Click here for the Financial Aid Services home pageSchool Code
'Dollars from Cents' © Mark Aplet. Image from BigStockPhoto.com
Financial Aid Basics
Types of Aid
Applying for Aid
Receiving Aid
Frequently Asked Questions about Financial Aid
Summer Financial Aid
Forms and Publications
Students can find jobs here!
Helpful Links and Resources
Contact information and staff listing

Questions? We're here to help.

Undergraduate Aid
(413) 545-0801
Graduate Aid
(413) 545-0801

Alternative Loans

First: Have you filed a FAFSA?

Before considering private loan options, you should apply for federal, state and institutional financial aid, including federal student loans. Students considering educational private loans should apply only after they have applied for financial aid and received notification from the Financial Aid Office. Go to FAFSA on the Web for more information.

Financial Aid Services at the University of Massachusetts Amherst strongly recommends that you fully research the alternative loan program and lender that best suits your financing needs. Please compare the benefits and costs of several alternative loan programs before you apply. To get the best interest rate and terms apply with a credit-worthy cosigner. To find out how to apply for an alternative loan visit the lender's website.

Below are links to alternative educational loans for 2014-2015. The lenders included on each list responded to a public request for proposal (RFP) distributed by UMass Amherst Procurement Office. The proposals were evaluated and lenders selected based on the benefits the loan products offer to borrowers, including interest rates and fees, repayment benefits and terms, ability to apply, sign, certify and disburse electronically, quality of customer service to borrowers, problem resolution, loan management tools and availability of consumer information and web based service features. This is not a comprehensive list of all the educational loans available. Inclusion on this list is not an endorsement or recommendation by the University of Massachusetts Amherst. If a parent or student has worked with a lender not listed below, and has received excellent benefits and quality service from this lender, you may continue to do business with that lender. Financial Aid Services will process alternative loans for any lender selected by the student.

For your convenience, we have provided telephone numbers and links to websites maintained by these lenders. UMass Amherst is not responsible for the availability, content, or accuracy of materials on third party websites. Please carefully read final loan agreements or promissory notes and understand their payment terms and other obligations.

Lender Selection Criteria

The lenders were selected from responses to a public Request for Proposals (RFP) for private/alternative loans published by the University of Massachusetts Amherst Procurement Office. View the RFP and evaluation criteria.

Alternative Loan Options Available


Select the appropriate link below to see a list of lenders.




What is LIBOR?

LIBOR, the London Interbank Offered Rate, is the most active interest rate market in the world. It is determined by rates that banks participating in the London money market offer each other for short-term deposits. LIBOR is used in determining the price of many other financial derivatives, including interest rate futures, swaps and Eurodollars. Due to London's importance as a global financial center, LIBOR applies not only to the Pound Sterling, but also to major currencies such as the US Dollar, Swiss Franc, Japanese Yen and Canadian Dollar.

LIBOR is determined every morning at 11:00 a.m. London time. A department of the British Bankers Association averages the inter-bank interest rates being offered by its membership. LIBOR is calculated for periods as short as overnight and as long as one year. While the rates banks offer each other vary continuously throughout the day, LIBOR is fixed for the 24 hour period. Generally, the difference between the instantaneous rate and LIBOR is very small, especially for short durations.

Get today's LIBOR rate