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Alternative Student Loans from Private Lenders
Alternative or private loans are privately funded, generally provided by commercial lenders, and eligibility is not based on financial need. However, the amount borrowed cannot exceed the cost of education minus all other financial aid. Interest rates and repayment terms vary but are generally less favorable than those provided through the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program. Private loans are based on a student’s creditworthiness, (and co-signer, if applicable) and used to supplement the federal and state financial aid.
Important things to consider when selecting the right lender and private loan for you:
- Understand the ultimate cost of the loan over its lifetime. Compare annual percentage rates (APR) vs. interest rates and fees to determine the real cost of the loan. Find out how long you have to pay it off.
- Be aware of what the monthly payments will be upon graduation or leaving school and how that will affect your lifestyle after college.
- Find out what the “borrower benefits” really mean to you. How is each benefit achieved and how are they kept throughout repayment. What happens if you miss an “on time” payment?
- Find out if the lender sells student loans. If your loan is sold, will any repayment incentives be honored by the purchasing lender?
- Are there forbearance or deferment options? Understand what additional cost these may have for you.
- How does the lender capitalize interest? (i.e. once when repayment begins or quarterly)
- Notify your lender of any change in address, name or repayment problems. Lack of communication is one of the first steps toward delinquency.
- Borrowers should always explore federal loan options first; private student loans and/or alternative educational loans may have higher interest rates and fees.
- Be aware that a credit-worthy co-signer may be required. Understand co-signer release options upon repayment.
- SOU does not have preferred lenders and students may borrow from the lender of their choice.
A variety of private lenders offer alternative loans funded through non-governmental sources. Once you and your family have considered all of the federal loan options, you can view and compare alternative loan options using Sparrow.
On Sparrow, you can search and compare real, personalized private student loan rates from over 15+ lenders through a simple, three-minute form. Sparrow provides a suite of analytical tools that make student loan comparison easy, digestible, and visual. Using Sparrow to search for your student loans is free and does not impact your credit score.
Watch: Demo of the Sparrow Student Tool for SOU Students
Financial Aid Resources
Contact Raider Student Services
Raider Student Services
1250 Siskiyou Blvd.
Ashland, OR 97520
Financial Aid & Scholarships: email@example.com
Registrar (Registration & Records): firstname.lastname@example.org
Bursar (Student Financial Accounts): email@example.com
Hours: Monday through Friday from 9 am to 4 pm