Please wait until June 1st to complete loan applications for the 2015-2016 academic year. Remember, all loans are certified for the full year – both fall and spring semesters. Loans are not processed for one term only.
Undergraduate and Graduate Student Alternative Loan Options via FASTChoice
Disclaimer: Free or lower-cost Title IV federal, state, or institutional aid may be available in place of, or in addition to, a private education loan. To apply for Title IV federal grants, loans and work-study, please visit How to Apply. You are strongly encouraged to pursue the availability of free or lower-cost financial aid first.
Alternative loans are private educational loans in which the student is the borrower; however, a cosigner is usually required depending upon the creditworthiness of the student. We have listed the highest volume alternative loan lenders from which our students have borrowed during the past three years. However, students have the right to apply through any lender, whether the lender is listed or not. Because the terms and conditions of the loans depend so greatly on the credit score of the borrower and cosigner, we cannot recommend one lender over another. As the consumer, it is important to be pro-active and explore all of the alternative loan options. In fact, many loans have different interest tiers and repayment options. It is important to determine for which tier and interest rate you qualify. In general, interest rates are based upon a standard rate then a percentage (%) is added. Example interest rate as of 3/11/2010: 3-mo Libor + 3.9% would be 4.16% (.26% 3-mo Libor + 3.9%).
The Fair Isaac Corporation, the creator of the FICO score, has clarified that shopping for the best priced private educational loan does not necessarily lower an individual’s credit score as long as the credit inquiries are made within a time frame of 30 days. We recommend that you shop for the loans during a 30-day period through June and July. Once you have decided on a loan and have sent a signed Master Promissory Note (MPN) along with all required paperwork to the lender, certification information is then provided by the University. This certification process begins in mid to late July.
The following are questions we suggest asking when speaking with lenders:
Alternative Loan Borrowers – The Federal Truth-In-Lending Act has changed the regulations necessary for borrowers to receive private educational loans.
Note – The processing time of an alternative loan from the time you apply to the time funds might be made available is approximately 4 to 6 weeks.
The Federal Truth-In-Lending Act has changed the regulations necessary for borrowers to receive private educational loans. Specific adjustments include providing three detailed disclosures to the borrower throughout the loan application and approval process, obtaining a borrower self-certification form and providing a three-day "right of rescission" period in which the student may cancel the loan.
The borrower must submit a signed self-certification form to the lender. This form, which is completed and signed by the student, must show the student’s cost of attendance, expected family contribution, estimated financial assistance, total aid and the maximum private loan amount allowed. The self-certification form is available here. For assistance completing the self-certification, feel free to contact the Office of Student Financial Services.
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