Alternative Loans

Federal student loans are available to most students regardless of income and provide a range of repayment options including income-based repayment plans and loan forgiveness benefits, which other education loans are not required to provide.

Alternative education loans (also known as private loans) are an option for financing your education. Federal, state and university policy requires that student borrowers maximize federal loans before the alternative/private loan request is processed. Complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or California Dream Act in order to determine student loan eligibility. provides a federal and alternative/private loan comparison. Here are some things to consider: 

  • Alternative loan eligibility requirements vary from lender to lender.
  • Alternative loan lenders can offer variable interest rates that can increase or decrease over time, depending on market conditions. 
  • Students may also be required to meet citizenship requirements or provide a co-signer who meets citizenship requirements.
  • The interest rate on a private loan may depend on the borrower’s and/or co-signer’s credit rating.
  • Other eligibility requirements may apply depending on the lender. 
  • Review the interest rate and processing fees prior to borrowing.

UC Davis is not involved in the alternative loan credit decision. All credit decision questions should be directed to the loan lender. Financial aid eligibility applies to all certifications of loan amounts.

School Certification Process

Financial aid staff will post an alternative loan place holder on MyAwards after a record has been certified. Please note all financial aid holds and requirements that prevent disbursement must be satisfied before the alternative/private loan can be certified. Contact the lender to confirm disbursement status. Contact the Cashier & Payment Solutions Office to confirm the funds have been received. 

Alternative/Private Lender List

To start your search, the UC Office of the President has put together a list of recommended lenders. please be aware that you are not required to use any of the lenders on the list, they are simplify provided for your convenience. Per the Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) guidelines, our office adheres to the University of California Code of Conduct in regard to lender arrangements. If you have specific questions related to your credit history you should contact the alternative loan lenders at the numbers provided on the website listed below: