Alternative Loans & Suggested Lenders

IMPORTANT: As of February 14, 2010, all private loan borrowers, pursuant to revisions in the Truth in Lending Act, are required to complete a Private Education Loan Applicant Self-Certification 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

Federal and state educational loans offer fixed interest rates that are lower than the variable rates offered by most private educational loans. They also offer better repayment and forgiveness options. Since federal and state educational loans are generally less expensive and offer more advantageous terms than private student loans, it is recommended that you first exhaust your eligibility for federal and state student loans before resorting to private student loans.
Private alternative loans help bridge the gap between the actual cost of your education and the amount of financial assistance you receive. 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 they need more flexible repayment options, such as deferring repayment until after the student graduates. These loans tend to cost more than those offered by the federal government, but are less expensive than credit card debt.

Private Alternative Loan Search 

We encourage you to begin your private loan search at ELMSelect.

This service, provided by Elm Resources, allows you to compare various private loan programs suggested by the University. This resource also provides direct links to lender websites/applications and a loan payment calculator to estimate your loan payments.

Our suggested lender list is reviewed yearly and is designed as an optional service for our families to assist them in finding competitive market rates combined with excellent customer service. The University does not receive any form of payment for inclusion on our suggested lender list.
Our evaluation is based on (but not limited to) the following criteria:
  • reduced default/origination fees
  • reduced interest rates
  • cash back/rebate programs
  • reasonableness of on-time/late payment criteria
  • efficiency of origination, guarantee, and payment of proceeds
  • optimal levels of customer service in school, in grace, and in repayment
  • cohort default status
  • mission of the organization
  • reputation of lenders from an industry standard and borrower perspective
  • Sacred Heart University borrower experience
You may also visit Credible, the mult-lender marketplace that allows students to receive personalized loan offers from vetted lenders.

Ultimately, choosing a loan/lender is completely your decision. Please contact our office with details pertaining to your private loan, should you opt to use one outside of those presented to you on ELMSelect, so that we may process your loan efficiently.