Lake Superior State University
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Financial Aid Office

Alternative Loans

Alternative loans are not Federal loans. All students may be eligible for Federal aid. Federal loans with fixed interest rates of 3.86% or less are available to students and families at all income levels. LSSU recommends that students borrow their maximum eligibility in Federal loans before applying for alternative loans because Federal loans generally have better terms, conditions and borrower benefits than alternative loans. The maximum annual limit for Federal loans is: $5500 Freshman, $6500 Sophomore, $7500 Junior/Senior dependent students. Independent students may be eligible for an additional $4000 or $5000. File a FAFSA at www.fafsa.gov  to apply for federal financial aid including federal loans. 

Another Federal loan option is the Parent PLUS loan for dependent students. This loan is available to parents at 6.41% fixed interest. The PLUS loan limit is the cost of attendance minus any other financial aid.

Alternative loans provide additional monetary assistance to students who have been awarded their maximum eligibility in federal and/or institutional aid, but require additional funding. Some students will automatically be offered an alternative loan on their Official Offer of Award or the loans can be requested through some of the following web sites or at the Financial Aid Office.

In the spring of each year, several lenders are asked to respond to a Request for Information and submit detailed information for our evaluation.  The details are summarized on the attached chart for your review. Students are free to select the lender of their choice for alternative loans. Selected lenders do not have to be one of those included on the comparison chart. LSSU will process loan applications from any lender in a timely manner. Students must inform the financial aid office of all loans taken for educational purposes.

Following is a listing of lenders who have loaned to LSSU students in the past, but the loans are no longer available: Key Bank, Mi-Loan, College Loan Corporation, Campus Door, TERI, NellieMae, and Nelnet.

The Alaska Commission on Post Secondary Education currently offers Alaskan residents the Alaska Family Education Loan. We have also processed loans from the Catholic Federal Credit Union, Frankenmuth Credit Union, Pentagon Federal Credit Union, Union Federal Savings Bank, Citizens Bank, and Fynanz.

When applying for an alternative loan, a Self-Certification Form will be required. These forms can be found on most lenders web sites as well as our web site. To complete the form, you will need to know your cost of attendance and your estimated financial aid. To obtain these figures, use our Loan/Cost Estimator Tool or Anchor Access, Financial Aid Tab. You will also be sent 3 separate disclosures from the lender. Please watch for these and respond to the lender if requested. Samples of the disclosures are: Application and Solicitation Disclosure, Loan Approval Disclosure, and Final Disclosure.

Loan Periods: When applying for an alternative loan, the lender will ask that you select the loan period applicable to the loan you are applying for. LSSU's loan periods are:

Fall Semester Only: Aug - Dec

Fall/Spring Semesters: Aug - May

Spring Semester Only: Jan - May

Summer Semester Only: May-Aug (use the entire summer semester period even if you are only attending a 6-week session)

Select the loan period on the lender's web site that most closely matches one of the loan periods indicated here. Do not be concerned if you can not select an exact match.

When selecting a lender for the first time, borrowers may want to comparison shop for the best interest rate. Borrowers can use the attached chart to choose the lenders whose interest rate ranges are acceptable. Click on the lender name at the top of the chart column to link directly to the application page of the lender's website. Complete the application processes for any number of lenders. After the initial application disclosure is received, allow the lender to continue the process which involves a credit check. The lender(s) will provide you with the loan approval disclosure which states the specific interest rate you will be charged if you accept this loan. This disclosure is valid for 30 days. Select the loan you prefer and respond to that lender. The other loan applications will become invalid after 30 days if you do nothing, or you can decline them as soon as you choose the loan you want. CAUTION: This process should be done within a short period of time. Apply for the selected loans during a one week period. If you do this, you will receive one hit to your credit. If you do it over a greater period of time, you will likely receive several hits to your credit which has a negative impact on your credit score.

Loan Processing Deadlines

Due to the processing time, loan requests can not be honored during the last two weeks of the semester. Please submit any requests for alternative or Federal direct loans to the LSSU Financial Aid Office before the last two weeks of the semester.

Helpful Websites

Following are websites with helpful information regarding private student loans. The information was published by WellsFargo, however we are not indicating a preference for or recommending WellsFargo loans in any way, by making this information available to you. It is simply our opinion that the information is good and we hope it will be useful to borrowers.

What to Know Before you Borrow: A guide to private student loans

Cosigners for Private Student Loans

Preparing to Repay Your Private Student Loan

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