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 borrowing a private educational loan to help finance your college education, there are a few things you need to be aware of. As a private loan borrower, it is your responsibility to research which loan will be best for you. Some things to look for are: interest rates, fees, and repayment terms.
- The amount of loan that you request and may be approved for by the lender may not be the amount that you are ultimately approved for by the school. Private educational loans must fit within your cost of attendance budget set by the school based on the 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 the 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 fees associated with them. 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.
Preferred Lender Disclosures
The link the bottom of this page will direct you to our preferred lenders, this list has been established by the staff of St. Ambrose University's Financial Aid Office as its preferred lenders. A student is not required to borrow from a lender on this list, and may apply for a private student loan with any lender. As required by state and federal law, the preferred lender list has the following disclosures:
- Research Method: An historical list was generated by researching all private lenders used by student borrowers at St. Ambrose University dating back to 1999. After compiling a comprehensive list, these lenders were evaluated based on the criteria listed below.
- Evaluation Criteria: Lenders were evaluated 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.
- Selection Criteria: Lenders were selected based off evaluations of 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 are provided for each lender on the preferred lender list. TILA disclosures are listed below for the borrower to download.
By clicking FastChoice you will be directed away from the St. Ambrose University Financial Aid website and begin viewing private loan products that are a 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 is important to remember that some lenders offer more than one loan product, so careful consideration of the lenders and the various loan products is important.