For students who need the assistance and qualify, private student loans are designed to be a source of aid to supplement federal aid. 

The terms can vary widely depending upon the lender and usually have higher interest rates than Direct Loans. These loans also require a credit check. If you have a poor credit history or no credit at all, then you may want to consider finding a co-signer when applying for a private loan.
Before applying for a private student loan, a student should apply for federal financial aid, including federal student loans, which have better benefits.
The application for a private student loan is made directly through a private lender.  As a part of the application process, the Financial Aid Office at the Carey Business School must certify enrollment and other information for a student.  Private loans are processed through the Electronic Loan Management (ELM) Resources system at  Please note that private loans cannot exceed the student’s estimated Cost of Attendance, in combination with other aid.
International students are encouraged to investigate the possibility of aid through their government or outside agencies before applying for private loans, which usually require a U.S. citizen co-signer.

Many lenders offer private student loan options.  As a service to students and their families, Johns Hopkins University makes available this link to the Maryland Student Loan Marketplace, which assists in comparing private loans and in identifying potential lenders. The Maryland Student Loan Marketplace was designed by the Maryland Independent College and University Association (MICUA) to help students and their families navigate the world of private student loans.

The Marketplace is an online, education financing resource that provides students with a transparent process to evaluate private loans. In addition, it provides access to a Learning Center which supplies critical information needed to engage in smart borrowing practices. It is one of many tools that may be helpful when selecting a private loan lender. The University does not endorse or recommend any lender, nor does the University have any financial interest in any lending institution. Students and their families have the right to select the educational loan provider of their choice. 

Please Note:  Before considering a private student loan, students are encouraged to complete the process for determining eligibility for federal student loans which are normally less costly and offer better repayment terms.

You must use our 8-digit school code (002077-64) on the loan application when applying for an alternative loan.

Questions to ask a Private Lender

  • What is your lowest interest rate and fee combination and how can I get it? Is the rate only for a limited period or is it for the life of the loan?
  • For variable rate loans, is there a limit on how high the variable rate can go? How often is the interest rate adjusted, and how is it determined?
  • What interest rate can I get on a fixed-rate loan?
  • How long will I be repaying the loan? Is there any penalty for paying it off early?
  • When do I have to start making payments? How long can I defer payments while I'm in school? If I go to graduate school and defer payments, how much will I owe when I do start making them?
  • Will I lose my discount for paying on time if I have only one late payment or if I ask for a change in the payment schedule?
  • What proportion of your borrowers get the discounts you offer? Are your discounts guaranteed or are they subject to change later?
  • Would you allow me to defer or reduce my payments temporarily because of economic hardship? Under what circumstances and for how long?

Private Education Loan Self-Certification Form

New regulations now require alternative loan borrowers to complete, sign and return the Private Education Loan Applicant Self-Certification form to their lender before any funds can be disbursed to the student.
The purpose of this form is to promote informed borrowing and to ensure you have information about your eligibility for aid; as well as provide lenders of your education expenses and other aid received. To receive this form you may contact your lender or download the form directly from our Web site. Please note that this form does not change or replace the normal school certification process. 
The Self-Certification form requests information of the borrower (you) along with the cost of attendance (COA) for the loan period covered by the loan being requested. You are then required to deduct your estimated financial aid from the estimated COA, which will give you the estimated loan amount that you are able to borrower from your lender. This information may be retrieved via ISIS or requested from the Financial Aid Office.
Once you have completed the Private Education Loan Applicant Self-Certification form, you are required to submit it back to your lender. Please note that you will not receive any disbursement until this form has been submitted to your lender.

Other Helpful Resources