Student Loan Lenders

The most popular loan programs among IC students and their families.

According to extensive research, the lenders listed here offer excellent customer service, comprehensive borrower benefits, and competitive interest rates. They are committed to full electronic loan processing and are popular with currently enrolled IC students. Please note that you are not obligated to use any of these lenders and will not be penalized if one is not chosen from this list.

Some lenders offer their own loan programs to help students and families meet educational costs, and we've compiled a list of IC students’ and their families’ most popular choices. The loans are typically unsecured, meaning that they require no collateral.

Things to Consider

  • Who will be the primary borrower, the student or the parent?
    If it is the parent, then consider the Federal Direct PLUS Loan. If the student is to be the primary borrower, then consider the alternative loan programs listed below this section.
  • Is the borrower 18 or older?
    Some lenders have a minimum age requirement of 18 in order to borrow through their programs. (Ask the lender about whom it considers an “Eligible Borrower.”)
  • Does the loan need a co-signer?
    The co-signer assumes responsibility if the primary borrower does not pay. A co-signer with an excellent credit score may secure a lower interest rate or enable the loan to be approved by the lender. A cosigner must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
  • How important is the interest rate as compared to the loan period?
    The higher the interest rate and the longer the repayment period, the more the borrower will pay over the life of the loan. However, the monthly payment may be less if the borrower chooses a longer repayment period.
  • How much should the borrower apply for in funding?
    Borrow only what your student really needs. Also, think about how much your student will need to borrow each year to ensure that the lender allows for the aggregate amount needed. Typically, it is advisable to use the same loan program throughout your student’s education.

Application Process

It is extremely important to begin the alternative loan application process in a timely manner. If a borrower wishes to have a loan recognized on the student billing statement, the college requires an official loan approval and request for certification directly from the lender. We recommend applying for your loan at least 30 days prior to the semester payment deadline in order to ensure that your loan will be processed before the payment is due.

Alternative Lenders

Citizens Bank Student Loans
Citizens Bank
Education Finance
PO Box 42124
Mailstop RTL 295
Providence, RI 02940
(800) 708-6684

Discover Student Loan
Discover Bank
Customer Service
PO Box 30947
Salt Lake City, UT 84130-0947

Sallie Mae Smart Option Student Loan
Sallie Mae
PO Box 3319
Wilmington, DE 19804-4319
(855) 429-9759

Ithaca College Code of Conduct Relating to Student Loan Practices

The following provisions constitute Ithaca College’s Student Loan Code of Conduct, as required by the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 (HEOA).  The College also complies with the New York State Student Lending Accountability, Transparency, and Enforcement Act. Such code must prohibit a conflict of interest with the responsibilities of an officer, employee, or agent of an institution with respect to such loans, and include the provisions outlined in the HEOA related to conflicts. The following conduct is prohibited:

  1. Ithaca College employees shall not receive any personal benefit. No officer or employee of the College shall accept or solicit anything of more than nominal value on his or her behalf or on behalf of another person or entity from any Lending Institution. For example, cash, stocks, gifts, entertainment, expense-paid trips, computer hardware for which the recipient pays below market value prices, etc. should never be accepted from a Lending Institution. Likewise, an individual should never receive payment or reimbursement from a Lending Institution for lodging, meals, or travel to conferences or training seminars. An individual may attend conferences and meetings of tax-exempt organizations that are funded or sponsored by more than one entity and, subject to state law, receive materials, refreshments, and other things of like value provided at such professional conferences and meetings

A gift does not include (1) standard materials, activities, or programs on issues relating to a loan, default aversion, or financial literacy, such as a brochure, workshop or training; (2) food, refreshments, training, or informational material provided as part of a training session designed to improve the service of a lender, guarantor, or servicer of education loans if the training contributes to the professional development of College officers, employees or agents; (3) favorable terms and benefits on an education loan provided to a student employed by the College, if those terms and benefits are comparable to those provided to all students at the College; (4) entrance and exit counseling, provided that College staff are in control of the counseling and the counseling does not promote the products or services of any specific lender; (5) philanthropic contributions from a lender, guarantor, or servicer that are unrelated to education loans and; (6) State education grants, scholarships, or financial aid funds administered by or on behalf of a State.

  1. Ithaca College shall not enter into any revenue-sharing arrangements with a lender. A revenue-sharing arrangement is any arrangement under which a lender makes private education loans to students attending the College (or to their families), the College recommends the lender or the loan products of the lender and, in exchange, the lender pays a fee or provides other material benefits, including revenue or profitsharing, to the College or to its officers or employees.

  1. Ithaca College employees shall not serve on lender advisory boards or other contracts to provide services to lenders for compensation. No officer or employee of the College who makes financial aid decisions for the College or who is employed in, supervises or otherwise has responsibility or authority over the College’s financial aid office shall receive any remuneration for serving as a member or participant of a student loan advisory board of a Lending Institution or any reimbursement of expenses for such service. Any officer, trustee, or employee of the College who serves as a member or participant of a Lending Institution board shall recuse himself or herself from any board discussions regarding the College’s financial aid operations.

  1. Ithaca College shall make appropriate use of any Preferred Lender Lists. If the College decides to promulgate a list or lists of preferred or recommended lenders for student loans or similar ranking or designation (“Preferred Lender List”), the selection of Lending Institutions for inclusion on the Preferred Lender List shall be based on the best interests of the College’s students and their parents without regard to the financial interests of the College.

Violations of College policies, including the failure to avoid a prohibited activity or disclose a conflict of interest in a timely manner, will be dealt with in accordance with applicable college policies and procedures, which may include disciplinary actions up to and including termination from the institution.

Updated February 25, 2021


Please contact the Office of Student Financial Services with any general questions you may have.

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