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How To Apply for a Private Alternative Loan

Select a lender of your choice and the appropriate loan term date. The loan term date you chose on the private alternative loan application can affect the final approved amount.

Apply for a Private Alternative Loan

Private alternative loans are managed through private lenders, are issued in the student’s name, and require a cosigner.

Eligibility

Eligibility, rates, terms, and conditions vary per lender. The lender listing contains a brief overview of eligibility for each lender; however, we encourage you to review each lender in greater detail.

Many alternative lenders will approve a loan for international students who have a creditworthy U.S. citizen or permanent resident as a co-signer. Contact the lender of your choice to determine if you are eligible.

Loan approval and interest rates are based on the borrower’s and co-signer’s credit ratings. Alternative loans are agreements between the borrower, cosigner, and the lender.

Be sure private alternative loans are the right option for you. Things to consider:

Don't know what questions to ask your lender? Review our recommended list of questions.

How To Apply

Apply no more than 60 days prior to the start of the semester. Applying too early may result in expiration of your credit approval and would require a new application with the lender.

  1. Select a lender of your choice and the appropriate loan term date. The loan term date you choose on the private alternative loan application can affect the final approved amount.

    2018-19 Loan Term Dates*

    Fall only 2018 August - December 2018
    Fall and Spring 2018-19 August - May 2019
    Spring only 2019 January - May 2019
    Summer only 2019 May - August 2019

    *If you choose a fall/spring loan term period, the amount of the loan will be split equally between the two semesters.

    Students who applied for a fall only loan to cover fall expenses, should choose a spring only loan when applying for a loan to cover spring expenses. The Spring application options should be added in mid to late November.

  2. Schedule all courses before you apply. Your loan will be certified based upon the number of courses for which you are enrolled.
  3. Review the private alternative lender listOur lender list contains lenders with whom Penn State students have conducted business over the past three to five years. Neither Penn State nor the Office of Student Aid promotes, endorses, or recommends any of these loan products or lenders. You have the right to select the alternative lender of your choice. 

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 4. Determine how much you will need to borrow. You can view the breakdown of your budget vs you financial aid in your Aid Award detail in LionPATH for the Academic Year in which you are applying.

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We also have other options to determine the amount of an alternative loan that you will need to borrow:

Penn State Federal School Code

003329

fafsa

FAFSA

timeline

 Timeline

lionpath

LionPATH

tutorials

Tutorials

calculator

Aid Calculator

calculator

Money Manager

calculator

Loan Repayment