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ALTERNATIVE/PRIVATE LOANS

An Alternative Loan is a private, non-federal loan from an outside source such as a bank or other lending institution.

This is used when you are no longer eligible for a Direct Loan, have decided to use this instead to close the financial gap between the cost of attendance and all other forms of financial aid.

These loans are different from the William D. Ford Direct Loan Program because they are not guaranteed by the federal government. 

They are designed to be utilized as a last resource after all other federal grant and loan options.

Students have the right to select the alternative lender of their choice. We do not recommend any one in particular. Please visit ELM for a list of lenders. If your lender of choice is not listed, please know that we will certify your loan from any student lender. Please keep the following in mind while selecting a lender:

  • Interest rate
  • Loan fees (origination, disbursement, and repayment)
  • Decision criteria
  • Minimum and maximum amounts to borrow
  • Enrollment requirements (half time or less)
  • Duration and types of deferments offered
  • Borrower benefits
  • Repayment terms
  • Past due balance eligibility

Borrowers need to choose an alternative loan product carefully and be sure they fully understand the terms and conditions of an alternative loan prior to signing a promissory note with a lending institution. Students have the right to select the alternative lender of their choice.

Credit guidelines apply in determining eligibility, and vary from lender to lender. Credit checks are normally performed at the time of application and are time sensitive. Check with your specific lender to determine credit check time frame and expiration policies.