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Private/Alternative Loans

Should I apply for a PLUS loan or a private loan?

Parent PLUS vs Private Loans

GRAD PLUS vs Private Loans

Private/Alternative Loans

A private/alternative loan is a non-federal education loan, through a private lender usually in the student’s name and may require a co-signer. These loans are not subsidized and generally have different eligibility requirements, interest rates, repayment options and conditions. Because private/alternative loans vary, the Georgia Southern Financial Aid Department can not provide the most accurate and useful information if you are considering a private/alternative loan. We strongly suggest that you compare interest rates, loan charges and repayment options before applying.

Students and parents needing additional funds beyond the amount of federal aid they qualify for, including Federal Direct Student Loans and Parent PLUS loans, may consider applying for a private/alternative loan through an outside lender. If you are considering a private/alternative loan, please be aware of the following important information:

  • Students should always apply for Federal Direct Student Loans and parents of dependent undergraduate students should apply for Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loans. It is in the best interest of the student and parent to borrow the maximum amount of Federal Direct Loans for which they qualify before considering a private/alternative loan.
  • Federal Direct Loans are available for eligible students who do not qualify for need-based financial aid.
  • Each private/alternative lender has different eligibility requirements, interest rates, and repayment conditions. Students and parents are encouraged to research each lender they are considering.
  • Loan applications are made directly to a participating lender by the student and/or parent. The process may take a minimum of three (3) to five (5) weeks processing time and up to another two (2) weeks for the lender to disburse the funds. It is important to be aware of the fee payment deadline as you plan to make your payment.
  • In most cases, the student must meet Title IV federal financial aid program requirements, Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) requirements and eligible citizenship requirements. If the private lender does not require any of these, the student will need to let us know so we can verify with the lender.

Our mailing address is:

Georgia Southern University
Financial Aid Department
P.O. Box 8065
Statesboro, GA 30460-8065


Last updated: 11/10/2020