Frequently Asked Questions about Private Alternative Education Loans

I am currently applying for a Federal Stafford Loan and my parents are choosing not to apply for a Federal PLUS Loan. Do I have any other options?

You can consider a private alternative education loan.The loan terms (rates, fees, etc.) vary considerably based on the lender and your (borrower's) credit history. Most of these loans will require a credit-worthy cosigner if you do not meet the credit requirements. You are responsible for making payments when due on private alternative loans.

There are many different lenders that offer private alternative loans. Are the rates, fees, and terms all the same?

No. Interest rates, fees, and terms vary, in part because private alternative student loans are not regulated by any government entity. If you are considering one of these loans, we recommend that you research several different lenders to find the best loan product.

Can I still apply for a private alternative loan if I am under 18 years of age?

Yes, there are lenders that will lend to students under 18 years of age as long as they apply with a credit worthy co-signer.  When choosing a lender please review each lender's eligibility requirements to determine whether you meet any age requirement.

Does Penn College recommend any lenders?

No, although we do have a comprehensive list of lenders frequently used by our students.  We have available a “refer to these questions” information piece that we recommend you use to help you decide which lender is the right choice for you.

View our Loans page for additional information about Private Alternative and other types of educational loans.

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