IMPORTANT: As of February 14, 2010, all private loan borrowers, pursuant to revisions in the Truth in Lending Act, are required to complete a self certification form before a private student loan can be approved. While your lender is required to provide you this form, colleges are also required to provide a copy which can be downloaded from the link above.
Private Alternative Loans
Private Alternative Loans help bridge the gap between the actual cost of your education and the amount of financial assistance you receive. Alternative loans are offered by private lenders and there are no federal forms to complete. Eligibility for private education loans often depends on your credit score and typically requires a co-signer.
Some families turn to private education loans when the federal loans do not provide enough money or when they need more flexible repayment options. For example, a parent might want to defer repayment until the student graduates.
Private Alternative Loans tend to cost more than the education loans offered by the federal government, but are less expensive than credit card debt.
Federal and State Educational Loans
Federal and State educational loans offer fixed interest rates that are lower than the variable rates offered by most private educational loans. Federal and State educational loans also offer better repayment and forgiveness options. Since federal and state educational loans are less expensive and offer better terms than private student loans, you should exhaust your eligibility for federal and state student loans before resorting to private student loans.
In addition, Sacred Heart University provides a list of suggested lenders we hope will assist you in your research. Information is available on rates and fees for private alternative loans that have come to our attention and from lenders who have worked with our students over the years. We encourage you to begin your research here before applying for a loan to assure that you are getting the most competitive rates, fees and terms available.
Due to changes in the economy and the financial markets, many lenders have stopped offering private alternative loans for educational costs/have tightened credit criteria and/or raised interest rates and fees in an effort to offset the higher cost of raising capital to lend. At this time, there are only a few national lenders, credit unions and states offering private educational loan programs. For specific details on private loan options, we recommend you go to Student Lending Analytics, an independent research firm with no lender or financial service affiliations, which offers unbiased information on private educational loans, lenders, rates and fees.
Through ELM Select, a service provided by Elm Resources, we can help you through what is likely one of the most overwhelming tasks in the process! ELM Select is an online process that lists lenders and loan programs suggested by Sacred Heart University. The web page has several features that will help you make the financing decision that best fits your needs. Some of the features include easy access to lenders websites and the ability to compare loan programs side by side. This page also has links to other helpful websites like a loan payment calculator to help you estimate your loan payments.
It is also important to note that lenders can change these loans on a moment's notice! ELM Select is the place to review an up-to-date list of lenders and loan programs and to complete your applications on-line. By clicking the link below you will be forwarded to a web site managed by ELM Resources. Once there, type Sacred Heart University into the "School Search" bar and then select your program from the "Select Program" drop-down box and you are on your way.
Ultimately, choosing a loan and lender is completely up to you. Should you decide to use a specific loan or lender outside of those suggested, please contact our office with all of the details so we may process your loan efficiently.