Alternative Student Loans
- Alternative student loans are funded by private lenders and are not based on need
- The amount borrowed cannot exceed your cost of attendance minus other financial aid.
- Interest rates and repayment terms vary from lender to lender but are generally less favorable than those provided through the Federal Direct Loan Program.
- Alternative loans are based on a student’s credit history and often require a co-signer.
- These loans are primarily used to supplement the federal programs when federal aid and scholarships do not equal the cost of attendance.
Process for Alternative Loans
- decide which lender with whom to apply
- complete all necessary paperwork -- you will be required to fill out a "Self-Certification Form" with your lender. They have the forms available on their website or you may download this pdf version http://www.ifap.ed.gov/dpcletters/attachments/GEN1001A-AppSelfCert.pdf
- provide all necessary signatures
- sends us an electronic certification request after you have filled out all paperwork and are fully approved
- that you are an eligible student based on lender criteria
- that you have unmet educational expenses that this loan will cover
- what date the funds should be sent to the University
After all above steps are completed—
- after a 7-10 day rescission period, lender sends funds to the University via EFT (Electronic Funds Transfer)
- funds are paid directly to your student account with the University
- tuition and anything owing the University is paid
- if there is a balance owed back to you, the University will either process a Direct Deposit into your checking or savings account or process a paper check that will be mailed to your mailing address on DuckWeb.
Things to remember:
- If you want your loan to cover education related expenses for something not already in your cost of attendance, you will need to request a budget increase. The revision request must be in the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships prior to our receiving the loan certification request.
- We are able to skew alternative loan payments if your documented educational expenses are different from one term to another. A written request is needed to notify us of your wishes to have the loan skewed.
- Some lenders will loan to students who are not fully admitted or are enrolled less than ½ time. Our computer “knows” these situations make a student ineligible for federal aid which means we must manually pay these loan funds. You monitoring this and notifying us when funds have arrived would be helpful.
- We currently certify loans daily and receive records from lenders daily. The Business Affairs Office prepares refunds twice a week so there may be a lag between funds paying to your student account and you receiving a refund.
- We are unable to certify loans for the upcoming academic year prior to July because of necessary computer upgrades. Remember that most credit checks are only good for 90 days.
- August and September are high volume months for all aspects of the financial aid process. At this time of year, certification of loans may lag by several weeks.
Important Things to Consider When Selecting the Right Lender and Alternative Student Loan for You:
- Understand the ultimate cost of the loan over its lifetime. Compare annual percentage rates (APR) vs. interest rates and fees to determine the real cost of the loan.
- Be aware of what the monthly payments will be upon graduation or leaving school and how that will affect your lifestyle after college.
- Find out what the “borrower benefits” really mean to you. How is each benefit achieved and how are they kept throughout repayment. What happens if you miss an “on time” payment?
- Are there forbearance or deferment options? Understand what additional cost these may have for you.
- How does the lender capitalize interest? (i.e. once when repayment begins or quarterly)
- Notify your lender of any change in address, name or repayment problems—lack of communication is one of the first steps toward delinquency.
- Borrowers should always explore federal loan options first as direct to consumer loans or alternative student loans may have higher interest rates and fees.
Please note that lenders offer better interest rates to borrowers who have a qualified co-signer.
The University of Oregon does not recommend nor do we have a special affiliation with any lender. We will use any lender you choose. Our students have found the following lenders to have good approval rates as well as good customer service and are listed in random order:
- Discover Student Loan
- Wells Fargo Collegiate Loan
- Sallie Mae Smart Options Loan
- CUStudent Loans
- Oregon Community Credit Union
Several of these lenders now offer a fixed rate loan as well as their variable rate loan.
Law and Graduate students may find that lenders have an alternative loan designed for their field of study.
The Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships at the University of Oregon strongly upholds this Code of Conduct.
Consumer information regarding alternative student loans can be obtained from the Project on Student Debt and from the private, commercial site FinAid.org. The Federal Trade Commission provides a consumer guide that offers advice on how to spot deceptive marketing.
For more information on alternative student loan lenders, please contact the Office of Student Financial Aid and Scholarships.
Loan periods refer to the terms of enrollment for which the loan applies.
- There can only be one loan certification per loan application and approval.
- We are unable to certify one loan over more than one academic year.
- Summer at University of Oregon is considered a “trailer” which ends an academic year and cannot be included in a loan for the following academic year.
- Loans cannot exceed estimated expenses for either the academic year or on a term by term basis.
- If you are borrowing a “look back” loan for past amounts owed the University, it may be difficult for us to realize your intent. Call or email our office to tell us of your intention or use a loan period that has already passed.
Loan periods for ACADEMIC YEAR 2012-13 at University of Oregon:
Undergraduates and Graduate Students:
|Academic Year||09/24/2012 - 06/14/2013|
|Spring||04/01/2013 - 06/14/2013|
|Summer||06/24/2013 - 09/06/2013|
|Academic Year||08/27/2012 - 05/13/2013|
|Fall||08/27/2012 - 12/19/2012|
|Spring||01/14/2013 - 05/13/2013|
|Summer||05/28/2013 - 07/19/2013|
Loan periods for ACADEMIC YEAR 2013-14 at University of Oregon:
Undergraduates and Graduate Students:
|Academic Year||09/30/2013- 06/13/2014|
|Academic Year||08/26/2013- 05/13/2014|