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Private Educational (Alternative) Loan Programs

Many private (non-federal) lending organizations offer loan funds to assist students with their educational and living expenses. Sometimes referred to as 'alternative' loans, these non-need-based programs can help bridge the gap between the total cost a student incurs to attend UCM and the funding being received from federal, state and other financial aid programs. For certain private loan programs, principal and/or interest payments can sometimes be deferred until after the student graduates or otherwise drops to less than half-time enrollment status. You're encouraged to avoid borrowing private educational loan aid unless absolutely necessary and to exhaust all federal and state financial aid funding sources before borrowing private education loans.

Undergraduate & Graduate Students

UNDERGRADUATE & GRADUATE STUDENTS

A student may borrow private educational loan funds in his/her own name; however, a creditworthy co-signer may be required for the loan to be approved or to receive the best interest rate. In addition, the private educational loan funds a student may receive (combined with his/her federal, state and other assistance) cannot exceed the UCM Cost-of-Attendance assigned to the student for the loan period.

To learn more about the products offered by our Preferred Lenders, please visit ELM Select (Educational Loan Management System).  You are not limited to the lenders listed.

Trouble with the link to ELM Select?

International Students

INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS

Private loans are available to undergraduate and graduate international students.  To qualify, most lenders require students to have a co-signer who is a US citizen or permanent resident, who has lived in the US for the past 2 years and who meets the credit requirements of the lender.  In addition, the private educational loan funds a student may receive cannot exceed the UCM Cost-of-Attendance assigned to the student for the loan period.

To learn more about the products offered by our Preferred Lenders, please visit ELM Select (Educational Loan Management System).  You are not limited to the lenders listed.

Trouble with the link to ELM Select?

Parent/Sponsors

PARENT/SPONSORS

Parent/Sponsor private loans are different than the federal Parent PLUS loan and private student loans:

  • Only parents may apply for the federal Parent PLUS loan, while private loans allow interested parties to take out a loan to help a student pay for their educational expenses. 
  • While it is possible for a parent/sponsor to be a co-signer on a private student loan, some parents/sponsors may prefer to have a loan be in their name. 
  • Borrowers must meet more stringent credit criteria established by the lender and a credit check is used to determine eligibility.
  • Most private loans do not charge an origination fee and parents/sponsors may qualify for a lower interest rate than the federal Parent PLUS loan. 

To learn more about the products offered by our Preferred Lenders, please visit ELM Select (Educational Loan Management System).  You are not limited to the lenders listed.

Trouble with the link to ELM Select?


Application Process

When to Apply

WHEN TO APPLY

We encourage you to begin the application process for your private loan several weeks before your payment due date. This is to insure that there is sufficient time to process your application, certify your enrollment and credit the loan disbursements to your student account

Selecting a Lender

SELECTING A LENDER

You may search UCM’s list of preferred lenders via ELM Select based on your program type (Undergraduate, Graduate, International student or Parent/Sponsor), whether you are interested in fixed or variable interest rate loan products, the amount that you would like to borrow and your expected graduation date. You also have the several sorting options and the ability to compare loan products of different lending institutions side-by-side in order to pick the option that is best for you.

Self-Certification

SELF-CERTIFICATION

Before a private educational loan can be finalized, your lender will send to you a Self-Certification form and it must be completed, signed, and provided to your lending institution. In Section 2 of the self-certification form, you're asked to enter the UCM Cost-of-Attendance for the period of enrollment covered by the loan and the estimated financial assistance you're receiving for this period. This information is available at your MyCentral portal.


Preferred Lender List Policy

Preferred Lender List Policy

PREFERRED LENDER LIST POLICY

It is the policy of the Office of Student Financial Assistance at the University of Central Missouri to use the following guidelines in developing a Preferred Lender List that offer alternative or private education loans. It is our belief that by developing such list, we are providing our students and families vetted options with reputable companies to fund their education. These loans are offered by private lenders to assist with educational expenses that may not be covered by other federal, stated, institutional or private sources of financial aid. It is important that students carefully review their educational expenses before deciding the need to borrow from any source. Borrowers are encouraged to compare the services and products that are provided by lenders and choose the Private lender that best suits their individual needs. Borrowers have the right to choose any lender that is not on our Preferred Lender List.

All lenders on our Preferred Lender List will be reviewed and monitored continuously throughout the year in order to maintain current benefit information as well as determine if any removals or additions are necessary. Due to the constantly changing nature of the student loan industry, Requests for Information (RFI) will be employed every 2 years to ensure that our students and families have the best options and up-to-date information available. The lenders on the list are subject to change depending on any necessary revisions due to changes in technical support or lack of adequate client service.

Lenders are reviewed comparatively but not limited to the following criteria:

Lender Criteria Considerations

LENDER CRITERIA Considerations

Customer Service

An organization mission statement that is student –centered, invested in experienced and knowledgeable staff who are able to counsel students on funding options and who provide excellent problem-resolution service.

Financial Literacy

Information and resources are provided to borrowers and schools to support student financial success by encouraging the utilization of all federal need-based aid before borrowing private education loans and providing resources to students to help them compare available options, repayment plans and calculators.

Product

A superior loan product that provides competitive front-end benefits, rates, fees, repayment benefits and options that help students lower the interest paid and time spent in repayment.

Variety

Lenders selected provide options for undergraduate or graduate students, degree or non-degree-seeking and international students, in addition to providing loan options to students who are enrolled less than half-time, are not making federal satisfactory academic progress or students who need assistance in paying for a past due student account balances with the university.

Accessibility

Easy to use online access for all processes beginning from loan application to final payment. Convenient customer service call center hours for students with call centers primarily if not solely based in the United States of America.

Process

Supports internal school process by participating in Electronic Loan Management (ELM) and National Disbursement Network (NDN).

All Alternative Loan Applicants:

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