Private/Alternative Loan Information

Alternative Loans are private loans made through lending institutions based upon the student's level of creditworthiness as determined by the lender. The student's level of creditworthiness affects the loan terms and if a co-signer is required. Private loans are more expensive than federal government loans and cannot be part of a federal consolidation loan in repayment. Generally speaking, students should consider private education loans only if Federal Stafford Loans are unavailable.

You can compare multiple loans using the FinAid Loan Comparison Calculator.

CERTIFIED Alternative Loan products require the University of North Alabama to report enrollment (full-time, half-time, less than half-time) and other financial aid information about the student, and these funds count toward satisfying the Cost of Attendance at UNA. Funds for an approved certified alternative loan are electronically sent to UNA by the private lender and then disbursed to the student's billing account on the same schedule as federal aid is disbursed.

Certified Alternative Loan funds are not reflected as Estimated Financial Aid toward the bill until UNA receives the funds the lender has actually transmitted to UNA by Electronic Funds Transfer. Your application must be made, loan approved and funds received from the lender by UNA far enough in advance of the first due date of the term to be counted as Estimated Financial Aid toward the charges. Otherwise your billing account will be due on the scheduled due date.  Failure to pay your student account balance by the scheduled due date will result in cancellation of your registration schedule.

You are free to choose any lender that participates in the Private/Alternative loan program and should apply DIRECTLY WITH THE LENDER. UNA does not recommend or endorse any lender and does not benefit in any way from your lender selection.

In order for your private loan to be certified by UNA, you must be registered for at least six hours in the semester for which the loan is requested.

What Type of Loan is Best? Private education loans tend to cost more than the education loans offered by the federal government, but are less expensive than credit card debt. Federal education loans offer fixed interest rates that are lower than the variable rates offered by most private loans. Federal education loans also offer better repayment and forgiveness options. Since federal education loans are less expensive than and offer better terms than private student loans, you should exhaust your eligibility for federal student loans before resorting to private loans.