Before considering alternative loan options, you should first apply for federal, state and institutional financial aid, including federal student loans. You should use alternative loans only as a last resort to pay for college costs. File a FAFSA first. Go to FAFSA on the Web for more information.
Financial Aid Services 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 list. 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 or parent.
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, disclosures or promissory notes and understand their repayment 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
- Undergraduate Students
- Parents of Dependent Undergraduate Students
- Graduate Students
- International Students
- Continuing & Professional Education and Non-Degree Students
Alternative Lenders Application and Solicitation Disclosures
An Application and Solicitation Disclosure is a required document provided to prospective loan borrowers by private lenders that outlines the basic information about the terms and total cost associated with each of the lender’s loans. It helps you (the borrower) make an educated decision, understand the details of your private loan, and compare apples to apples when researching college loans. You will have an idea of the total cost of a loan before you borrow it, including what you will be expected to pay, and when. The document includes loan facts you need to know, such as interest rates, repayment options and eligibility criteria. Every Application and Solicitation Disclosure includes an example showing the total cost of a lender’s loan based on a certain amount borrowed and the terms of repayment. It also provides a comparison of potential federal loan options and the next steps to borrowing a loan.
The Application and Solicitation Disclosure requirement was established by the Truth in Lending Act, which served to fulfill conditions of the Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) of 2008. All lenders were required to post Solicitation Disclosures on or with their loan applications by February 14, 2010. Below please find sample Application and Solicitation Disclosures for most of the lenders on our Alternative Loan List. Your Application and Solicitation Disclosure will be specific to your loan amount, terms and interest rate approved.
- AAA Advantage Loan
- Ascent Tuition Loan
- Citizens Bank Student Loan
- Custom Choice Loan
- Discover Undergraduate Loan
- Raise Private Student Loan
- iHELP Private Student Loan
- MEFA Student Deferred Loan
- MEFA Graduate Loan
- The Solution Loan
- Sallie Mae Smart Option Student Loan
- RISLA Private Alternative Loan
- SunTrust Custom Choice
- U-FI Undergraduate Loan
- Union Federal Private Loan
- Wells Fargo Collegiate Loan