Private/Alternative Educational Loans
We strongly recommend that all students apply for federal funding each year by filing the FAFSA and consider borrowing from federal loan sources before they borrow from private/alternative student loans. The terms of the federal student loans are generally better.
Private/Alternative student loans and alternative private parent loans are made through private lending institutions not affiliated with the US Department of Education or Pennsylvania Highlands. These may be an option if you need more aid beyond your FAFSA offer, are enrolled less than half-time, are in a non-degree-seeking program, or are not maintaining satisfactory academic progress.
You may need a credit-worthy individual to act as a co-signer.
How much am I eligible to borrow?
Although some lenders limit the amount that you may borrow annually, the general rule of thumb is that you may borrow up to the cost of attendance less any other financial aid you may be receiving. For example, the cost of attendance is $15,000 and you are receiving $8,000 in other aid, you could borrow up to $7,000, as long as your lender approves you for that amount. We recommend that you be a savvy borrower and borrow only what you need to cover your education-related expenses. This is a loan that must be repaid with interest, after all.
When does repayment begin?
Repayment terms and conditions also vary from lender to lender. Some lenders offer delayed repayment options, while others require interest only or principal and interest payments while the student is enrolled in school. Please be advised that the interest on delayed repayment options begins to accrue immediately, so you should try to make payments on your Alternative Loan, if possible.