Private/Alternative Student Loans
Alternative student loans are private, credit-based loans offered through private lenders (banks or credit unions, for example). They are not part of the federal loan program. Alternative loans are designed to help supplement Federal loans for educational costs. The Department of Education comparison resource between federal and private loans is available here: https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/types/loans/federal-vs-private
Carson-Newman recommends that students only borrow what is necessary and to investigate federal loan programs before applying for a private loan as a last resort. If you haven't exhausted your federal loans first, you will be required to complete a certification document that you understand the difference between federal and private loans, and that you still wish to decline your federal loans. If you are ineligible for federal loans or you have exhausted government sources, private loans can help offset educational expenses you may have after all other aid has been applied. If you are not enrolled at least half time, you would not be eligible for federal loans, and a private loan may be a viable funding option for you.
There are many different private loan options. It is to your benefit to research and find the loan that best meets your needs. Some loans will be more expensive than others due to varying interest rates and repayment terms. Private loans are credit-based and may require a cosigner. The lender has final approval for alternative loans, rather than Carson-Newman. The lender must send the University approval for the loan before we can certify it for a student’s account.