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Alternative Loans


An alternative (private) loan is a nonfederal loan issued by a lender such as a bank or credit union.  Private loans often have variable interest rates, require a credit check and do not provide the benefits of federal student loans.  You should always exhaust federal loan options such as Federal Direct Loans and PLUS Loans first before considering a private loan. Students are encouraged to borrow only what they need to cover direct and indirect educational costs.

Factors to consider in selecting a lender for an alternative (private) loan:

 • Good borrower benefits
 • Good customer service
 • Prior business dealings with a lender on other consumer loans
 • Consumer complaints to the State Attorney Generals Office or to the Better Business Bureau
 • Limits on the sale of loans if this is important to you as a borrower

Students are encouraged to compare options and have a thorough understanding of private loan programs before applying. Beginning on February 14, 2010, new federal requirements went into effect which improves the information provided to borrowers through "The Private Student Loan and Transparency Act." These new requirements request disclosure information and self-certification from borrowers. You should plan on 2-4 weeks of processing time on private loans in order for you, as the borrower, to comply with these new requirements.

A 3 year historical listing of all active alternative loans utilized by Mount Marty College students in random order is available for comparison at FASTChoice. This list is provided for your information only. You may choose to select any lender that participates in alternative loans if you are interested in this form of financial aid. You are encouraged to contact lenders and compare programs before selecting an alternative loan.