Alternative Loans

What is an Alternative Loan?

Alternative loans are private education loans in the student's name that help bridge the gap between the actual cost of your education and the amount the government allows you to borrow in its programs. Private loans are offered by private lenders and there are no federal forms to complete. Eligibility for private student loans often depends on your credit score.

Is this the best loan for me?

Federal loans, including Direct loans, Perkins loans, and PLUS loans, are generally the best options and should be your first consideration. The maximum interest rates and fees on these loans are set by federal law, so the terms and conditions for these loans are clearly defined and may not change over time.

Alternative loans are considered a "last resort" for students who have exhausted all other financial aid options. Alternative loans cannot exceed the cost of attendance for a student. Most alternative loans go into repayment after the student graduates.

How to apply for an alternative loan

Students will need to apply directly with the lender of their choice.  Most students will be required to have someone co-sign the loan application.  Interest rates for loans are determined by the lender and are based on the student and co-signers credit worthiness.

You may choose any lender of your choice. For your convenience, we offer this handy FASTChoice alternative loan tool walks you through important information about types of funding and money management. It also presents your new responsibilities if you decide to borrow money.

After you review this information, you will see a list of lenders offering loan products in a way that makes it easy to compare them.