The student is the borrower for the alternative loans; however, in almost all cases, a credit-worthy cosigner is required. Having a credit-worthy cosigner will also likely reduce the cost of the loan (interest rate, up front and back-end fees, etc.) Please be aware that the cosigner is fully responsible for repaying the loan should the borrower stop making payments. There are some alternative loan products that offer a cosigner release option after a specified number of on-time payments are made and the borrower is credit-worthy.
The Financial Aid Office strongly encourages you to borrow the Federal Direct Stafford Loan first and then consider the HES Payment Plan and/or the PLUS Loan before applying for a student alternative loan. The interest rate and repayment terms are often more favorable that those of alternative, also known as private loans.
You are responsible for repaying these loans. For a sample repayment schedule, contact the lender of your student alternative loan.
How do I select a student alternative loan?
LVC has partnered with ELM Select to provide you with a student alternative loan comparison tool. The loan products included on this site are recommended by LVC; however, please be aware that you are free to conduct your own research and comparison of alternative loan products and select any lender of your choice.
Below is a list of lenders included on LVC's customized ELM Select website and information each lender is required to share with potential student borrowers. To compare loans among these lenders, please visit LVC's ELM Select webpage.
New students: you should NOT apply for a student alternative loan prior to April 1, 2017 for the 2017-2018 academic year. Filing prior to this date may result in your credit approval expiring.
Returning students: you should NOT apply for a student alternative loan prior to receiving your award package in early July and no later than August 1.
If you need to borrow an alternative loan and you will be enrolled for less than 6 credits during a semester, you may borrow through Sallie Mae or Wells Fargo. The other lenders LVC recommends require you to be enrolled for a minimum of 6 credits per semester.
During the application process, the lender will request you complete the Applicant Self-Certification Form. It is a standard form that the lender provide will provide to you or there is also a hard copy available in the Financial Aid Office. In addition to demographic information, there are two pieces of information needed to complete the form. Both may be found on your financial award letter:
- Student Cost of Attendance - found at the top of page 2, which is titled Award Descriptions.
- Estimated Financial Assistance - found on page 1 below the types and amounts of aid.
Please return this form to your lender. LVC does not collect or process this form. You may contact the office if you need assistance completing it.