Private Loan Guide
Common Eligibility Requirements
- 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.
- 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 Office of 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 Office of 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
- The student must complete a pre-approval with the lender of 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 the student has been pre-approved and request certification.
- Before the school will considering certifying the alternative loan, a completed Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for the current award year must be on file. (Exception: international student who is not eligible for federal aid.)
- In addition to the FAFSA, a Louisiana Tech Financial Aid Data Form must be completed to determine the cost of attendance.
- The school will check eligibility requirements (listed above). If the student is eligible, the school will award the loan up to the cost of attendance minus other financial aid.
- Once the loan is accepted with the school, on-line or in the office, the loan will be certified with the lender.
- The loan must be certified within an active loan period and will be disbursed after the lender’s “Borrower’s Right to Cancel” waiting period and in conjunction with federal loan disbursement dates..
- The school has the right to limit Alternative (Private) Loan requests for certification per award year.
- If a student is eligible for federal aid, an Alternative (Private) Loan will not be offered/certified until the federal aid is offered and declined (or modified).
The Office of Financial Aid reserves the right to decline to certify an Alternative (Private) Loan at Louisiana Tech University.