Alternative/Private Loans

Alternative loans were designed to bridge the gap between college costs and traditional financial aid resources. Alternative Loans may be used to help pay for current term expenses and some lenders allow students to apply for loans to cover unpaid balances from a previous term or academic year. Some lenders also allow students to apply for an Alternative Loan even when they are enrolled less than half time.

Alternative Loans cannot exceed the Cost of Attendance minus other financial aid the student is receiving. They are offered and serviced by private loan lenders. Students should exhaust federal loan eligibility before borrowing an Alternative Loan.

Eligibility for an Alternative Loan is based on the student's and co-signer's (if required) credit history. Most Alternative Loan lenders allow students to determine if they would like to have a fixed or variable interest rate. CLU is an impartial party and cannot recommend any particular lender. However, through careful consideration of many factors, including borrower benefits, CLU has developed a list of lenders that are currently participating in private student lending. Students are in no way restricted to this list of lenders when borrowing Alternative Loans.

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Alternative Loans




Alternative Loan Self-Certification

Download the Alternative Loan Self-Certification Form.

Some lenders might ask the student to complete the form online during the online application process.

The Title X of the Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) requires that a series of three loan disclosures be provided to Alternative Loan borrowers throughout the application process and that the borrower also complete an Alternative Loan Self-Certification Form prior to the loan being disbursed.

The purpose of the disclosures is to:

  • Present the terms/cost of the loan in a clear and consistent manner.
  • Allow for comparison shopping and re-evaluation of borrowing an alternative loan during the application process.
  • Present lower cost federal options that should be exhausted prior to considering an alternative loan.
  • Reduce overall borrower indebtedness.

The student is required to complete the Alternative Loan Self-Certification Form and return it to the Alternative Loan Lender. The Alternative Loan Lender will not disburse any loan funds until the student’s completed form has been received.

Below are instructions on how to obtain information that is required to complete the Alternative Loan Self-Certification Form. Please read all sections carefully.

Section 2: Cost of Attendance and Estimated Financial Assistance

Part A: Cost of Attendance (COA)

  • For Traditional Undergraduate students, please refer to Undergraduate Estimated Cost of Attendance for specific amounts.
  • For Professionals or Graduate students, the COA is variable based on the number of units the student is registered in per term and the number of terms he or she attends CLU in an academic year. Contact the Financial Aid Office to find out more about specific COAs.

Part B: Estimated Financial Assistance (EFA) Please follow these steps to determine your EFA:

  • Accept or Reject Financial Aid.
  • Add together all accepted aid (in scholarships, grants, Federal Work Study, Federal Stafford Loans, and Parent PLUS Loan) for the academic year.
  • Use the total amount as your Estimated Financial Aid (EFA) amount. Your EFA should not include the current Alternative Loan that you are applying for.

Part C: Difference between COA and EFA

  • The difference between the Cost of Attendance and Estimated Financial Assistance is the maximum amount of Alternative Loan that a student is eligible to apply for.

The student should contact the Alternative Loan Lender to submit the Alternative Loan Self-Certification Form.

Important: Do NOT return this form to the Financial Aid Office. All Self-Certification Forms must be sent to the Alternative Loan Lender. Please be aware that an Alternative Loan cannot be processed until the Lender has received a completed Self-Certification Form in addition to other disclosures that require the student’s signature. CLU recommends that all students follow up with their Alternative Loan Lender to be sure that they have completed all necessary steps.