Many banks, credit unions, and other financial institutions offer private (non-federal) student loans, sometimes called alternative loans. Private loan programs may offer interest rates and terms that are competitive with those of federal loans. However, as you consider your borrowing options, you should keep in mind that federal student loans are required by law to provide a range of flexible repayment options, including income-based repayment plans, and loan forgiveness benefits, which private loans are not required to provide. Also, federal direct loans are available to students regardless of income.
Available to credit-worthy students; no FAFSA is required. Eligibility for private loans varies among lenders, but a credit check and/or debt-to-income ratio is usually required. A co-borrower may also be required. You must apply for this type of loan separately.
NOTE: Lenders are in alphabetical order, Virginia Tech does not endorse a particular lender.