Alternative Loans

After borrowing federal loans, alternative loans may help you meet final expenses.

It is the policy of the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships to encourage students to complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) before applying for an alternative or private loan. By completing the FAFSA, students are able to be considered Federal Direct Student Loans and can also be considered for grants.

Choosing a Private Lender

When choosing a private education loan, you should compare the loan terms offered by several programs in order to choose the best fit for your situation. You can learn about and compare private loan terms from multiple lenders side-by-side using the ELM Select online tool, While you may do business with the lender of your choice, our ELM Select tool provides information for the loan programs most frequently used by University of Michigan-Dearborn students over the past three years.

Please note that you are not limited to lenders listed in the ELM Select tool; you can borrow from any lender. Most private loan programs offer online applications. Here are several points you should research when considering a private loan: 

  • What is the interest rate; is it fixed or variable; is the rate capped?
  • What fees must be paid for this loan and when are they due?
  • When does repayment begin and is there a grace period?
  • What will my monthly payment be?
  • What will be the total cost if I use the full repayment period?
  • Are there penalties for early repayment? 
  • Are there deferment or forbearance options?
  • Is the loan program well-established?
  • Does the lender make loans to less-than-half-time students?
  • Does the lender make loans for past due balances?  If so, how old can the balance be?
  • Does the lender make loans for non-degree students?

Most private loan programs require our office to certify your eligibility before approving your loan. If you receive financial aid, you must notify our office of any private loans you borrow as it may affect your aid eligibility.

Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships

1183 - James C. Renick University Center
4901 Evergreen Road
Dearborn, MI 48128
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