Alternative (private) loans are administered and processed by private lending institutions to be used for educational costs after exhausting potentially more favorable federal and state financial aid options first.
to search for an Alternate Loan.
Alternative Loans take longer to process than federal loans due to the multiple disclosure statements and right-to-cancel period required by federal lending laws . Please read carefully to understand the process.
- Select your preferred lender and apply through the lender’s website. NOTE: Check the table below to ensure you are using the correct school code.
- When applying for your loan, you will be asked for your Loan Term. The loan term can be for one or both semesters in the academic year. Please use the dates below to determine your preferred loan term.
- Complete the Application Disclosure Statement from your lender. Ask your lender questions if you are unsure of any information.
- Submit the Self-Certification form to your lender. This form can be found in the Financial Aid Portal under the Resources tab.
- If approved, you will be asked to complete an Approval Disclosure Statement from the lender.
- Scholarships and Financial Aid will then receive your loan request from the lender and notify them if you are eligible to receive the loan.
- Once Scholarships and Financial Aid certifies the loan, you will receive a Final Loan Disclosure Statement from the lender.
*This process will take 10-15 business days from start to finish, please plan accordingly*
If you need to discuss emergency loan options, please contact our office.
2021-2022 Loan Terms
Alternative Loan Application Codes
If you have questions about which code to use please contact our office.
Tips for Student Borrowers
Own your Loan
Ask your lender questions, you are responsible for knowing what type of loan you are applying for and what the terms of the loan agreement as well as the repayment process. We highly recommend that you apply for financial aid using the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) before you apply for an alternative loan. More information about the Direct Loans can be found on our loans page.
Is my credit checked every time I apply?
Yes and no. If you can apply to more than one loan within 30 day period and the credit will only be checked once. If the applications are further apart than 30 days, the credit check will have expired and be pulled again.
Here are some questions to ask your lender to get a good idea of the loan you are applying for:
- Is the interest rate variable or fixed? A variable interest rate can change, but a fixed interest rate will stay the same as long as you have the loan.
- Is the interest capitalized? If it is, the amount of money you ultimately owe increases as the interest accrues over time.
- Is there an origination fee? Origination fees are charged by some lenders to cover their cost to process your loan.
- Are there fees for paying off the loan early?
- Are there any borrower benefits? For example, some lenders may offer a discount on your interest rate if you sign up for automatic monthly payments.
- When do you need to start repaying the loan? Some lenders require you to pay while you are in school. Others will defer payments until after graduation.
- Is a co-signer required? Many students have no credit history and the lender may require a co-signer on the loan, the lender will inform the students during the application process.
- Are there other eligibility requirements? For example, some loans require that you meet Satisfactory Academic Progress or are enrolled full-time.
Shop Interest Rates
Federal student loans (subsidized or unsubsidized) can often have lower interest rates than alternative loans. Be sure to know all the possible interest rates available so that you are getting the best deal for you! Alternative loan interest rates are based on credit history and may require a cosigner for students with limited credit history.
Know your Repayment Options
Federal student loans and alternative loans will have different repayment options. Learn about the differences so that you can choose which one will work best for you.
For more information on loan repayment, visit our Repaying Student Loans page.
Preferred Lender Lists and Preferred Lender Arrangements
Texas A&M University conducts a biannual Request For Information for private (non-federal) loans, sometimes referred to as "alternative" loans. Lenders on the Preferred Lender List are selected based on the Request for Information. Lenders are reviewed comparatively but not limited to the following criteria: customer service, financial literacy, product, variety, accessibility, and process. Borrowers are encouraged to compare the services and products that are provided by lenders and choose the private lender that best suits their individual needs. Students are free to choose any lender for their alternative loan, even those not included on the Preferred Lender List.