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.

School Certification Process

Students are required to file a FAFSA in order to maximize federal loans before requesting an alternative loan. The Financial Aid and Scholarships office will halt the certification process if you have not filed the FAFSA and/or accepted your maximum annual federal student loan eligibility.

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: