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Financial Aid

Private Alternative Loan

What is a private alternative loan?
A number of private lenders and other financial institutions offer education loans to students. These loans are referred to as private alternative loans.

How does a private alternative loan differ from a federal loan?
These private alternative loans generally have tiered interest rates and fees, both based on your credit score. In addition, cosigners may be required. Unlike Federal Direct and Grad PLUS loans, private loans do not have an income-based cap on monthly repayments.  Therefore, Penn encourages U.S. citizens and permanent residents to first consider the Federal Direct and Direct Grad PLUS loan programs when they need to borrow.

Can Penn recommend the best private alternative loan?
Because interest rates and fees on most private loans are tiered, based on your credit score, Penn cannot provide you with useful information about comparative pricing of private loans for you, nor about the likelihood of your being approved without a cosigner.

Need more information?
Further information about private loans and selecting a lender is available at

Before applying for any private alternative loan program, be sure to get free copies of your credit reports at and clean up any errors that may be listed.

How To Apply
Apply through the website of the lender you choose.

Residency Relocation Loan

The Residency and Relocation Loan is a private loan for students in the final year of medical school. The Residency and Relocation Loan can help with expenses associated with finding a residency, including travel to interviews and relocation costs, which are not covered by federal student loan programs.

Please note that the interest rate and fees charged are based on the applicants' credit score. If you do not have an established credit history, you may want to apply with a qualified co-signer to increase your chances for approval and potentially receive a lower interest rate.


Page Updated: 16-Mar-2015