An alternative loan is a credit-based loan intended for educational expenses. Alternative loans are offered by private lenders and are not a part of the Federal Direct Loan Program.
What does “School-certified” mean? The Financial Aid Office will certify (verify that you are eligible for) an alternative education loan if your lender’s loan eligibility requirements are met.
Alternative loans are considered a Financial Aid resource and are applied to your Cost of Attendance. This may reduce the type and amount of other aid you may receive. Alternative loans are serious financial obligations that must be repaid. These loans often have terms and conditions that are different than those of the federal loan programs.
Most lenders offer the choice of applying on-line or by telephone. Once you have completed the application, the lender will contact the Financial Aid Office directly for the school certification. The Financial Aid Office ONLY accepts certification requests that come directly from the lender. Loan processing can take several weeks so please plan accordingly.
Salem College does not provide a preferred lender list for alternative student loans. If you are interested in applying for an alternative loan, you will need to research and compare loan options on your own.
An internet search for “Certified Alternative Loans” should provide you with multiple lender choices.
Alternative student loans differ from lender to lender. It’s important to ask questions when seeking a private student loan, so you can compare loans, and choose the one that best fits your needs.
Here are a few questions you might want to ask a potential lender about any private student loan you are considering:
What are the disadvantages of an alternative loan?
How much loan am I eligible to receive?
Your loan eligibility is based on your Cost of Attendance (COA) minus any other awarded financial
aid. Salem College cannot certify your loan amount above your maximum eligibility.
Has my loan been approved?
Please be aware that “pre-approval” is not the same thing as a final approval because once the lender receives the school certification record the loan could still be denied by the lender. Please be sure to complete the application in full to avoid delays in the processing of your application.
Can I use my alternative loan to defer payment of my bill at Salem?
If the Financial Aid Office receives an approved school certification request from your lender, your alternative loan amount may defer (count as a credit) your bill.
What is the loan period as requested by the lender's loan application? The loan period for:
○ Be realistic about what your salary will be when you graduate from college.
○ Add up the total amount you will owe on all your student loans.
○ Estimate what your monthly payments will be.
○ Compare your estimated monthly payment with your estimated monthly income.