When financial aid can't cover it all, we're here to help.


We enjoy helping students bridge the gap between college expenses and federal aid with one of our Private Student Loans. There are various options to choose, and we make it easy to find a loan that fits. But before you go that route, make sure you consider federal student loans first.


Federal Stafford Loans are the most popular because of low costs and flexible repayment options. There's plenty more to think about, too. We've combined it here for your convenience.

If you going to college, there are a number of things you need to do to prepare for the cost of your tuition, housing, books and much more. Here is a timeline for the financial aid process:

Complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid)

To determine your eligibility for direct loans and other financial aid, complete the FAFSA online. Your school will use this information to determine your eligibility for financial aid.

  1. Create an FSA ID to log in to federal student aid online. Create a new FSA ID online. If you already have a Student Aid PIN, then you will need to replace it with an FSA ID. Go to www.pin.ed.gov for more information. You and your parents will each need separate FSA IDs.
  2. Submit your FAFSA at www.fafsa.ed.gov. Online applications are processed in approximately two weeks.


  • For federal aid, submit your FAFSA before the deadline. Since grants are determined on a first-come, first-served basis, submit your FAFSA as quickly as possible.
  • For college aid, check with your school.

Review Your SAR (Student Aid Report)

You’ll receive your SAR within two weeks of submitting your FAFSA. Carefully review and correct any information.

If more than four weeks have passed since sending your FAFSA and you have not received an acknowledgement, contact the Federal Student Information Center at 1-800-FED-AID; TTY Assistance at 1-800-730-8913; a toll number at 319-337-5665, live online help (chat) or email.

Accept or Decline Financial Aid Award from Colleges

  • Review your financial aid package
  • Respond by the school’s deadline

Sign Master Promissory Note

Signing the promissory note is a pledge to repay the loan according to the terms and conditions of the loan.

Determine If You Need More Money For School

If you have received your limit of federal student loans, grants and scholarships, but still need additional funds, get a Private Student Loan. Read more information about Private Student Loans below.

University Receives Financial Aid Disbursement

Loan proceeds are disbursed directly to your college.

The application and disbursement process for a UCU Private Student Loan will take several weeks from start to finish. Below is a snapshot of a typical timeline. Note the times may vary and are often dependent upon the borrower or the school.


Private Student Loan Process

Amount of Time

1. Complete Application

Dependent on student and cosigner, if applicable

2. Review of Application

1-2 Business Days

3. Certification by School

Approximately 10 business days

4. Approval of the Truth in Lending Disclosure

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

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

3 business days

6. Funds Received and Processed by School

7-12 business days


  1. Complete Application
    The student and the cosigner, if applicable, each need to complete and sign the application. If there is a cosigner on the application, the cosigner will need to create his/her own User ID and password and choose a signature option. The student and the cosigner can also log back into the website at any time to check the status.
  2. Review of Application
    Once an application is signed by the student and cosigner, if applicable, it will be review and processed within 48 hours. Notification will be sent to the student and cosigner once the application is processed. The student and cosigner can also log back into the website to check the status of the application.
  3. Certification by School
    After an application is approved, the student’s school will be notified of the loan amount being requested. The school will verify the amount the student borrower is eligible to borrow and notify us where to send the funds.
  4. Approval of Truth in Lending Disclosures
    After the school certifies a loan, we are required to provide the student borrower an Approval Truth in Lending disclosure. A notice will be sent when the disclosure is ready and advise the student borrower to go to our website. The student borrower 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 the student borrower, we are required to provide the 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. We are required to give this to each student borrower, and it will be provided four business days prior to the first disbursement.

    After the Final Truth in Lending disclosure is provided, the student borrower has a 3-day Right of Rescission. This means the student borrower has three days to cancel the loan. We 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 two business days for the school to receive the loan funds and 1-2 weeks for the school to process those funds.

Keep these points in mind before you begin the cosigning process for a student currently in school.

  • Application in Process: The student you are cosigning for should have submitted his/her loan application before you log in to actually sign the application.
  • Creating a User ID: If this is the first time you are cosigning for a UCU Private Student Loan, you will need to register as a new user on the website. Note: Your eBranch user ID and password will not work. Select Register and complete the required information. After you have registered, you will see the loan application where you are listed as the cosigner. Follow the messages to complete the application.
  • Signing the Promissory Note: You may electronically sign the promissory note or print, sign and mail it for processing.


  • UCU will disburse your funds directly to your school.
  • Once your balance with the school is paid, your school will send you any refunds.
  • Interest begins to accrue upon disbursement.
  • There is no penalty for making payments on your loan at any time. Quarterly interest statements will be mailed to you.
  • We encourage all borrowers to make interest payments whenever possible. Payments can be made directly to UAS.
  • At the end of your grace period, any unpaid interest will be capitalized, or added to your principal balance before repayment begins.


  • Repayment begins at the end of the six-month grace period.
  • The repayment is based on the loan balance and term.
  • Deferred, interest-only and immediate repayments are available.
  • Payments can be made directly to UAS.
  • Be sure to sign up for the automatic payment option to receive the 0.25% interest rate reduction.1

Read the Variable Application Truth in Lending Disclosure.

Read the Fixed Application Truth in Lending Disclosure.

Feel like you've been through a cram session? We're here to answer any questions. If you're ready to apply for a UCU Private Student Loan, you can do it online

Member Testimonial

"UCU has helped me finance all the cars I have owned throughout my life. They treat me like family."

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