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The Optional Loan is a credit-based private loan for undergraduate and graduate students in which the approval and interest will be based on the borrower’s creditworthiness.

These loans can vary in terms, conditions and eligibility requirements. Therefore, Optional Loans should be considered as a last resort for educational purposes after all other federal aid options have been exhausted (grants, scholarships and Federal Stafford Loans).

Eligibility Requirements

  • Student and/or co-signer must be creditworthy as determined by the lender
  • Eligibility criteria may vary per lender (citizenship, degree-seeking, Satisfactory Academic Progress, and enrollment). We advise that students research to understand the terms and conditions of the loans from the lenders.
  • The Optional Loan combined with other aid cannot exceed the total estimated Cost of Attendance.
  • Loan application process with lender must be completed before school can certify and award the loan.

NOTE: International students must have a valid Social Security Number or an Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN). Students can apply for an ITIN by filing a W-7 with the Internal Revenue Service.


Before you apply for any type of financial assistance, make sure you meet the general eligibility requirements.

How to Apply for Optional or Private Loans

  1. Students must accept, reduce or decline any offered federal Direct Stafford loans before a private loan can be processed for the same loan term.

  2. Contact the chosen lender directly to apply and complete all required documents.

  3. Acceptable loan periods* are either Fall or Spring, Fall/Spring combined, or Summer only. Students must apply separately per loan period. Summer loans can not be combined with Fall or Spring loans in our system and must always be applied for separately. Do not apply more than 6 weeks before the semester begins to avoid credit check expiration.

  4. Use the UCF main campus branch code when applying: 003954-00.

  5. Complete and submit all required documents to the lender, including the following disclosure forms:

    • Self-Certification Form. Students may obtain the total financial aid awards from the myUCF View Financial Aid screen.
    • Application Disclosure
    • Approval Disclosure
    • Final Disclosure

    Remember to review all terms of the disclosure statements for interest rates, fees, loan balance, and number of payments.

  6. After the full loan application process with the lender is complete, the lender will send the School Certification request to UCF for final approval. Please note that we will not begin to process Optional/Private Loans until AFTER the add/drop period of each semester.

View List of Lenders

*Loan Award Year Periods

2019-2020 loan award year periods
Loan Period Start Date End Date
Fall 2020 8/24/20 12/04/20
Fall 2020 & Spring 2021 8/24/20 4/26/21
Spring 2021 1/11/21 4/26/21

UCF School Code:

003954