Private Alternative loans
Prior to considering private student loans, students are strongly encouraged to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Private student loans should be considered after all other sources of financial aid (grants, scholarships, federal work study, and federal student loans) have been exhausted.
Private loans can be expensive to take in place of Federal Student Loans for some borrowers. The Financial Aid Office cautions students to undergo research into all options and consider the cost of both types of loans. Federal loans have proven over the years to be cheaper and allow for more flexibility than loans taken from the private market. Compare the two side by side.
Alternative private student loans are available to assist students in need of financing for their education after all other sources are exhausted. Students are the primary responsibility holders and sometimes a cosigner, if required. The cosigner themselves should be aware that if the student doesn't make the payments, he/she will also be responsible for the loan payments. These loans can be taken out up to the Cost of Attendance after all other aid is subtracted. The following online student marketplaces are available to help you compare loans being offered by different lenders.
Beginning February 14, 2010, by Federal Regulation, banks and lenders must provide students with several different disclosure and certification forms before the loan can be disbursed. The form serves as a reminder that students should seek other aid first before considering a private loan. Loans will have to be confirmed if the student has any outstanding Stafford Loan Eligibility by Financial Aid Staff. Please note that these requirements do slow down the approval process for private loans. Each step can be moved along faster by timely responses to your lender requirements and obligations. Private loans will take a minimum of three weeks to complete from the time of the submission of the completed application.
Federal Regulation also requires that preferred lenders provide annual reports to schools regarding private education loans that are available to students. Disclosure statements are also provided by each bank to explain requirements and costs associated with every loan.