Office of Student Financial Aid

Alternative Loan Options

What are Alternative Loans?

Alternative loans are private loans that can provide additional funding for unmet college expenses and are available with a variety of loan terms. The yearly amount cannot exceed the annual cost of attendance minus other financial aid received. 

You are strongly encouraged to apply for federal funds prior to considering any alternative loans.    Alternative loans are not federally guaranteed and interest rates, fees and terms vary widely by lender. Each lender will look at credit history as well as other factors to determine eligibility for a loan.  Most will require the use of a co-signer or co-borrower and will offer a better interest rate or reduced fees with the use of a co-signer.  Also, because an alternative loan is not a federal loan, many programs allow an International student to borrow as long as he or she has an eligible co-borrower who is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.  Some lenders also offer an alternative loan for parents (or sponsors) of eligible students to borrow for their student's educational expenses. 

The primary common denominator is that an alternative loan is a private non-federal loan offered by a bank or other financial institution to help cover educational expenses of an eligible student.  Alternative loans are not for everyone and should only be considered when all other federal resources have been exhausted.


At The University of Toledo, we will process an alternative loan from any lender you choose. We do not endorse any specific private lender or lending program.  Borrowers are able to choose the alternative loan program with their lender of choice.  The links provided below can be used to begin your search for an alternative loan lender. We have compiled a list of lenders that our students have used in the past to provide information regarding their loan programs through FASTChoice. FASTChoice is a loan comparison tool that can assist students make a wise choice regarding alternative loan borrowing.  Please review lender information carefully and check with multiple lenders for available alternative loan options.  In addition to FASTChoice, we have included several other lender information links for your review below.

The University of Toledo selected FASTChoice lenders because they have been providing service to University of Toledo students for years.  They have competitive rates and terms.  They offer an easy online application process, send the funds via Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) and have a history of good customer service.  Use the "Filter" feature on FASTChoice to search for loans that best fit your needs.

University of Toledo Historical Lender List

FASTChoice Alternative Loans



  •  Use the dates below to apply for the appropriate loan period (August to December = Fall only loan).  The amount you request will be divided equally between the terms in the loan period.  (example:  If you apply for $6000 for summer/fall/spring you will receive $2000 each term.)

For 2020 - 2021:                                                   For 2021 - 2022:

05/18/2020 – 05/07/2021                             05/17/2021 - 05/06/2022
Summer, fall and spring                                 Summer, fall and spring

08/17/2020 – 05/07/2021                             08/30/2021 - 05/06/2022 
Fall and spring                                                    Fall and spring

05/18/2020 – 08/07/2020                             05/17/2021 - 08/06/2021
Summer only                                                      Summer only 

08/17/2020 – 12/04/2020                             08/30/2021 - 12/17/2021 
Fall only                                                                 Fall only 

01/19/2021 – 05/07/2021                             01/18/2022 - 05/06/2022 
Spring only                                                           Spring only 

  • Remember to accept the loan and complete the promissory note and self-certification form and return to the lender.
  • Most lenders offer several different types of alternative loans (undergraduate, graduate, medical, law, and parent/sponsor loans) so be careful to apply for the correct loan.
  • Carefully review all terms and conditions of the alternative loan before accepting the loan.  Compare fees and interest rates, and keep in mind that some lenders may require payments while in school.

 Alternative Loan Process

1) Choose a lender and visit their website to apply.
2) Once credit is approved and the promissory note has been received by the lender, The University of Toledo will receive an electronic loan certification request.
3) The University of Toledo will determine eligibility and submit the electronic loan certification to the lender.
4) There are loan disclosure, acceptance and self-certification processes that have been added to the loan process. Check with your lender to determine the deadlines for each process.
5) Alternative loan funds will be disbursed to the student account once all eligibility requirements are met and the funds have been received from the lender.

Helpful Links:

Federal Aid First 

Alternative Loan Worksheet

Last Updated: 3/18/21