Career Education & Alternative Learning (CEAL) Program

This loan provides funds for North Dakota residents and prospective North Dakota residents pursuing career education through alternative learning training programs and certifications.

You must be a U.S. citizen, meet all credit criteria, not be delinquent or in default on any student loans and must attend an eligible institution in North Dakota.

At this time, one North Dakota school has been approved to access CEAL Funding:

The loan may cover the following expenses while attending school:

  • Cost of attendance
  • Fees
  • Supplies
  • Room and board
  • Transportation
  • Other educational expenses authorized by the school or by BND’s Investment Committee

The minimum loan amount is $500; the maximum loan amount is $25,000.

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Fees: There is a 2% administrative fee.

You must begin repaying your loan six months after you graduate or leave the program. Consider signing up for monthly or quarterly automatic payments while you are in college. Even if the payments are small, this can reduce the total amount you will need to pay over the life of the loan.

  • Most loans are placed on a 10-year repayment plan (view disclosure) unless you choose another option. See other repayment plans here.
  • Loans that become 15 days delinquent will be assessed a late fee not to exceed six percent of the unpaid portion of the installment or a maximum of $15.
  • All loans are reported to the credit bureau monthly. Loans that are 31 days delinquent or greater will be reported as late.
  • Sign up for automatic payments by submitting this formor contact us and:
    • Decrease your interest rate by 0.25% when loan is in repayment status
    • Choose your payment due date from the 1st through the 28th of the month
    • Avoid late fees
    • Build a positive credit history on your loan

If you have difficulty repaying your loan, contact us immediately. We can help review your current situation and discuss the options available.

Watch a short video about cosigning a student loan.

What is a cosigner?

A cosigner is a person, such as a parent or other close family member or friend, who pledges to pay back the loan if the borrower does not. If the borrower does not make payments when required, the cosigner is liable for repayment of the loan.

How does cosigning a loan affect your credit?

Cosigning a loan is an action that should never be taken lightly because it can have serious implications to your credit history. As the cosigner, the cosigned loan will appear on your credit report and can directly affect your credit as a debt owed.

Ideally, the person you cosign for is reliable, never late and never misses a payment. Your willingness to risk your credit helps the borrower get the loan and can help build a positive credit history for the borrower. If the person you cosigned for does not make payments, you are responsible for paying back the debt. The unpaid debt will appear on your credit report, seriously damaging your credit and perhaps your ability to qualify for new credit. If left unpaid, it could also lead to collection accounts and damage your creditworthiness.

Steps for cosigning a loan

  1. How does a cosigner apply?
    The cosigner can complete the cosigner application form at the same time the borrower applies if they are with the borrower as the borrower completes the application. If the cosigner needs to apply at a different time, the cosigner will receive an email from studentloans@nd.gov with a link to apply.
  2. Loan Approval Disclosure
    The Loan Approval Disclosure will provide you with important information about the loan you are agreeing to cosign. You do not need to do anything unless you would like to withdraw your application. Smart Money Tip
  3. Loan Final Disclosure
    The Loan Final Disclosure is the last step in the loan process and it gives you a final opportunity to cancel cosigning the loan without any penalty. If you want to continue as the cosigner of the loan, you do not need to do anything.

Repaying the student loan you cosigned

Repayment of the loan you cosigned begins six months after the borrower graduates, leaves college or starts attending less than half-time. Consider signing up for monthly or quarterly automatic payments while you are in college. Even if the payments are small, this can reduce the total amount you will need to pay over the life of the loan.

  • Most loans are placed on a 10-year repayment plan unless another option is chosen. See other repayment plans here.
  • Loans that become 15 days delinquent will be assessed a late charge not to exceed six percent of the monthly payment amount or a maximum of $15, whichever is less.
  • All loans are reported to the credit bureau monthly. Loans that are 31 days delinquent or greater will be reported as late.
  • Sign up for automatic payments by submitting this form or contact us and:
    • Decrease the interest rate by 0.25% when loan is in repayment status
    • Choose a payment due date from the 1st through the 28th of the month
    • Avoid late fees
    • Build a positive credit history

If you are having difficulty repaying the loan you cosigned, contact us immediately. We can help review your current situation and discuss the options available.

Cosigner release

 To be released as the cosigner from a loan, each of the following requirements must be met:

  • The borrower must be found creditworthy based on the credit criteria in effect at the time the request is made.
  • The appropriate number of consecutive, regular on-time payments must have been made to BND.
    • For DEAL Student Loans, 24 consecutive, regular on-time payments are required.
    • For DEAL Consolidation or DEAL One Loans disbursed on/after January 1, 2013, 48 consecutive, regular on-time payments are required.
    • For DEAL Consolidation Loans disbursed prior to January 1, 2013, 24 consecutive, regular on-time payments are required.
  • A regular on-time payment is a payment received within 15 days of the due date while in repayment status. This does not include payments made during forbearance or deferment periods.
  • The payment counter restarts if there is a period of reduced payments, deferment, forbearance or a payment is received more than 15 days past the due date.
  • The borrower must submit the DEAL Program Loan Request for Release of Cosigner form.

A cosigner may be replaced at any time with a different creditworthy cosigner. Contact us for more information.

If you have questions, contact us or call 701.328.5660.

The institution must be an approved licensed institution operating in North Dakota. Approval will come from BND Investment Committee. Interested institutions should contact BND to get more information about the approval process.