Alternative Loans

Private organizations provide alternative educational loans to students as either a supplement to other types of educational loans or to provide an additional source of loan funds. Most are credit-based loans, and some will require periodic payments of principal and interest once disbursed. Interest rates vary, and a separate application is usually sent directly to the lender which is then forwarded to our office for certification of the student’s status.

We strongly recommend that students apply for all Federal Direct Loan eligibility before applying for an alternative loan. Please be aware that if you do not apply for your entire Federal Direct Loan eligibility, certification of your alternative loan could be delayed. Please contact our office if you have applied for an alternative loan and do not wish to borrow your Federal Direct Loan.

Click here for additional information regarding Alternative Loan Regulations.

How to Apply

  1. Initiate the application process by choosing a lender and contacting them directly to begin the pre-approval process.
  2. Your lender will perform a credit review. If approved, your lender will mail you a pre-printed promissory note that you will need to complete and return to your lender.
  3. Complete the Private Education Loan Applicant Self-Certification form and return it to the lender.
  4. Once we have received notification from your lender that you have returned your completed promissory note and self-certification, we will certify your loan.
  5. Once your lender has received all necessary information from you and our office, you will be sent additional disclosures from your lender. Once all requirements are met, your lender will send your loan funds to the Bursar’s Office.

Questions to ask the lender before you apply for an alternative loan:

  1. Can the loan be used to pay for prior balances?
  2. Is there a minimum amount I have to borrow?
  3. Are interest payments required while I’m in school?
  4. What is the interest rate and is it fixed?
  5. What are the repayment terms?

Alternative Education Loan Options

These are private loans that are not associated with the Federal Direct Loan programs and also require credit checks and most often a co-borrower. It is advised to carefully compare and research all of your options to find out which is the best option for you, we do recommend accepting any Federal Loans before considering private loans.

Use the lender comparison tool at

University of Maine Alternative Loan Code of Conduct

The University of Maine abides by the NASFAA Code of Conduct and Statement of Ethical Principles.  Our list of alternative loan lenders has been researched carefully and compiled based on interest rates, origination fees, Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements, payment of prior balance options, repayment terms and options, enrollment options, as well as other factors.  The information that is provided will be reviewed and then updated every two years to give the best possible alternative loan options to our students.  There is no obligation for students to use the lenders listed and may apply for an alternative loan with any lender they choose.  The list is available as a tool for students to start their search and a way to compare different alternative loan options.  Please contact our office with any questions about your alternative loan options.