If you have used all of your federal loan eligibility, and your parents are not able or do not wish to take a parent loan, you may want to consider applying for an Alternative Loan.
What is an alternative loan?
An alternative loan is a student loan that may be borrowed through an outside lending institution to assist with education-related expenses such as tuition, housing, travel, and books.
Will I qualify for an alternative loan?
Most students, unless they have a significant credit history and are working full-time, will require a cosigner. Alternative loans are based on credit, so loan applications are based on the credit of the student and the cosigner.
How do I choose a lender and apply?
Mary Baldwin College is pleased to offer a list of preferred lenders for review using the FastChoice lender selection and application tool. On this site, you will be able to compare the lenders on our list side by side, check out their benefits, interest rates, and terms, and when you choose a lender, you can apply right from the site. The web address is:
How were the lenders on the list chosen?
The Mary Baldwin College Financial Aid Office sent out a “Request for Information” to all lenders who were present at the 2011 VASFAA (Virginia Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators) Conference. Each lender was asked a series of questions about interest rates, customer service policies, loan benefits, etc. The Financial Aid Office staff compared lenders to determine which lenders offered the greatest benefits for our students. Because none of the lenders that were reviewed seemed to offer fewer benefits for students, we were able to include all of the lenders present at the VASFAA conference.
May I use a lender that is not on the list?
Absolutely. MBC is happy to use any loan from any lender, provided that they are willing to lend to a student at MBC. Students may apply for a loan with any lender they choose.
The Financial Aid Office strongly recommends that students exhaust all federal aid options before applying for alternative loans. We also caution students to be aware that alternative loans are credit-based, often carry variable interest rates, and cannot be consolidated with federal loans.