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Alternative Loans

Financial Assistance Office

An Alternative Loan is a private student loan offered by a financial institution. Typically, alternative loans are in the student's name as borrower. However, a few financial institutions offer a Parent Alternative Loan. The Parent Alternative Loan is not restricted to just your parent as borrower. Anyone over the age of 18 with a good credit score can borrow this loan on your behalf.

Federal loans typically offer a better long-term borrowing option; however, alternative loans offer a quick yet competitive lending alternative for those who have exhausted federal loan eligibility. Because alternative loans can affect your federal aid eligibility, our office recommends you complete the FAFSA before applying for a private alternative loan.  Be sure to compare your aid choices to make sure the private alternative loan is right for you.

Finding a Lender

You have the right to select any lender that offers private/alternative education loans. Interest rates and terms may vary among lenders. You may find lenders that offer attractive terms and conditions by searching the internet. The lenders on our Alternative Loan Lender List have been used by FHSU students in the past.  FHSU does not receive any incentives from any of these lenders.

Applying for an Alternative Loan

  1. Select a lender from the Alternative Loan Lender List or by searching the internet and begin the online application process. (If selecting a lender not on our established list, complete the application at that lender's website.)
  2. The lender will require you to complete a self-certification form. The lender you select should provide this form to you. If they do not, please contact our office.
  3. After completion of the application, the lender will electronically transmit, fax or mail an Alternative Loan certification request to FHSU.
  4. The Financial Assistance Office will process the certification according to eligibility rules established by the lender.
  5. The lender will transmit the funds to FHSU for disbursement on or after enrollment is finalized and all eligibility requirements are met. Excess Alternative Loan proceeds (after all university charges are paid) are refunded to the student based on their selection during the enrollment process.


The Truth in Lending Act requires lenders to inform you of the following information in a series of disclosure statements when you apply for an alternative loan:

  • Approved principal amount
  • The range of interest rates applicable to the loan
  • Whether the interest rate is fixed or variable
  • Limitations on interest rate changes
  • Co-borrower requirements and how it affects the loan options
  • Potential charges added to your loan such as but not limited to late fees
  • Fees on a loan
  • The term of the loan
  • If interest will accrue while the student is in school
  • Deferment options for payments
  • Eligibility requirements
  • The total cost of the loan
  • If there are any school specific education loan benefits
  • Information of federal aid under the FAFSA
  • Interest rate comparison on federal loans to the alternative loan
  • The borrower has a 30-day window or longer to accept the loan and its terms
  • The terms cannot change during this window
  • Maximum monthly payment

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