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Financial Aid Office


Private Alternative Loans

Private alternative loans are designed to assist students who need additional funding to meet the gap between the cost of attendance and any financial aid they have already received for that year/term.

Private loans are not part of the federal education loan program. Any student considering a private loan to help cover costs is urged to speak with their financial aid counselor first, to ensure that the most beneficial aid has been awarded prior to researching any alternative loan options.

  • If you are considering a private educational loan to help finance your college education, there are a few things to be aware of. As a private loan borrower, it is your responsibility to research which loan will be best for you. You should pay close attention to interest rates, fees, and repayment terms.
  • If a lender approves the amount of money you requested, that same amount may not be approved by the University. The amount of money you may borrow (your loan) will be determined by both the University and based on other aid you receive. The loan also must fit within your Cost of Attendance budget set by the University according to Department of Education guidelines.
  • Private alternative loans are credit-based loans. This means that the company will run your credit history. If your credit does not pass, you may be required to have a co-signer in order to receive that loan. The majority of private educational loans also have variable interest rates. This means that the rates will vary with fluctuations in the market over the life of the loan.
  • Many private educational loans also have associated fees. These are processing or origination fees that are charged to you and taken off the top of your loan. For example: if you needed to borrow $1,000 and the loan you chose had a 5 percent origination fee, you would only receive $950 because $50 of that would have gone to pay the fee.
  • Once you apply, our office will be notified and we will certify your loan. In most cases, this is all done electronically, but you can expect that these types of loans will take several weeks to complete because of the credit underwriting that the lenders perform.

Learn what some Financial Aid words mean in the Glossary

Preferred Lenders

Preferred Lender Disclosures

The link to FastChoice at the bottom of this page will direct you to our preferred lenders. This list has been established by the St. Ambrose University Financial Aid Office.

As required by state and federal law, the preferred lender list has the following disclosures:

  • Research Method: A historical list was generated by researching all private lenders used by student borrowers at St. Ambrose University dating back to 1999.
  • Evaluation and Selection Criteria: After compiling a comprehensive list, lenders were evaluated and selected based on interest rates, origination fees, cosigner options, out-of-state borrower options, efficiency of loans processing, customer service, loan limit criteria, non-degree seeking loans options, past due balance options, and repayment options/incentives.
  • Each lender on this preferred lender list is unaffiliated with the other.
  • A student is not required to borrow from a lender on this list and may apply for a private student loan with any lender.
  • Required Truth in Lending Act (TILA) disclosures for each lender on the preferred lender list are provided in the Financial Aid Office.



By clicking FastChoice you will be directed away from the St. Ambrose University Financial Aid website and begin viewing private loan products that are part of our preferred lending arrangement.

FastChoice is a loan comparison tool offered by Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation and allows students to compare up to three different loans side-by-side. It's important to remember that some lenders offer more than one loan product, so give careful consideration to the lenders and various loan products.

FastChoice Link: