Private Loan Guide
Common Eligibility Requirements
Requirements vary according to lender; however, some of the most common eligibility requirements are:
- Undergraduate or graduate student in a degree or certificate program.
- An eligible program is a course of study that leads to a degree or certificate and
meets the U.S. Department of Education's requirements for an eligible program. To
get federal financial aid, you must be enrolled in an eligible program, with two exceptions:
- If a school has told you that you must take certain coursework to qualify for admission into one of its eligible programs, you can get a Stafford Loan for up to 12 consecutive months while you're completing that coursework. You must be enrolled at least half-time, and you must meet the usual student aid eligibility requirements.
- If you're enrolled at least half-time in a program to obtain an initial professional credential or certification required by a state for employment as an elementary or secondary school teacher, you can get a Federal Perkins Loan, Federal Work-Study, or Stafford loan while you're enrolled in that program.
- An eligible program is a course of study that leads to a degree or certificate and meets the U.S. Department of Education's requirements for an eligible program. To get federal financial aid, you must be enrolled in an eligible program, with two exceptions:
- Enrolled at least half-time (4 hours if you are an undergraduate and 3 hours if you are a graduate).
- Creditworthy borrower or borrower with a creditworthy cosigner.
- U.S. Citizen, permanent resident, or eligible non-citizen.
- Not required to meet Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements.
What You Should Know Before You Borrow
Alternative or private loans are available to students who are not eligible for federal financial aid or who need additional funds to meet educational expenses. The student's eligibility is determined by the cost of attendance minus other financial aid.
Because alternative loans are not guaranteed by the federal government, they must be insured privately. This extra cost is passed on to the borrower in the form of higher fees and higher interest rates. In addition, the lender will check your credit history as well as other factors to determine if they will lend to you. Some lenders may require a co-signer based on your credit history. You may be denied by one lender and approved by another because of the different ways they interpret information.
Alternative loans are not for everyone. They are expensive and should only be borrowed when all other resources, such as Stafford or PLUS loans, have been exhausted. Always remember that these are loans of last resort. It is important to keep all borrowing within reasonable bounds. Never borrow more than you believe you will be able to repay.
You should find out the following information before deciding on an alternative loan:
- What is the interest rate and what is it based on?
- When does repayment begin?
- Can principal and interest be deferred?
- When is the interest capitalized?
- How much is the loan origination fee?
Students who are new to the private loan application process may want to review eligibility
requirements, lender information, and procedures for processing an alternative loan
at Louisiana Tech University.
The Division of Student Financial Aid works with all private loan lenders. We encourage students and families to visit multiple lenders’ websites to check on the benefits, rates, and fees they offer. We do not receive any incentives, nor do we have any agreements with any lender.
The Division of Student Financial Aid reserves the right not to certify an Alternative (Private) Loan. All Alternative (Private) Loans used for Louisiana Tech University’s educational costs must be certified by the school.
Procedures for Borrowing
Complete a pre-approval with the lender of your choice. Visit FastCHOICE to initiate the private loan process (Please note: not all lenders are available for processing through FASTChoice. Louisiana Tech will certify for any lender with whom the student completes a Private Loan Application Process.)
The lender will notify the school if you have been pre-approved and request certification.
Before the school will considering certifying the alternative loan, we must have a completed Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for the current award year. (Exception: international student who is not eligible for federal aid.)
We must also have a completed file with all required documents in order to determine the cost of attendance.
The student must complete a self certification form for the lender. Students can get this form from our office. You will need to complete and return this form to your lender before they will guarantee the loan request.
The school will check eligibility requirements. If the student is eligible, the school will certify the loan up to the cost of attendance minus other financial aid.
The loan must be certified within an active loan period and must be disbursed prior to the end of the quarter.
Any loans considered after the loan period has expired must follow the Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP) late disbursement rules.
The school will not consider more than three Alternative (Private) loan requests for certification per award year.
The Division of Student Financial Aid reserves the right to decline to certify an Alternative (Private) Loan at Louisiana Tech University.