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The median tuition at private elementary, middle and high schools has risen 35 percent over the past 10 years, adjusted for inflation.

Parents are feeling the pinch, and more companies are offering private school loans. I’m Janet Stauble with your Bankrate.com Personal Finance Minute.

Federal college loans are more favorable than private school loans. Borrowing for private schools typically entails variable rates and shorter repayment periods. And parents these days are facing tighter credit requirements and lower loan limits.

But financial aid is climbing along with tuition prices. Many schools offer need- and merit-based aid that could make a loan unnecessary.

If loans are your only option, don’t borrow too much too early, since many more years of private school financing are still ahead.

If you don’t have the funds for private school, look into other alternatives, like borrowing from relatives or using home equity lines of credit.

Evaluate what you can afford and whether loans are a temporary or permanent plan for financing education.

Want to learn more? Log onto Bankrate.com. I’m Janet Stauble.

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