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Alternative Loan Information

Alternative/Private Loans

Alternative, or private loans are educational loans that exist outside of the federal financial aid program.  To be approved for an alternative loan, the borrower must be credit worthy or have a credit worthy co-signer.  The majority of alternative loans are borrowed in the student’s name (with a parent as a co-signer).  However, there are now some alternative loan programs that allow a parent, grandparent, or guardian be the primary borrower. (See more information about parent alternative loans below.)

As a wise consumer, you should review and compare alternative loan programs to find the right fit for your needs. It is your responsibility as a borrower to ensure that each step of the application process is completed.

Notre Dame College will work with any private/alternative lender and does not have a preferred lender list for alternative loans. The FAST Choice™ link below is a tool that allows you to accurately compare rates and terms from multiple private lenders side-by-side.

Student Alternative Loans (student as the borrower):

Student borrowers must either be credit-worthy or have a credit-worthy co-signer to be approved.

The links below allow you to research and compare alternative loan programs.  FAST Choice™ provides detailed information for various loans, as well as the terms and benefits offered by different lenders, allowing you to accurately compare rates and terms from multiple private loan lenders side by side.  You may also view a list of alternative loan lenders that NDC students have borrowed from over the past three years.

Parent Alternative Loans (parent as the borrower):

A parent alternative loan may be borrowed by a parent, grandparent, guardian, or other credit qualified individual.  Unlike the federal parent loan, the alternative parent loan can be borrowed on behalf of graduate and independent students.

Citizens Bank Student Loan ™ for Parents


We suggest looking at all of your alternative loan options before making a final decision.  We also suggest that you compare the advantages/disadvantages of a federal loans versus alternative loans by clicking HERE.