Office of Student Financial Aid

Private Loans

What Are Private or Alternative Loans?

Private or alternative loans are non-federal loans offered by a bank or other financial institution to help cover educational expenses.

The yearly amount you borrow cannot exceed the annual cost of attendance for UToledo minus other financial aid you receive. The cost of attendance is listed in your financial aid package.

Federal versus Private Loans

Alternative loans are not for everyone and should only be considered when all other federal resources have been exhausted. We strongly encourage you to submit a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) and apply for federal funds prior to considering private loans. 

Federal loans generally have lower interest rates and more flexible payment plans. Alternative or private loans are not federally guaranteed. Interest rates, fees and terms vary widely by lender.

Review Federal Aid First for more details on the differences between federal and private loans.

Who is eligible for a private loan?

Private lenders 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. They will offer a better interest rate or reduced fees with the use of a co-signer. Some lenders also offer an alternative loan for parents (or sponsors) of eligible students to borrow for their student's educational expenses. 

International students — You are limited in the types of financial aid you qualify for. Because an alternative loan is not a federal loan, many programs allow international students to borrow. However, you have to apply with an eligible co-borrower who is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.

How do I find a private lender?

Explore loan programs with FASTChoice.

FASTChoice is a loan comparison tool. It compares lenders that have been providing service to UToledo students for years. Use the "Filter" feature on FASTChoice to search for loans that best fit your needs.

  • Competitive rates and terms
  • An easy online application process
  • Sends funds via Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT)
  • History of good customer service. 

Review UToledo’s Historical Lender List — a list of lenders our students have used in the past.

Our Alternative Loan Worksheet can be used in conjunction with these tools. It lists helpful questions to ask as you compare loans.

The University of Toledo will process an alternative loan from any lender you choose. We do not endorse any specific private lender or lending program. Review lender information carefully. Check with multiple lenders for loan options.


  1. Carefully review all terms and conditions of the alternative loan before applying for the loan. Compare fees and interest rates. Keep in mind that some lenders may require payments while in school.
  2. Choose a lender and visit their website to apply. Most lenders offer several types of alternative loans (undergraduate, graduate, medical, law and parent/sponsor loans). Be careful to apply for the correct loan.
  3. Once your loan is approved, sign the promissory note and complete other requirements required by your lender. The University of Toledo is then sent an electronic loan certification request.
  4. UToledo will determine eligibility (for instance, verifying your enrollment, etc.) and submit the electronic loan certification to the lender.
  5. Alternative loan funds will be disbursed or paid to your student account once you complete all the eligibility requirements and funds have been received from the lender.


Your lender will ask you how you want to apply your loan. You’ll need to choose which semesters you want your loan to be applied to. Review the chart and give the corresponding loan period dates to your loan provider. Your loan will then be divided equally for that time period.

Example: You want your $6,000 loan to be divided equally for summer, fall and spring. You would tell your provider that the loan period is for 5/17/2021 to 5/6/2022. You will then receive $2,000 for each of the three semesters.

Loan Periods for 2021 - 2022

05/17/2021 - 05/06/2022
Summer, fall and spring

08/30/2021 - 05/06/2022
Fall and spring

05/17/2021 - 08/06/2021
Summer only

08/30/2021 - 12/17/2021
Fall only

01/18/2022 - 05/06/2022
Spring only

Have Questions?

Ask Rocket Solution Central.

Rocket Solution Central — or RSC — is your one-stop answer shop for financial aid questions.

Call 419.530.8700
Monday - Wednesday and Friday 9 a.m. - 4:45 p.m.
Thursday 10 a.m. - 4:45 p.m.
Visit 1200 Rocket Hall
Monday - Friday 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.

No need to wait in line. Register through Rocket Q ahead of time or when you arrive. You'll receive wait-time updates and be notified when it's your turn.

Register by texting "University of Toledo" to 419.419.3430 or by entering your information online.

Financial Wellness

We could all use some help managing our money ― whether you’re a high school student, undergraduate or upperclassman ready to graduate.

UToledo's financial wellness team offers workshops, presentations and tools to help you improve your money management skills. You can even schedule an appointment with our counselor to discuss your personal financial plan.

  • How to pay for college
  • Managing student loans
  • Making a budget
  • And more
Financial Wellness Services
Last Updated: 6/27/22