Alternative loans are private education loans through a private lender to help finance the unmet cost of attendance at Southern New Hampshire University. We recommend that you apply for financial aid by completing the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) before applying for an alternative loan.
Approval and interest rates are based on the credit worthiness of the student borrower and cosigner and vary from lender to lender. You should exhaust all federal, state and university options including the Federal Parent PLUS Loan and Federal Graduate PLUS Loan before borrowing an Alternative loan. Alternative loans are not federally guaranteed and have less favorable terms and conditions. Alternative loans also carry a variable interest rate with no cap.
Private loan processing, from applying with the lender to the time when funds credit to your account, can take 4-6 weeks. It is highly recommended that you apply for an entire year's worth of funding at one time; otherwise it will take 4-6 weeks every time you apply.
Due to recent changes in the Truth in Lending and the Higher Education Opportunity Act, there are additional requirements for alternative loans. Please read the following carefully in order to understand the changes and how they impact you, the borrower.
Students must apply for enough funding to cover the whole academic year as funds will be disbursed for each semester or term that you are enrolled in
1. Alternative Loan Borrower Self-Certification
You must submit a signed self-certification form to the Alternative Loan Lender. This form shows your cost of attendance (COA), your estimated financial assistance and the difference between these two amounts.
Lenders will provide the form to you as part of the application process. It is highly recommended that you use the lender’s form as it will have a unique identifier on it to link to your loan application. The lender cannot process your loan without this form. DO NOT RETURN THE FORM TO THE ONE STOP.
2. Alternative Loan Disclosure Statements
In addition to the loan borrower self-certification above, you are required to complete the following disclosure statements with your lender. Lenders are required to send you three (3) disclosures during the course of the alternative loan application process. You must stay on top of the application process. You are required to sign and return each disclosure statement in order that you have received them from the lender.
- Disclosure Statement 1
The initial disclosure provides general loan rates, fees and terms including the maximum rate and maximum payment amount possible. It also contains information on the availability of federal student loans (Stafford and PLUS Loans) that may be available at lower interest rates.
- Disclosure Statement 2
Upon the approval of the loan, the 2nd disclosure statement will provide specific loan information for you and estimates the total repayment amount based on both the current rate (at the time of approval) and the maximum interest rate that may be charged under the loan program.
- Disclosure Statement 3
After you accept the alternative loan, you will receive a final disclosure statement. This will explain that you will have a three day rescission period in which to cancel the loan. The loan funds will not be sent to the school until a minimum three (3) business days have passed.
When to apply
If you plan to file a FAFSA, we recommend that you submit your alternative loan application after you have received your official award notification from the One Stop. In order to ensure receipt of maximum federal, state and university aid, we will usually not process a private loan application until your award package has been completed. If you apply too early, your application could expire, which would cause you to have to go through an additional credit check when you reapply.
The application process will request that you specify a loan period for your private loan. It is important that you are aware of the start dates for your college or program. Failure to approximate a valid loan period can result in a delay in processing your application. The start and end dates should correspond to the academic year and not the calendar year.
Disbursement of Funds
Typically alternative loan funding will be disbursed to the university after enrollment in the semester/term has been verified. Because the university is committed to continuous processing improvements, the procedures for disbursement of your Alternative student loan funds may vary from lender to lender, and may change based on internal processing reviews.