Alternative Loans

After exhausting available federal and family resources, some students may need to apply for an alternative student loan to pay for educational expenses.  Federal regulations now require additional steps to be taken during the loan application process.  Students must now acknowledge three separate disclosure notices and complete a student self-certification form with information that can be obtained from their myPlymouth account. Due to these new requirements, the time required to process your loan will be extended.

To assist you through this process, we recommend that you:

  • Start the application process early, but not too early. Since Alternative Loans must be disbursed within 90 – 120 days from the date the lender runs a credit check, it is not recommended that loans for Fall only be applied for prior to June or loans for Spring only be applied for prior to October.
  • Confirm that you are applying for the correct time period.  Typically, you want to apply once  a year for the amount you will need for both terms.
  • If you do want to apply for each term separately, Fall only loans should have a loan period of September through December; Spring only loans should have a loan period of January through May.  Any loan with a loan period of September through May will be split equally between the fall and spring terms.
  • Complete and return requests from your lender in a timely manner
  • Check the status of your loan with your lender frequently



Private Alternative Loan Lender List

This is a comprehensive, three-year list of lenders used by our undergraduate families. Your family’s needs are unique and no lender is perfect for every family. Shop around to find the best loan to meet your needs.

Please note:

  • The list is NOT ranked in any way.
  • We do not have preferred arrangements with any of the lenders listed below.
  • Our Financial Aid Team receives no benefit for listing these lenders.
  • We cannot legally recommend a lender to you.
  • Under federal law, you have the right to borrow through the lender of your choice regardless whether they appear on this list.
  • Don’t see the lender you want to use? Not a problem.  This list is a starting point and is not meant to be all inclusive.
  • Some loans have citizenship, residency, or membership requirements

Loans with State Residency Requirements

Many states offer their residents very attractive student loan options to finance any remaining gaps after federal eligibility has been exhausted.  If you are a resident of one of the following states, please click on the link corresponding to your state of residency for more information about these programs:

Alaska: ASEL – 1-800-441-2962

Connecticut:  CHESLA – 1-888-295-0911

Massachusetts:  MEFA – 1-800-449-6332

Maine: MELA – 1-800-922-6352

New Hampshire: NHHELCO – 1-855-887-5430

New Jersey: NJ CLASS – 1-800-792-8670

Rhode Island: RISLA – 1-800-758-7562

Vermont:  VSAC: Vermont Advantage – 1-800-798-8722

Some things to consider when applying for an alternative loan
Important information on how PSU processes your loan

Thinking about a Private Loan? Be sure to understand the full impact it will have on your financial aid package and your budget.  Below are some important questions to ask a private lender when applying for a loan.

Borrower Eligibility
Interest Rates and Other Fees
Loan Application Process
Repayment Terms and Conditions

An Important Note about Credit

Lenders use credit scores to make fast and objective decisions on which applicants are likely to repay their loans on time. Credit scoring is calculated using many pieces of your past bill payment history (number and types of accounts, late payments, outstanding debt, and the age of your accounts).

The way you have handled credit in the past is often a good indication of how you will manage credit in the future. Therefore, your credit score is like a snapshot of your level of credit risk at a particular point in time; when your credit information changes, so does your credit score.

Give yourself the credit you deserve. Pay your bills on time, pay down any outstanding debt and avoid taking on new debt or applying for too many new credit cards.  (Note:  myFICO  is a great place to find out more about what your FICO score is.  They even give you tips to improve your FICO score, as well as facts and fallacies about your FICO score!)

Starting July 2011, as part of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, consumers who are rejected for student loans are entitled to receive a free copy of their credit score and an explanation of why they were turned down. The reasons can range from late payments to maxing out credit cards. Creditors are also supposed to explain where the score ranks nationally, and outline the factors that brought the score down. (Chicago Sun-Times)