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Private Alternative Loans

Private student alternative loans are managed through private lenders, issued in the student’s name, and require a credit-worthy co-signer. Eligibility, rates, terms, and conditions vary. Approval and interest rates are based on the borrower’s and co-signer’s credit ratings. Alternative loans are agreements between the borrower, co-signer, and the lender.

We encourage all Temple University students to read the Temple University Student Lending Code of Conduct (PDF).

Note that all loans are processed for the full year, fall and spring semesters. Fall only loans will be processed for fall graduates and spring only loans will be processed for spring admits. 

Advance Planning

Temple University recommends all students exhaust federal student aid options prior to pursuing private student alternative loans.

Loan debt can accumulate quickly and result in a lifetime burden of high payments and credit denials for automobile purchases, credit cards, and home mortgages.

Be sure to read and understand the terms and conditions of any loan you select to borrow.

The Truth in Lending Act (TILA) requires you to complete and submit a self-certification form to all lenders for each individual application. If your lender does not provide the form, print and complete the Private Education Loan Applicant Self-Certification. You can find your cost of attendance and estimated aid for the period of enrollment covered by the loan in the Financial Aid section of Self-Service Banner in the TUportal. Return the self-certification form to your lender.

TILA also requires lenders provide you with three disclosures:

  • upon your application;
  • when you are approved;
  • at least three days prior to disbursement.

Timing of the last disclosure may delay loan disbursements by an additional one to two weeks so plan accordingly.

Temple University cannot in any way be held liable in the event the borrower is dissatisfied with the rates, terms or service provided by the lender. Be sure you understand and agree with all terms and conditions before you apply for any private alternative loan. 

Make informed decisions

How to Apply

Once you have determined the best type of private student alternative loan (and compared the loan terms and repayment options with the Federal PLUS Loan) you will apply online through the lender's website.

We recommend that new borrowers apply in May (returning student borrowers in July) for the upcoming fall semester and all loans will be certified with equal disbursements for fall and spring terms. Increases are not possible after the loan process is complete, therefore be sure to calculate what is needed for the year by reviewing your cost of attendance

2018-19 Loan Term Dates

  • Fall/Spring (required): August 27, 2018 to May 8, 2019
  • Fall only (graduating after fall or studying aborad): August 27, 2018 to December 19, 2018
  • Spring only (spring new student or studying abroad): January 14, 2019 to May 8, 2019
  • Summer Loans: Please submit your requests after you have registered for summer.
    • Summer I only: May 2018 to June 2018
    • Summer II only: June 2018 to August 2018
    • Summer I and II: May 2018 to August 2018

To ensure that we are providing the best possible service to our students, Student Financial Services certifies Private Alternative Loans for the Full Year (Fall and Spring combined). Summer will continue to be considered a seperate loan period.

The only exceptions will be for those students who:

  1. Students who are graduating at the end of the Fall semester. Please have your academic adviser forward an email or letter to confirming your graduation date, or provide a copy of your submitted application to graduate.
    *As a result, our office will adjust your entire financial aid award according to regulations and then certify the loan for the single semester in question.
  2. Students admitted for the Spring semester, or who did not attend the Fall semester.
  3. Students participating in a study abroad/away program for a single semester. A copy of your program acceptance letter will be required.
  4. Students who currently have a past due balance from a prior academic year. For example, any returning student for the Fall 2018 semester that has a balance from Spring 2018 or Summer 2018.

*All students receiving aid who will graduate at the completion of the fall term will need to contact the Student Financial Services office as soon as possible so that all their aid can be adjusted accordingly.

Students graduating at the conclusion of the Spring Semester are not subject to the exception if they were registered during the fall.

*Private Alternative Loans for the Fall/Spring loan period will be split equally between the two semesters; so the disbursement of a $10,000 Fall/Spring loan would be $5,000 for the fall semester and $5,000 for the spring semester.

NOTE: Once the Student Financial Services office certifies an approved private alternative loan (the loan funding appears on the student's SSB financial aid award account) the office will not be able to adjust the designated loan terms and/or increase the loan amount. Students that seek an additional loan amount will need to apply for another private alternative loan. 


The maximum that can be borrowed each year is a student's total cost of attendance minus all other financial aid awarded. Contact the SFS Office to discuss your cost of attendance and make an informed decision. 

Compare your options

Compare private student alternative loan options carefully. You are welcome to borrow from the lender of your choice without penalty whether or not that lender is identified here or in other University materials. We encourage you to compare information concerning credit-based student loans carefully to determine the best fit for your particular circumstance.

If you are denied a loan, you and your co-signer can contact the lender and request an Adverse Action Credit Letter to determine why. You should also request a copy of your credit report to review your credit information.

Many alternative lenders will approve a loan for international students who have a creditworthy U.S. citizen or permanent resident as a co-signer. Contact the lender of your choice to determine if you are eligible.

Loans offered by state agencies

Your state may offer a loan program to its residents through your home state higher education agency.  Be aware that many of these programs have limited funds and repayment options. The following list is not exhaustive.


Contact Student Financial Services if:

  • you have been fully approved by the lender in order for school certification to be complete;
  • your private student alternative loan has been decreased, increased or cancelled.