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Frequently Asked Questions

Collegiate Choice® Loan

See how we compare

Slide Table »
Loan Provider Loan Name Lowest Rate Highest Rate Term Options (Years)
USC Credit Union Collegiate Choice® 4.38% 11.77% 10, 15
Wells Fargo Private Student Loan 4.81% 11.26% 15
US Dept. of Education Parent PLUS Loan 7.60% 7.60% 10-25
US Dept. of Education Parent PLUS Loan 7.00% 7.00% 10-25
»Private Student Loan- Variable Rates collected from competitor sites and data on 12/27/2018. For illustration purposes only. Subject to change.

General Questions

Do I need to open an account in order to get approved for this loan?

Although you do not need to be a USC Credit Union member to apply for the loan, you will need to establish membership ($9 one-time membership fee and deposit $1 into a savings account) prior to disbursement of any loan funds. The process of setting up a membership savings account can be done online after the application is approved, or at one of our branches.

Will I need to provide any additional documentation?

You may need to provide additional documentation for your loan, depending on your particular situation. Some commonly requested items are: copy of driver’s license, address verification, copy of social security card or proof of income. You’ll be notified if any documents are needed. If so, documents can be uploaded securely to your application through the website or by email.

How long will it take for my loan to disburse after I apply?

The loan process takes about 4-6 weeks from start to finish. Be sure to watch for email or letter reminders about anything you may need to do to complete your application.

How is my interest rate determined?

Your interest rate will be based on your creditworthiness or your cosigner’s. If you choose the variable rate private student loan, it is based on the 3-month LIBOR rate plus a margin.

What is the 3-Month LIBOR rate?

LIBOR stands for “London Inter-Bank Offered Rate.” It is based on rates that contributor banks in London offer each other for inter-bank deposits. We use it as an index that is added to a margin. The two added together determines the interest rate.

What is the interest rate on my loan?

Your interest rate can be found on the Approval or Final Disclosure sent to you electronically during the loan process. You can also inquire about your rate at any time after you've submitted your application.

When will interest begin to accrue on my loan?

Interest begins to accrue on your loan as soon as funds are disbursed.

Do I need to do anything else once I’ve applied?

Yes. After you’ve applied, we may request additional supporting documents. We will also need signatures from you and the cosigner. After the school reviews the application, the borrower also needs to accept an approval disclosure.

Can I change my disbursement date?

Disbursement dates are determined by your school and cannot be changed in most cases. Please call us to check before asking your school.

Why can’t I e-Sign?

The most common reason for being unable to electronically sign is because the borrower or cosigner failed the security questions. If this happens, the borrower or cosigner will still be given the option to print the documents, sign them and mail, fax or upload them into their application. Another common reason that e-sign may not be an option is if the borrower doesn’t have enough credit history or public records for security questions to be generated. If this happens, the borrower will be informed that they will need to print the documents in order to sign them.

What are the advantages of applying with a credit-worthy cosigner?

If you don’t have an established credit history, applying with a credit-worthy cosigner may help you receive a lower interest rate. It may also increase your chances of being approved.

How can I sign my promissory note?

There are several ways to sign your promissory note. The fastest, most commonly used option is to electronically sign. You can also download and print the promissory note, sign and mail it to the address provided.

I have signed my promissory note, but how does my cosigner sign?

Your cosigner will receive an email with instructions on how they can electronically sign the promissory note.

When will I begin making payments on my loan?

You should refer to your Promissory Note for repayment terms or to your Truth in Lending disclosure.

Once approved, what are the next steps?

After your loan is approved, you may be required to provide additional information or documentation. If required, you will receive an email or letter describing what is needed. When the requested information is received and your promissory note is signed, we will send a certification request to your school. Once your school has certified the loan, you will need to review and accept your Approval Truth in Lending Disclosure. Watch for an email notification or a phone call to remind you. We cannot send any loan funds until you do this. When funds are disbursed, they will be sent directly to your school.

Once approved, how do I receive the funds?

Loan funds are sent directly to your school. Typically, schools will first apply your loan funds to any balance that you owe the school. If there are loan funds remaining after your balance is settled, the school will send you the remaining proceeds. For questions about the timing of any refund from your school or the amount, please contact the Bursar’s office at your school. Be aware that it can take your school one to two weeks to process loan disbursements before a refund is available to you.

Once approved, how long will it take for my funds to go to the school?

This process can take several days to several weeks, depending on how quickly you provide any required documentation, sign the promissory note and how long it takes the school to certify your loan request.

How do I get funds to help cover my room and board or transportation costs?

Typically, schools will first apply your loan funds to any balance that you owe the school. If there are loan funds remaining after your balance is settled, the school will send you the remaining proceeds. For questions about the timing of any refund from your school or the amount, please contact the Bursar’s office at your school. Be aware that it can take your school one to two weeks to process loan disbursements before a refund is available to you.

Should I pay interest while I’m in school?

Paying interest when you can is recommended. It helps keep the overall cost of the loan down. Interest begins to accrue as soon as the first disbursement is sent to your school. If the interest that accrues while you are in school is not paid by the end of the grace period, the interest will be capitalized, or added to the principal balance.

When will my first payment be due?

Payments are deferred as long as the borrower is enrolled at least half-time for a maximum of 4 years from the date of their first loan. After the borrower graduates, drops below half time status, or the 4 years has elapsed, the 6 month grace period will begin. The first payment will be due approximately 30 days after the grace period ends. The repayment term is 10 or 5 years depending on the loan term selected, but could be less to meet our minimum payment requirement of $50 per month.

What is my estimated payment?

Your payment will vary depending on if interest is paid during school, if you have a variable rate loan and it adjusts, etc. You can see an estimated payment on your Truth in Lending disclosure.

How does the interest rate cap work?

If your loan has a variable rate, it will be subject to market changes. The variable interest rate caps help protect you from large fluctuations in the market. Your rate will not go any higher than 19.15%.

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Terms and Conditions:
Membership is required. All membership accounts are subject to an approval process. You will be required to review the Application Truth in Lending Disclosure prior to submitting an application. Your school’s financial aid office will certify your approved loan amount based upon your eligibility. The minimum loan amount is $1,000.

*Annual Percentage Rate (APR) ) is effective 1/1/2019-3/31/2019. Variable rates from 4.38% - 10.25% APR (with autopay) and fixed rates from 5.65% - 11.52% APR (with autopay). Your interest rate will be determined by your credit score or your cosigner’s. The APR assumes that you will be in school for 4 years and have a 6-month grace period before repayment begins. Borrowing $10,000 at 4.38% accrues $1,153.10 in interest during 4 years in school and the 6-month grace period. Sample monthly payment would be 60 payments of $208.59. Variable rates are subject to increase or decrease. Borrowing $10,000 at 5.65% accrues $1,502.28 in interest during 4 years in school and the 6-month grace period. Sample monthly payment would be 60 payments of $221.84. For illustration purposes only. The APR can differ from the interest rate as it considers fees paid to obtain the loan, your interest rate, if payments are deferred and reflects the cost of the loan as a yearly rate. You are not required to make payments on your loan while in school, although you may make principal and interest payments any time. Making payments while attending school will lower your APR.

AutoPay Discount: To be eligible for the rate discount, you must be signed up for automatic payments. Automatic payments must be initiated through University Accounting Services. If at any time automatic payments stop or the loan is not in repayment status, the rate discount will not be applied.
2Your school’s financial aid office will certify your approved loan amount based upon your eligibility.

For further information on rates and costs, see the Application Truth in Lending Disclosure. This information is current as of January 2, 2019 and is subject to change. USC Credit Union reserves the right to modify or discontinue benefits at its discretion and without notice.

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