Before you look at private or alternative funding, please make sure that you have exhausted all available federal and state financial aid funding options.
Our office strongly recommends that students file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid to be considered for all types of federal and state aid, including federal student loans, before applying for a private/alternative educational loan.
Private/alternative loans may be used to help bridge a gap between the actual cost of your education and the amount of assistance available through federal and state aid programs. It is important to do some research and explore your options when choosing an alternative loan lender.
UW Colleges FAST Choice will assist you in choosing a private/alternative loan lender via its beneficial borrowing essentials tutorial and a side-by-side comparison of selected lenders. In FAST Choice, individual lender disclosure information is available.
Please note that pursuant to Section 155 of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended, (HEA) and to satisfy the requirements of Section 128 (e)(3) of the Truth in Lending Act, a lender must obtain a self certification signed by the applicant before disbursing a private education loan. This new process became effective February 14, 2010 and requires the lender to send the applicant Truth in Lending notices and hold the first disbursement of the alternative loan disbursement until a specified time period has passed in order for the student to have a Right of Rescission. The lender will be providing the Self-Certification form to the applicant during the application process.
If you have questions regarding an alternative loan program, we suggest you contact the specific lender directly. Please contact our office with general questions.