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Private/Alternative Student Loans

Private/Alternative student loans are available to students to help cover educational expenses once their federal aid options have been exhausted. Private loans are funded by outside third parties; Iowa State University is not a lender. Private loans are subject to a credit analysis, may require a co-signer, and are not guaranteed. The interest, repayment, fees, terms, and conditions are set by each individual lender.

All first time private loan borrowers are required to complete entrance counseling with a financial aid advisor before the loan will be certified by the Office of Student Financial Aid. Contact our office at 515-294-2223 to schedule an appointment.

A borrower can borrow a private loan from any lender of their choice. When selecting a lender, a borrow should consider the following:

  • Does the loan require a co-signer? If the loan does require a co-signer, is there an option to release the co-signer once I’ve successfully started repayment?
  • Does the loan have an origination fee?
  • Is the interest rate fixed or variable? If it is variable, is there a maximum rate?
  • When does repayment start? Do I have to pay interest while I am enrolled?

Applying for a Private/Alternative loan

  • Step 1 of 3: Select a lender of your choice or start with our preferred lender list
  • Step 2 of 3: Apply for the loan with the lender you have chosen. Make sure all steps are completed with the lender to ensure the loan can be disbursed in a timely manner
  • Step 3 of 3: Complete private loan entrance counseling with a financial aid advisor

Preferred Lender List Disclosures

The following list of lenders are those selected by the Iowa State University Office of Student Financial Aid as its’ preferred lenders. A student is not required to borrow from a lender on this list, and may apply for a private student loan with any lender. As required by state and federal law, the preferred lender list has the following disclosures:

  • This list was selected through a Request For Information process. Lenders submitted information to the Office of Student Financial Aid concerning their loan products
  • Lenders were evaluated based on efficiency of loan processing, customer service, interest rates, origination fees, and repayment incentives for the student
  • Each lender on this preferred lender list is unaffiliated with the others
  • A student is not required to borrow from a lender on this list, and may apply for a private student loan with any lender
  • The maximum federal grant for 2013/2014 is:
    1. Pell Grant - $5,645
    2. SEOG - $4,000 (Award amounts are dependent on federal funding. Awards available at Iowa State University may be less.)
    3. TEACH Grant (after Oct 1st 2013) - $3,964
  • The maximum federal loan is:
    • Stafford Loan -
      1. Freshman dependent students - $5,500
      2. Sophomore dependent students - $6,500
      3. Junior and Senior dependent students - $7,500
      4. Freshman independent students - $9,500
      5. Sophomore independent students - $10,500
      6. Junior and Senior independent students - $12,500
    • Perkins Loan - $5,500 for undergraduates only (Award amounts are dependent on federal funding. Awards at Iowa State University may be less)
    • PLUS Loan - The borrower is eligible to borrow up to the cost of attendance less other financial aid. The PLUS Loan is subject to a credit analysis
  • Required Truth in Lender Act (TILA) disclosures are provided for each lender on the preferred lender list. TILA disclosures are attached as a PDF for the borrower to download and review.
View Private Lenders