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Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships

Division of Student Life and Enrollment

What is an Alternative/Private Student Loan?

  • A credit-based student loan applied for through banks and other financial institutions and are subject to their terms and conditions. Students are often required to have a co-signer to qualify.
  • A student loan to help "bridge the gap" between a student's awarded financial aid and the Cost of Attendance budget.

Who should consider an Alternative/Private Student Loans?

Private student loans may be an important source of funding for students who are in one of these situations:

  • Ineligible for federal student loans
  • In need of loan funding beyond that which federal programs permit during the year.

How much of an Alternative/Private Student Loan can I request?

Students can request an alternative/private student loan in an amount not to exceed the Cost of Attendance minus all other accepted financial aid and resources.

How do I apply for an Alternative/Private Student Loan as an ETSU student?

  1. Search for a lender: 

Research lenders carefully and apply to the lender of your choice. Many lenders offer attractive terms and conditions which you can find by searching the internet. Many Private loan lenders utilize an online application process. After you carefully compare the different lenders' loan information, you may want to verify the following information with the lender.

  • Does the lender process Private Loans with East Tennessee State University?
  • What will my interest rate be?
  • Are there any fees that are deducted from the loan before I receive my loan funds?
  • Am I required to start repaying the loan while I am in school?
  • How many hours must I be enrolled to receive the loan?
  1. After you apply, the lender will send you three separate disclosures during the Private Loan process. You must sign and return these disclosures to the lender in a timely manner. You will be required to complete a Self-Certification Form.

    Your lender should provide you with a copy of this form.  If you do not receive one, you can download a standard Self-Certification Form. If you download the form, we recommend that you contact your lender for your application ID or other identifier that will help the lender match the form with your application.
  1. After you are pre-approved for the Private Loan and have returned any required paperwork to the lender, the lender will send a certification request either by paper form or electronically to the ETSU Financial Aid Office. The Financial Aid Office certifies maximum loan eligibility up to the Cost of Attendance minus other financial aid and resources. 

  2. If you have submitted all required paperwork and the ETSU Financial Aid Office has completed the certification request, the lender should be ready to disburse your loan funds to ETSU depending on your loan period. Receipt of funds by ETSU takes a minimum of 14 days from the date ETSU processes the certification request.

    If you have a fall/spring loan period, then half of the loan will be disbursed equally between the fall and spring semesters. If the lender sends the loan funds by Electronic Fund Transfer, then the funds will automatically be credited to your student account. If the lender sends the loan funds by check, you will be required to come to the ETSU Bursar’s Office to endorse the check. The ETSU Bursar’s Office will call and/or email you when your check is ready to be endorsed.

Can the Office of Financial Aid recommend a lender for an Alternative/Private Student Loan?
According to Title X of the Higher Education Opportunity Act, educational institutions are not permitted to recommend alternative/private lenders to students.

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