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Business and Policy Areas
Business and Policy Areas

Private Loan Self-Certification Form Released

February 15, 2010

The self-certification form for private education loans that colleges and universities must provide to admitted or enrolled students upon request was released by the Department of Education on February 14. And not a moment too soon-the deadline for lenders (including institutions) to comply with new Truth-in-Lending Act rules which require them to collect signed forms before disbursing a private education loan was also February 14.

The Higher Education Opportunity Act mandated new oversight of private education loans, with regulatory responsibilities shared between ED and the Federal Reserve Board. ED regulations published on October 28, 2009 require institutions of higher education to provide the self-certification form to any admitted or enrolled student who asks for it, along with the information necessary to fill it out. Private education lenders must collect a signed self-certification form from the borrower before disbursing funds for any private education loan under rules published by the Federal Reserve Board in August.

Colleges and universities that offer federal health professions loans, state loans, or institutional loans will need to play both roles-providing the form and financial information to the student borrower and then collecting the signed form.

According to the Dear Colleague letter (GEN-10-01) releasing the Education Loan Applicant Self-Certification Form, institutions and lenders have very little leeway to make any changes to the form ,which is provided as a MS Word document or a PDF. The letter addresses "printing instructions" but does not discuss how institutions might incorporate the form into existing electronic systems. NACUBO will seek additional clarity on how institutions will be able to use online processes to provide and collect the form.