Private Supplemental/Alternative Loan –You may need additional funding for school and opt to apply for funding through a private lending agency. For most students, federal loans are a better option and should be utilized before private loans are considered. Alternative loans require a credit check and may have a higher, variable interest rates. They also do not offer the flexible repayment, consolidation, and loan forgiveness options that may be available with federal loans.

Oregon State University cannot recommend private lenders, but we have provided additional information on questions to ask and things to consider in our Alternative Loans publication. Our best advice is to explore options with a lender you may already do business with and feel comfortable using. We also recommend doing your research to be sure that you will not be in for any surprises later. The Federal Student Aid website provides some additional information on how to compare federal and private loans. More information about taking out a private loans may also be found on the Federal Trade Commission and Consumer Financial Protections Bureau websites.