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Alternative or Private Loans

Sometimes federal student and parent loans are not enough to cover all educational expenses. For this reason, you may consider applying for a private, credit-based loan that may be used as a supplemental resource for paying college costs.

Alternative loans are credit-based loans and in most cases, a credit worthy co-applicant is required. In addition, by having a co-applicant, the risk to the lending institution is reduced and a better interest rate is given to the borrower. Individual eligibility will vary according to cost, need, and any other aid being received by the student.

As of February 14th, 2010, the U.S. Department of Education passed new legislative measures that affect the way you will obtain a private/alternative loan(s). Title X of the Higher Education Opportunity Act stipulates that lenders must provide multiple, detailed loan disclosure statements that also require active completion on the part of the borrower and co-borrower.

Stafford loans have a better interest rate and repayment term than private loans. Private loans should be considered when all other federal aid options have been exhausted.

Columbia College does recommend that you research the best type of loan for you. A good resource for various types of private, credit-based loans is available at

Preferred Lender List Disclosures

The following is a list of lenders selected by Columbia College as its preferred lenders. The lenders on the list were selected based on their efficiency in working with Columbia College's processes. Each lender on this list is unaffiliated with the other. Students and families are free to choose from lenders not referenced on the list.

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