We recognize that students may need to rely on a variety of resources to assist them in paying for their educational expenses. One type of loan to consider is a private alternative loan. These loans are available to students when federal loans are not enough to cover the cost of attendance or for students that do not qualify for any federal loans.
We strongly encourage students to exhaust their Federal Stafford Direct loan options prior to considering these loans due to the higher rates, fees, terms and conditions that usually accompany private loans.
- The interest rates are typically variable and may be tied to the prime, LIBOR or treasury bill rate.
- Borrower eligibility, co-signer requirements, interest rates, maximum loan levels and repayment options vary according to the program.
- These loans are generally based on an individual's credit score/history.
- These types of loans may also assist students who are enrolled less than half-time (less than 5 credits), pursuing a certificate program or international students.
Before applying for a loan, be sure to research the loan product(s) to ensure you are getting the most competitive rates, fees and terms available. As you research available loans, be sure to review the websites or ask the lenders how your needs and the terms of the loans meet your individual situation. Listed below are some items to consider:
- Is the interest rate fixed or variable?
- Does the loan have a maximum (capped) variable interest rate?
- Can you receive a better interest rate if you have someone co-sign the loan?
- Are payments required to be made while in-school?
- Can the loan be used if only taking 3 credits (less than 1/2 time)?
- Is the loan used if not making Satisfactory Academic Progress?
- Can I use this loan as an international student?
Ultimately, choosing a loan and lender is completely up to you. Most lenders after being credit approved will send the information about your loan directly to the University. Remember, applying for a loan is a process and it could take several weeks to complete the process and have the funds sent to the school.
To better assist you with your search, we have provided a historical list of the loan products/lenders our graduate students have elected to use over the past 3 years (this list reflects only those lenders still lending).
We are happy to provide you with any information we may have on a particular lender. Please contact our office if you have additional questions.