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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. 

Please be advised that a student borrows 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.

Important! Recently-enacted federal legislation dictates that 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.

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

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. Students and parents are encouraged to compare the services and products that are provided by lenders and choose the Private lender that best suits their individual needs.  Students 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 year 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:

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.


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. 


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.


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.


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

ELM (Electronic Loan Management)

You may search UCM’s list of preferred lenders based on your program type (Undergraduate or Graduate), 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. 

View Preferred Lender List