Alternative loans are available to students who are not eligible for financial aid or who need additional funds to meet educational expenses. The student's eligibility is determined by the cost of attendance minus other financial aid or the annual loan maximum amount as determined by the lender.
Because alternative loans are not guaranteed by the federal government, they must be insured privately. This extra cost is passed on to the borrower in the form of higher fees and interest rates. In addition, the lender will look at your credit history as well as other factors to determine whether or not they will lend you money. You may be denied by one lender and approved by another because of the different ways they interpret your information. You may also need an endorser who is a U.S. citizen.
Who Needs An Alternative Loan?
Alternative loans are not for everyone. They can be expensive and should only be considered when all other resources have been exhausted.
If a student is not eligible for other aid and cannot make up the difference through working, there may not be funds available to cover registration fees, books and housing. If no other resources are available, this student may want to consider an alternative loan.
What Should You Find Out Before Deciding On An Alternative Loan?
Select Your Alternative Loan Lender
What Are The Eligibility Requirements For Alternative Loans?
Requirements vary according to the lender. However, common requirements state that loan recipients must be:
Our institution does not endorse any lenders; however, we are providing a list of lenders who have established electronic processing with our institution. You may select another lender or choose a paper application process but be advised that delays may occur as these lenders do not process loans with us electronically.
Applications can also be obtained by calling the lender. You can usually apply for a loan over the telephone or by using the lender's Web site.
If you have any questions about the loan, please contact the lender. A Financial Aid advisor can assist you in determining the correct amount to borrow.
Self-Certification Information for Alternative Loans
If you need information to complete a Self-Certification form for a private/alternative student loan, please follow the instructions listed below:
The information on the Financial Aid Overview page can be used to complete the Self-Certification form from your lender. This page will display your Cost of Attendance (also known as an Estimated Financial Aid Budget), Financial Need, and Total Aid. If the loan you are currently applying for has already been posted on your awards, do not include it as current aid on the Self-Certification form.
The Self-Certification form should not be submitted to the Office of Financial Aid. It is filled out by the student and submitted directly to the lender.
Be a Smart Consumer
These loans are a last resort. It is important to keep all borrowing within reasonable bounds - never borrow more than you believe you will be able to repay.