Private Alternative Loans

Private Alternative Loans may be an option for students to bridge the gap between existing financial aid award packages and the cost of education.  These are also options for students who are enrolled less than half time, non-degree seeking, not meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress, or who choose not to complete a FAFSA to use federal aid.  (Please note that if you chose not to do a FAFSA and would like to use only an Alternative Private loan you must notify us in writing before we can process a loan for you.) 

Private Alternative loans are not affiliated with the U.S. Department of Education or PennWest California and they can vary widely in their terms and conditions.  We encourage borrowers to research lenders before they decide to apply for a loan.  It is the borrowers’ responsibility to determine advantages/disadvantages of these loans based on their individual needs. 

Some things to research are:

  • Interest rates, both fixed and variable
  • Repayment terms and plans
  • Credit evaluation
  • Deferment options


Private Alternative Loans are credit based loans so you may or may not need a credit-worthy cosigner for approval.  A credit check will be performed by the lender during your application process and the interest rate is determined based on the check. 

Borrowers may choose any participating lender or credit union that they want.  We encourage borrowers to compare several different lenders when researching loans.  In order to assist with this, we have developed a list of commonly used lenders that can be found on the ElmSelect Website.  You are not limited to these lenders.   You will also find useful comparison tools as well as financial literacy tools to help with researching and choosing the right lender.   Please select the link below to take you to ElmSelect.