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Financial Aid

Alternative Loans

Many lenders offer private loans to students to cover allowable educational expenses. These loans are often referred to as “private loans” or “alternative loans” and are not part of the federal government loan programs. Prior to borrowing such a loan, you should apply for Federal Student Aid (FSA), if you have not already done so. You may qualify for FSA loans or other assistance from the FSA programs, and the terms and conditions of an FSA loan may be more favorable than the provisions of the private education loans. It is also advised that you discuss with a financial aid staff member the availability of other federal, state and institutional student financial aid, prior to pursuing alternative loans.

UIC does not have a preferred lender list or any type of preferred lender arrangement. Students are free to select any lender of their choosing. If you wish to borrow an alternative loan, the OSFA highly encourages you to research multiple lenders and pick the loan that best fits your needs. Interest rates, fees, repayment periods, rebates, etc. can vary by lender and loan program. Finaid.org maintains a thorough list of private lenders which you may want to review in doing your research on lenders. UIC is not responsible for the accuracy or updating of the lender information on this particular website. Please keep in mind that for most alternative loans, a credit check of the applicant and/or the cosigner is required, and repayment sometimes begins immediately.

Private Education Loan Applicant Self-Certification Form

Important: Students applying for private loans must complete and submit to their lender a Private Education Loan Applicant Self-Certification Form prior to the processing of the loan by the lender. In order to insure prompt processing of your application by your lender, please remember to write your Loan Application Identification Number (Loan App ID Number) or your Social Security Number on your Private Loan Self-Certification Form, prior to submitting the form to your lender. The process will vary from lender-to-lender so please make sure to check with your lender on their specific process. Students may find the requested cost and award information listed on their financial aid award letter for the award year in which they are seeking the private loan. Please keep in mind that the lender will require the OSFA to certify similar information and that the lender will use this information to determine eligibility.


Alternative loans are not government loans and require many additional steps. Therefore, please allow at least 3-4 weeks from the time you start the process until the funds are credited to your student account.


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College of Medicine                             National Student Loan Database System (NSLDS)         Financial Counselor for Campus Loans
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