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. Students must maximize federal loans before requesting an alternative loan. 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.

Certification Form

Lenders are required by federal law to collect the Private Loan Certification Form. If you plan to apply for an alternative/private loan, complete and submit this form to your lender.

Preferred Alternative/Private Lender List

The lenders on the preferred alternative/private lender list follow the University of California Code of Conduct in regard to preferred lender arrangements: