Private alternative loans
A private alternative loan is a non-federal educational loan, through a private lending institution, typically issued in the student's name and requiring a co-signer. These loans vary in the terms, conditions, and eligibility requirements. Before submitting any loan applications, you are encouraged to carefully evaluate the criteria for each loan program to determine which one best meets your unique needs and circumstances.
It is in your best interest to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and apply for any federal student loans for which you are eligible prior to borrowing private alternative loans. Private loans typically have variable and higher interest rates, are based on individual credit scores, may require interest payments while you are in school, have more fees, and less flexible repayment options than federal loans.
The University of Minnesota has developed a Private Loan list by evaluating private loan lenders on the following criteria:
- quality of customer service to students and the University
- speed of problem resolution
- online certification for school and electronic funds transfer (EFT)
- provides products that meet the varied needs of University of Minnesota students
- have made loans to University of Minnesota students in the past
You may borrow from any lender you choose. The University of Minnesota offers a student private alternative loan lender selection tool below.
When requested, provide your lender with these identifiers:
Name of postsecondary institution:
University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
Federal school code:
Always remember that your private loan is borrowed from a private loan company, not the University of Minnesota. Sign the promissory note and/or truth-in-lending disclosure forms only when you understand and agree with the rates and terms given in those documents. Keep copies of all your paperwork for as long as you have the loan. You must handle any concerns or problems you encounter with your private loan lender independently.
Do you have one or more of these special situations?
- less than half-time enrollment
- paying a previous term balance
- currently awarded at or above the cost of attendance at the University of Minnesota
If any of the above applies, you should discuss your special situation with your private lender before completing the application to make sure that they will lend to you. Some private lenders will not lend to students who have one or more of the special situations mentioned above.