Mapping Your Future: Mapping Your Future's Private Loan counseling educates students

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Mapping Your Future's Private Loan counseling educates students

By Beth Ziehmer

July 25, 2018

Private student loans can be an option for those students who have unmet financial need after they have exhausted all other financial resources.

Unfortunately, many students may not fully comprehend the difference between their federal student loans and private student loans. As a financial aid professional, you can help your students learn the difference between private/alternative student loans and federal student loans by having your students complete Mapping Your Future's Private Loan counseling session prior to certifying the student's private/alternative loans.

Since FY2011, over 18,500 students have completed the Private Loan counseling session, located at The counseling session presents information in six steps, guiding students toward responsible borrowing and successful repayment:

  • Private loan basics
  • Private versus federal loans
  • Eligibility
  • Choosing a lender and loan
  • Repayment
  • Delinquency and default

While the counseling is best suited for use as entrance counseling, borrowers also can complete a session to serve as an exit interview.

To experience Private Loan counseling from the student perspective, follow these steps:

  1. Go to the Mapping Your Future home page at
  2. Click the "Online Counseling" link in the upper right corner of the page
  3. Select "Private Loan" (under "Other counseling")
  4. Choose Missouri as the state of your school
  5. Select MYF Demo School as your school

In addition to offering the interactive counseling session, Mapping Your Future has made the content available on the website as a printable guide. The guide is online at

Sponsors of Mapping Your Future can link to the Private Loan counseling, or take it a step further to integrate the Private Loan counseling into their private loan processes.

Another option for schools and Sponsors is to create their own counseling session through Counseling Powered by Mapping Your Future. Counseling Powered by Mapping Your Future allows you to create the counseling text, specifically tailoring the information to your needs and the needs of your students.

Mapping Your Future is a public service nonprofit organization that has been providing this counseling service to schools, students, and families for 22 years. Online Counseling provides a low-cost, or no-cost, alternative to meeting and exceeding federal counseling requirements, depending on sponsorship of the state in which the school is located.

Schools that currently do not use Mapping Your Future's Online Counseling can learn more at and sign up at

Contact the Mapping Your Future staff with questions or for more information at or (800) 374-4072.