Alternative loans, also called private loans, are used at Hunter College by students and their families when:
- the student is not eligible for a Federal Direct Loan because they do not meet the federal eligibility requirements
- the student is receiving the maximum Federal Direct Loan allowed for the loan period but still needs additional funds to meet the cost of attendance
- the student needs to borrow funds for a previous academic year and it is too late to borrow a Federal Direct Loan
Students and parents who are eligible for Federal Direct Loan funds should always borrow through the Federal Direct Loan program before turning to alternative loans to finance the student’s education at Hunter College.
Alternative loan costs vary widely between programs. All private lenders will review the borrower’s credit history and some will require a loan co-signer. The Office of Financial Aid at Hunter College does not endorse or recommend any particular alternative loan program or any particular private lender. Students and their families should carefully consider the interest rates, loan fees, and terms of the alternative loan program before deciding on a private lender.
Some alternative loan programs have restrictions regarding the minimum number of credits for which the student must enroll, as well as the requirement that the student must be matriculated (enrolled in a degree program).