Alternative Loans for Undergraduates

Basic Information
How to Apply
Self-Certification Information

Basic Information

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.

Who Needs An Alternative Loan?
Alternative loans are not for everyone. They are expensive and should only be considered when all other resources (such as Direct or Parent PLUS loans) have been exhausted.

For example, a freshman dependent student can borrow up to $5,500 under the Direct Loan Program. If this student is not eligible for grants or 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?

  • What is the interest rate and what is it based on?
  • When does repayment begin?
  • Can principal and interest be deferred?
  • When is the interest capitalized?
  • How much is the loan origination fee?
  • What is the maximum amount I can borrow per year?
  • What is the minimum amount I can borrow per year?
  • Can payments be combined with Stafford payments?
  • Can payments be made through electronic transfer?
  • Can the loan be consolidated with other loans?
  • Can I borrow money to cover past due balances from a previous school term?
  • Are there interest rate deductions or other incentives for borrowers who make their payments on time?
  • Need to contact the Office of Financial Aid for an appointment to speak to a counselor about an Authorization for Certification of Alternative Loan Prior to Direct/Plus Certification.

What Are The Eligibility Requirements For Alternative Loans?
Requirements vary according to the lender. However, common requirements state that loan recipients must be:

  • Undergraduate students in a degree or certificate program
  • Enrolled at least part time
  • Creditworthy borrowers or borrowers with creditworthy cosigners
  • U.S. citizens, permanent residents or eligible non-citizens
  • Making satisfactory academic progress

How to Apply

Our institution does not endorse any lenders; however, we are providing a list of lenders whom students have selected as a lender over the past 2 years. You may select another lender but be advised that delays may occur as these lenders do not process with us electronically.

View lenders to apply for an Alternative loan

Self-Certification Information

If you need information to complete a Self-Certification form for a private/alternative student loan, please follow the instructions listed below:

  • Log into
  • Select the Financial Aid tab and then Financial Aid Awards.
  • Select the appropriate aid year
  • Award Overview

The information on the Financial Aid Award 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 award, 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.