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Worried about borrowing money?

Okay- I know there is probably a lot of worriers out there who have just been extremely excited about being accepted to CRNA school (me too), but now have realized===oh crap, I need some money! I will have one less income for up to 3 yrs--ouch! Before the financial meltdown of the country, I wasn't too worried about getting loans to pay off school. They were there. Here recently, I have been struggling to find places that are giving the type of loans that I am interested in: Here is a breakdown-


1) You'll qualify and get easily federal stafford loans (after you fill out fafsa). They are subsidized and unsubsidized. The subsidized are based on your income and carry a lower interest rate. You can get up to 20, 500 in a combination of subsidized/unsubsidized or just unsubsidized (they don't look at your income- has a higher interest rate but good).

2) Now as you may have realized 20, 500 doesn't pay for your cost of living and total (etc of what it might be). So you have the option of Grad Plus Loan. It will pay for school up to COA (Cost of Attendance).

So, here your tuition/fees/books/etc are paid, but what about those folks that are paying for mortgages that are on the higher side that are more than the COA or other bills that you won't be able to pay-- well, there is something called direct-to-consumer or direct-to-borrower loans. These were the loans that I wasn't worried about getting just only 6 months ago. Now, they are almost non-existant. These loans are based on your credit, private, and paid directly to you in a lump sum- and not certified through school (so the school doesn't know about it-and shouldn't). These will not be based on your cost of attendance. So, yes, they'll pay for your "real expenses" that most people in our position have.

So, I looked through all of the loans listed in the sticky notes on this site referenced from 2005-2007. Most are non-existant now and the ones that still exist are only certified through school so they are calculated in the cost of attendance.

I think I may have found a couple thus far. Anyone who finds more, please post! These are questions many people have.

1) Campus Door does a direct to consumer- NON CERTIFIED THROUGH SCHOOL, DEFERRABLE, PAID to student 45 days prior to enrollment. Here is the link http://www.campusdoor.com/main/loanproducts.aspx?action=dlmain

2) I believe Wells Fargo is still doing there Wells Fargo Education Loan that is NOT CERTIFIED THROUGH SCHOOL, DEFERRABLE, PAID to student.

These are basically the ONLY ones that I have come across. As I find new ones, I will post them. Please do the same!


Specializes in PICU/CVICU/Ped Nursing Faculty/TSICU.

Thanks LOVEICU for the update!!

I, to, was not worried 6 months ago but I am now. I will be starting school in May 09 and hope the credit freeze has improved somewhat by then. My school has set the COA at a "reasonable" amount and it is doable. But I would feel much more secure with one private loan in my back pocket.

The only other one I know of besides those you had listed is Chase. (it is only in certain states though).

I will keep looking and updating as things hopefully loosen up.

UPDATE: CHASE has a direct-to-consumer loan payed directly to student without school certification. The problem here is that there are only SOME states that offer this loan.

UPDATE: The Laurel Collegiate Loan is deferrable, not certified through school.

UPDATE: Monticello Student Loan is also offered through PNC. It is deferrable and is not certified through school. I think the max you can get is 40,000/yr. This is the last company that I have found. Good luck to all

I started in Aug of this year. I was able to get direct to lender loans from Wells Fargo, Chase (which you have already mentioned) and Sallie Mae.

I don't know if all three of any of the companies are still offering loans now b/c of the credit crunch but I got them this last July.

I do know that the loans directly to you do rely on having good credit and some sort of income history so it is best to apply while you are still working.

Thanks for the other links as well.

Right now, for a secondary loan (after your stafford split), I would recommend a private, certified loan. If you go the grad+ route, it's 8.5% plus 3% added into the principal. Most private loans right now don't require an origination fee, and offer lower interest rates.


Specializes in ICU, oncology/organ transplant. Has 5 years experience.

I too am worried but reading this thread is like latin to me. I don't know a thing about deferment, COA's, subsidized or not, certified or not.I am really lost and not even sure when to start to apply for loans (I start in 2010). Does anyone have any idea where I can define all these terms or how to begin?


Basic things you need to know:

The Stafford Loan will most likely be your primary loan.

  • It's broken down into 2 parts: subsidized and unsubsidized
    • subsidized: interest accruing while deferring payment is paid by the government
    • unsubsidized: interest capitalizes (adds) into your principal loan amount

    [*]it's subsidized amount is based on your EFC (Expected Family Contribution). The more you make, the less subsidized you get.

    • this amount will change while you're in school, because your adjusted gross income will go down.

    [*]right now, its at 6.5%, and you should be able to find a loan company that doesn't charge origination fees.

A Stafford will not likely be sufficient enough to cover your expenses while in school. So a secondary loan, like GRAD+, or a Private Loan comes in.

My beef with the GRAD+ was that it was 8.5%, plus origination fees.

  • origination fees: usually 3% of distributed loan amount, that adds into your total loan balance, and accrues interest.
    • Say your annual Grad Plus loan was 20,000. That's another $600 you will pay interest on, and have to pay off eventually.

Going to a Private Loan, you will likely be able to find a very low interest, no-fee loan. However, usually the interest rate is variable, based in T-Bill or APR. So it could either be your top priority to pay off at the end of school or the lowest. Regardless, it's lower interest rate and not paying the ridiculous origination fees should be a better choice than GRAD+.

Another term: certified. Certified usually means that your school disburses your loan money. It's amount can be restricted based on school decision. However, it almost always has a lower interest rate than non-certified.

Keep in mind, that every year the loan companies offer different incentives: lower interest once in repayment, no origination fees, etc. Research every one of the loans. It'll save you tremendous money over the life of your loan.

Also, keep in mind that when you finish school, you will probably only be able to deduct 10-98int interest for the first year. http://www.irs.gov/taxtopics/tc456.html

Hope this helps.


Thank you so much for this information. I start this August and will be researching the avenues you all shared about. I am excited to start, however I am in financial fear. All I think about is the $$$$, the current economy, and what the job market for CRNA's in California be like in 2 1/2 years.

Thank God, for this website and all the ones that are ahead of me sharing their exp.



Specializes in ICU- adults, Flight RN peds/neo.

Maybe try the military USAGPAN program..........I will owe NO money for the CRNA program and I will be paid during my school......as much as I earn now.......$3700 month AFTER taxes.

3. For civilians and reservists, you Anesthesia Program Home Page:




CampusDoor has shut its doors to students: "Due to further deterioration of the credit environment, we are not accepting new applications for student loans at this time."

Also, Chase has run away from non-certified loans: "Chase is no longer accepting applications for its non-certified private student loan."


Has 13 years experience.

Be very careful that you will need the money. When I graduated, I was over $100,000 in debt....and those private, non-govt loans usually have variable interest rates...or at least high %....8.5 don't seem like much, but when you're talking $40,000 or more, it adds up and will be a pain to pay off. Looking back, I wished I had cinched the belt tighter and not taken out so much. It would have been nice to kick back and enjoy life for awhile after school instead of working like crazy to get the loans paid off. Otherwise, it will seem like all you make, is going toward bills. Max out the Stafford loans as those interest rates are the lowest. Anything more, really be sure you need it. Good luck.


Has 3 years experience.

Is there any updated info on loans now that it's over year since the last post?

I am really happy and excited about school, but terrified of leaving my job and income too. I know that Wells Fargo is still offering a direct to borrower loan with a max of 25,000 per year. Obviously this would work for your first year, but if you need more, the second year would be tougher because you have no proof of income while in school. If anyone finds any other direct to borrower loans out there, PLEASE POST! As far as I know most have disappeared over the last 1 - 2 years unless you are a medical student. So stressful!

Go for Stafford 1st. Both Subsidized and Unsubsidized. Research the loan companies and look for the best deals: 0.5% off with automatic payments, etc.

For the secondary loan each semester: compare Private variables vs Grad Plus.

  • Grad Plus doesn't require credit worthiness, but will have a higher fixed interest rate than Stafford.
  • Additionally, Grad Plus loans will generally hit you with an origination fee (3%) that gets tacked onto the principle. Example, with a $20,000 2-part loan, there will be a $600 fee...so you'll be accruing interest on $20,600 during the deferment period.

  • Private loans may have variable rates, but are extremely competitive against each other, and generally don't have origination fees. The interest rate is generally lower 3%-5%, but has the possibility to increase later down the road.

I opted for the private loan after the first year. The interest was 3% vs 7.5% grad+, plus no 3% origination fee. Additionally, the company paid me back 2% after graduation. It's my low priority loan based on interest rate, but has the potential to become a higher priority if the interest rate increases.

Also, some information on consolidating loans after school:

  • If you decide to consolidate your government loans (stafford, Grad+), the moment you do so enters you into repayment. In other words, your grace period is up.
  • It does NOT save you money. It averages the balances/interest rates of your loans, and rounds up. Additionally, most loans offer a 0.5% interest rate deduction with automatic draft...a benefit may lose if you consolidate.
  • It may help organize your loans for you...but in the world of BillPay and auto debit, what's the difference?

The feeling of paying off a loan is rewarding and motivating. I took the approach of paying off the highest interest loan first, then re-applying that money into the next highest interest loan.

Hope this helps!

Hey everyone!

I got accepted into a 10 month LPN program through a tech/vocational school...so not technically a college. I start in September and was told by the financial aid counselor that I can apply for the Wells Fargo Non-Certified Student Loan (after maxing out my Staffords). I know they are still lending money, but how hard is it to get approved? I have a credit score of roughly 610 (lack of judgement during college) with spare job history because I worked as a nanny off the books, but I have a co-signer that has extremely good credit and 15 years at the same job. I only have 1 week until I apply, so I know that it's basically a waiting game, but just wanted to see if anyone else has been approved, or denied within the past few months! I need this money to pay the majority of my rent & bills while I'm in school (I will be working part time), so I really hope I get approved! Also, I know they say that you can take up to $15,000....I plan on applying for about $8,000...does that help? LOL.

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