This can vary from person to person, but on average the entire process can take two to five weeks. This is because we rely on certifying the final loan amount directly with your school’s financial aid office. We always recommend applying and finalizing your Earnest Private loan as soon as you can. This will allow ample time for our team to review your application and for your school to certify the loan. Here are some helpful timelines to keep in mind:
Application: The application will ask you general questions about your financial profile and your plans for attending school. Based on the information provided, you may be prompted to add a cosigner in order to continue. If a cosigner is added to the application, both parties will need to complete their respective sections of the application. The application is all online and can be completed within a few minutes. This timeline can vary depending on the applicant, and how readily available the information is that they need to complete the application.
Submission: Once an application is submitted, it will be sent to our team for review. Depending on your unique financial situation (or, if applicable, the situation of your co-signer), we may request additional documentation to verify the information provided in the application. We strongly encourage that you upload the information as quickly as possible to ensure a quick turn around. Once we receive the requested documentation, it typically takes 3-5 business days for our team to render a decision. We will send an email confirmation once a decision has been made. You’ll be able to log in and see the decision on your Earnest account as well, under the My Loans section.
Approval: If you are approved for an Earnest loan, you have 30 days to accept your loan offer from the date of approval. To accept your offer, you will need to select a repayment plan and sign your loan agreement. If you have a cosigner, they will also be required to complete signing their portion in order to fully accept the offer. To review our different payment options, you can read this article.
Awaiting Certification: School certification is a process that involves your school verifying your loan details and certifying that it matches their records. This process begins immediately after signing your loan agreement and can take 1-3 weeks, depending on how quickly the financial aid office at your institution certifies the loan. For more information on certification, check out this article.
Certified: After a loan has been certified by the school and the final loan disclosure is sent, the loan enters a mandatory 3 business day cooling period before disbursing the funds. This required timeframe is to allow any changes or cancellation of your loan agreement. It’s important to note, if the school provides us a disbursement date in the past, we will work to send the funds 5-7 business days after the final disclosure is sent to disburse the funds via email, in order to account for the 3 business day cooling period and processing time.
Disbursed: The funds will be sent directly to the institution on specified disbursement date(s). Depending on the preference of the school, the funds will be sent either electronically or by check. The disbursement dates are set by the school and cannot be adjusted by our team. If you need to make adjustments to these dates, the change will need to be made through the Financial Aid office. If there are excess funds once tuition and other fees are paid, the school will refund the additional balance to the student in accordance with the school’s refund procedures.