What is an alternative loan?

An alternative loan is a loan that the student can take out from a private lender to pay for post-secondary education. Unlike federal loans, they are not connected to the federal government in any way, and there is no guarantee the student will be eligible for the loan. They typically have a variable interest rate, and cannot be consolidated with other federal loans (such as Direct Stafford, Direct Plus, or Perkins).

Federal loans will always offer a better deal, and it is imperative you exhaust all federal options before applying for an Alternative Loan. Interest rates depend upon the combination of the student’s credit history and the co-signer’s credit history. Unless the student has a well-established credit history, private lenders typically will require a co-signer. Payments begin within six months of graduation, dropping below six credits, or withdrawing from school. The student can borrow the full amount of the cost of attendance, less any other financial aid awarded. Each lender has specific loan terms.

Carthage Preferred Lender List

As part of Carthage’s commitment to assist students and parents with the decision-making process in regard to student loans, a preferred lender list has been prepared for your guidance. The lenders have been selected based upon the following criteria:

  • Incentives and benefits offered to students and parents.
  • Quality of service provided to students, parents, and institutions.
  • The ability to deliver funds to the school electronically.
  • Technical abilities.
  • Stability of the lending institution.
  • A strong history of customer service.

This list is also available from the Office of Student Financial Services, finaid@carthage.edu, located on the top floor of Lentz Hall.

While Carthage has created this list, students are not required to use the lenders on this list. Carthage will certify a loan with any lender you choose. Finally, Carthage does not receive any incentives or benefits for listing these lenders. Carthage has a strict code of conduct in the relationships we have with lenders.

Begin the alternative loan application process