Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Why choose a loan guaranteed by TERI?

TERI guaranteed loans offer competitive rates, convenient, no hassle application process, and high quality customer service. TERI also offers a choice of lenders, so you can choose the loan that best fits your need. Click here to learn more about TERI’s loan program and to find the right loan for you.

Q. How do I know if I need a private, non-federal education loan?

A private loan should be used for any unmet need as determined by your financial aid office. You can also use these loans to cover any outstanding balances owed to your school, even if you are no longer attending.

Q. Are private loans and alternative loans the same thing?

Yes. Private loans and alternative loans mentioned in your financial aid materials refer to the same thing. Private loans are "alternative" or non-federal sources of financing for your education.

Q. How do I estimate the full costs of my education?

Contact your financial aid office to learn the details of your program’s total cost of education.

Q. Do student applicants need co-signers?

If a student is applying for a TERI guaranteed loan that requires a credit-worthy borrower, s/he must be credit-worthy or must apply with a credit-worthy co-signer (see definition of “credit-worthy” below). If the student is a graduate student, health professions student, or is studying for a second undergraduate degree, s/he may apply without a co-signer as a credit-ready borrower (see definition of “credit-ready” below).

Q. What does “Credit-worthy” mean for the purpose of TERI’s loan programs?

An applicant is “credit-worthy” if s/he:

  • Has a satisfactory credit, residence, and employment history of at least two years;
  • Has proof of current income (if self employed, has been in business for at least two years); and
  • Is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident who has resided in the U.S. for the previous two years.

Q. What does “Credit-ready” mean for the purpose of TERI’s loan programs?

Certain of TERI’s loan programs (for graduate students and health professions students) allow the student to qualify for a TERI guaranteed loan even if s/he does not meet all of the criteria of credit-worthiness. An applicant is “credit-ready” if s/he:

  • Satisfies certain credit criteria, although an established credit history is not required; and
  • Is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident who has had a stable residence in the U.S. for the past two years.

Q. Why would a student who could qualify as credit-ready apply for a loan with a credit-worthy co-signer?

TERI guaranteed loans to credit-worthy applicants generally carry lower rates and fees than those made to credit-ready applicants. So, if a student is credit-worthy or can apply with a credit-worthy co-signer, the cost of his or her loan will be lower.

Q. How can I postpone repayment on my loan?

With the exception of our K-12 loan, all TERI guaranteed loans offer a deferment or grace period before repayment begins. To find a loan that’s right for you, click on Loan Programs.

Q. Is the interest on student loans tax-deductible?

In most cases it is. Check with your accountant or financial advisor for details.

Q. How soon can I receive my loan funds?

With TERI’s downloadable credit agreement and fax-back option, you could receive funds in as few as 5 business days. Once you are conditionally approved, a credit agreement will be available online for you to complete. We will notify your school electronically of your conditional approval and request they certify information about your enrollment. Once we receive the completed paperwork from you and your Financial Aid Office, we will disburse your loan funds.

Q. Is there any penalty for early payment on my TERI guaranteed loan?

No, there is no penalty. You can pay off your loan at any time, even if you are still enrolled in school. Prepayments of less than the full outstanding amount of your loan will be applied to the last payments due on your loan.

Q. I am a foreign student attending a U.S. school. Can I apply for a TERI guaranteed loan?

Yes, but you must apply with a credit-worthy co-signer who is a U.S. citizen or who is a permanent resident residing in the U.S. for the previous two years.

Q. Do I need to know what school I am attending to apply for a TERI loan?

Yes, your school information is an important part of the application process. Once your loan is conditionally approved, we verify your enrollment information with your school.

Q. Who is the primary borrower on a TERI guaranteed loan?

The student is the primary borrower on a TERI guaranteed loan even if there is a co-signer. This simply means that correspondence from the lender or servicer is sent to the primary borrower, unless the loan is delinquent, in which case correspondence is sent to both the primary borrower and the co-signer. The exception is an elementary or secondary loan, in which case the parent usually is the primary borrower. In the case of all co-signed loans, the primary borrower and the co-signers are jointly and severally liable for repayment of the loan.

Q. What if my school is not listed on the TERI-approved school list?

You should contact our Customer Service Department at (800) 255-TERI and ask whether your school is approved by TERI. If the school is not approved, we have dedicated representatives who can speak with your Financial Aid Office and provide detailed information about our school approval process.

Q. How do I know my enrollment status?

The type of loan you can apply for will depend on your enrollment status. The best way to determine your enrollment status is to contact your Financial Aid Office.

Q. How much can I borrow?

Each loan program has different borrowing limits, which you will find in Loan Programs. If you do not know how much you need, your Financial Aid Officer can help you determine your budget and borrowing needs.

Q. How can I determine what my monthly payments will be and what my loan will cost me over the course of the repayment period?

You can use our Monthly Payment Calculator to estimate your monthly loan payments.