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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. Review a comparison of Grad PLUS and private alternative loans. 

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. To assist you, however, we have listed below, in alphabetical order, those private lenders who have made five or more private educational loans to Penn students over the past three years, who have not, to our knowledge, suspended making education loans, and who have electronic processes and links to Penn that expedite loan origination and disbursement.

Need more information?
Further information about private loans and selecting a lender is available at FinAid.org and Student Lending Analytics
Another useful tool can be found at the Pennsylvania Private Loan Marketplace through which you can compare rates and terms from multiple participating lenders side by side, based on your credit score.  At this point, a limited number of lenders are participating in this service.

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

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

The chart below lists loan products in alphabetical order.

Please note you are not required to use any of the listed lenders and will not be penalized or disadvantaged if you choose to borrow from another lender.  Be sure to compare the fees and terms of all student loan products to determine which are best suited to your needs.

 

Product Lender Website
Academic Answer Loan Suntrust Bank http://www.suntrusteducation.com/priv/upenn
Chase Select Loan Chase http://www.chasestudentloans.com/custom/upenn
CitiAssist Citibank https://www.studentloan.com
Discover Certified Private Loan Discover http://www.discoverstudentloans.com/home.aspx
PNC Solution Loan PNC Bank http://www.pnconcampus.com/studentloan guide/privateloans/
Smart Option Loan Salliemae http://www.salliemae.com/
Trufit Student Loan Citizens Bank http://www.citizensbank.com/student-services/default.aspx
Wells Fargo Private Loan Wells Fargo https://www.wellsfargo.com/student/

Loans which do not require school certification include:

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.

The lenders listed below are in alphabetical order.

Please note you are not required to use any of the listed lenders and will not be penalized or disadvantaged if you choose to borrow from another lender.  Be sure to compare the fees and terms of all student loan products to determine which are best suited to your needs.

CitiAssist® Residency, Relocation and Review Loans

PNC Residency and Relocation Loan

Sallie Mae

Wells Fargo MedCAP-XTRA® Loan

 

Page Updated: 08-Nov-2012