A-to-Z Index

Alternative / Private Loans

Selecting a private/alternative education loan can be a daunting task. The link below will provide information to help you make an informed decision. In addition to being informative, this link will provide a list of just some of the lenders who offer alternative/private student loans. We suggest you research the loans and the lender to find the best interest rate and terms of your loan. Please be aware that when viewing the alternative lender web pages below that you will be leaving the JMU web site. Graduate and undergraduate students are eligible to apply for alternative loans unless otherwise specified. These loans are not backed by the federal government and therefore may have terms and conditions less favorable than federally funded student and parent loans. We encourage all students and parents to first consider and apply for federal student loans before applying for private loans.

Private Loan repayment varies per lender; please contact your lender for details regarding your repayment options.

The information contained on this chart is accurate as of the date it was collected. Because these are private loans, lenders can change the terms and conditions of these loans without notifying JMU. Therefore, we suggest you verify this information with any lender on this chart prior to applying for a loan with that company.


NOTE: You are not required to borrow with any of the lenders listed on this chart. Students may borrow with any lender offering a private student loan. JMU does not discriminate against lenders and will certify loans from any private lender provided the student meets the lender’s eligibility requirements.

You can view JMU's Private Lender Policy here.

Summer Term Private Educational Loan

If you have applied or will apply for a summer Private Educational Loan, please read the Summer 2015 Financial Aid Instructions and complete the JMU 2015 Summer School Financial Aid Application found at the end of the Summer Aid instructions. Your Private loan will not be certified until you complete a JMU 2015 Summer School Financial Aid Application.

Fall and Spring Term Private Educational Loan

Do not apply for Fall 2015/Spring 2016 private education loans earlier than June 2015. If you submit an application prior to June 2015, your credit may expire before the loan can disburse.

Alternative/Private Loans FAQ

Items to consider when choosing a lender

      Lender credibility

  • Is the lender credible? What is the lender’s reputation?

      Credit Criteria

  • Many lenders require at least 2 years credit experience in order to apply without a co-signer. Many times applying with a cosigner will result in a lower interest rate and overall savings during the life of the loan.

      Interest rates/Repayment

  • Is the interest rate variable or fixed? What repayment terms are available?  The length of repayment as well as interest rate can determine the overall cost of the loan.

      Loan fees

  • Are there any front or back end fees associated with the loan? When researching options; ask your lender if there are any origination or repayment fees associated with the loan. It is also beneficial to find out if there are any pre-payment penalties, should you be able to pay the balance of the loan, in full, prior to the loan mature date.

      Borrowing Benefits

  • Ask your lender if they offer benefits such as a graduation, auto-debit, or on-time payment benefits. Many of these benefits can reduce your interest rate and result in cost savings over the repayment portion of the loan.

      Loan Forgiveness

  • Some lenders will forgive the remaining balance of the loan in the event of the death or permanent disability of the primary borrower.