loan will take several weeks from start to finish. Assuming the application has been properly submitted and approved by the lender, you should anticipate a three-week turnaround from the point the loan was submitted until it posts to your MyNIU Campus Finance page. Below is a summary of the typical timeline. Please note that processing times may vary and are often dependent upon the borrower, lender or school. You are strongly encouraged to monitor your NIU student e-mail regularly. If the SFAO needs clarification regarding your loan request, we will contact you through your NIU student e-mail.

Private Student Loan Process

Amount of Time

1. Complete Application

1-2 calendar days
Dependent on student and cosigner, if applicable

2. Review of Application

2-8 business days
Dependent on lender, student and cosigner, if applicable

3. Certification by School

Approximately 10 business days

4. Approval of Truth in Lending Disclosure

Dependent on student, must be returned in 30 days or less

5. Completion of Final Truth in Lending Disclosure and Right of Rescission Period

10 calendar days

6. Funds Received and Processed by School

4-5 business days

1.     Complete Application

You and the cosigner, if applicable, each need to complete and sign the application. If a paper application is being processed, extra time will be needed for mailing and processing by the lender.  You and the cosigner should check with the lender on the status of their application.

2.     Review of Application

Once an application is signed by you and the cosigner, if applicable, it will be reviewed and processed by the lender. If additional information is requested by the lender for the borrower or cosigner, additional time will be needed to submit and have this information reviewed.  You and the cosigner should check with the lender on the status of their application and submit all required documentation as soon as possible.

3.     Certification by School

After an application is approved, NIU will be notified of the loan amount being requested. We will verify the amount you are eligible to borrow and tell the lender when to send the loan funds.

4.     Approval of Truth in Lending Disclosure

After we certify a loan, the lender is required to provide you an Approval Truth in Lending disclosure. You must review and accept the Approval Truth in Lending disclosure before the loan will be disbursed. The Approval disclosure is good for 30 days. If the disclosure is not accepted within 30 days, the application will expire and no funds will be disbursed.

5.     Completion of Final Truth in Lending Disclosure and Right of Rescission Period

After the Approval Truth in Lending disclosure has been accepted by you, the lender is required to provide a final Truth in Lending statement. The final disclosure confirms the rate, the amount of the loan and the end cost of the loan, among other things. After the Final Truth in Lending disclosure is provided, you have a 10-day Right of Rescission. This means you have ten days to cancel the loan. The lender cannot disburse any loan funds until the Right of Rescission period has passed.

6.     Funds Received and Processed by School

After the Right of Rescission expires, it will take at least 2-3 business days for NIU to receive the loan funds. It will then take 1-2 days for us to apply those funds to your Bursar’s account. 

Funds are never disbursed before the add/drop period of the semester.  After the add/drop period, loan funds will disburse daily throughout the semester and will credit to your Bursar’s account.

As with all financial aid funds, private student loan funds will first pay current academic year charges on your Bursar’s account. To receive a refund, you must have financial aid funds and/or private student loan funds in excess of your charges. From the time the funds are applied to your Bursar’s account, it can take 3-5 business days to receive your refund by direct deposit or 1-2 weeks to receive your paper refund check in the mail.

To cover prior term charges, a prior term loan must be taken.  Financial aid can never be automatically applied to prior charges.  If you receive a refund and you still have outstanding charges with the Bursar’s Office, it is your responsibility to use the refund and/or your own financial resources to pay the outstanding charges.