Private Alternative Loans

What is a private (alternative) loan?

Private educational loans are available from private lenders for students whose cost of attendance has not been met with other financial aid. The FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) is not required to apply for a private loan, however students are encouraged to file the FAFSA to exhaust federal aid options before applying for private loans. Private loans are not federal student aid.

Benefits of Federal Student Loans

Private loan programs differ from federal loans such as Direct, Parent PLUS or Grad PLUS loans, in several important ways:

  • Annual and total loan limits are higher
  • Interest rates and fees vary by lender
  • Most students will be required to secure a credit-worthy co-signer
  • Interest rates are based on credit approval
  • Approval is not guaranteed
  • Private loans may not have deferment, cancellation and consolidation benefits that federal loans have. 

How do I choose a private lender?

Ferris State University does not endorse or recommend any lender. Terms and conditions vary widely from lender to lender and different loan features are important to different borrowers. It is very important that each borrower research and compare multiple lenders in order to find the best loan product for them. 

To help you begin your research, we are providing you with tools that can assist you in your search for a lender. These tools are provided as a starting point for your research, not as a recommendation or endorsement. The tools below are not an all-inclusive list of lenders or loan products that are available. Ferris State University will process an alternative loan from any lender that you choose. If you have questions regarding private loans, please contact our office. 

Things to consider before borrowing a private educational loan

What if my PARENT wants to borrow for me?

Parents of dependent students have the option to borrow loans, in their own name, on behalf of a student.  For more information, go to our Parent Loan page. 

Think you're ready? 

Use FastChoice to see which lenders other Ferris students have selected. This list represents the lenders that most Ferris students have selected during the past three years. Comparing lenders on this list may be helpful in determining common loan terms, interest rates, borrower benefits, repayment terms, etc. 

FastChoice: Loan Options for Undergraduate Student Borrowers

FastChoice: Loan Options for Graduate Student Borrowers

In addition to reviewing lenders via FastChoice, you are encouraged to research other opportunities for private loan options through your hometown bank or your parent's financial institution.

Private Lender Code of Conduct Policy

Private Lender Policy