Loan agreements, like any contract, reflect an "offer," the "acceptance of the offer," "consideration," and can only involve situations that are "legal" (a term loan agreement involving heroin drug sales is not "legal"). Loan agreements are documented via their commitment letters, agreements that reflect the understandings reached between the involved parties, a promissory note, and a collateral agreement (such as a mortgage or a personal guarantee). Loan agreements offered by regulated banks are different from those that are offered by finance companies in that banks receive a "banking charter" granted as a privilege and involving the "public trust."
Lenders may require borrowers to submit a financial letter of hardship which explains the circumstances causing them to require a loan deferment. Hardship letters are usually required with federal student loans and real estate transactions such as loan modifications.
The loan agreements originated by commercial banks, savings banks, finance companies, insurance organizations, and investment banks are very different from each other and all feed a different purpose. "Commercial banks" and "Savings banks," because they accept deposits and benefit from FDIC insurance, generate loans that incorporate the concepts of the "public trust." Prior to interstate banking, that "public trust" was easily measured by State bank regulators who could see how local deposits were used to fund the working capital needs of local industry and businesses, and the benefits associated with those organization's employment.
Be careful applying for private loans with banks. If your bank requires a co-borrower to sign on the agreement before the loan is sanctioned, make sure that your co-borrower has a good enough credit history. Not having a good credit history could jeopardize your chances of getting the private student loan that you would have otherwise got stand alone.