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Alternative/Private Loans

FIT strongly recommends that you apply for financial aid by filing a FAFSA before applying for an alternative (private) loan in order to be considered for all federal, state, and institutional aid that you may qualify for, (including federal loan programs such as the Direct Student Loan program which may have more beneficial terms than the alternative loan program).If you choose to apply for an alternative loan before you file a FAFSA, we will not process it unless you first submit a Slate Confirmation Form to Financial Aid Services.

Direct Stafford Loans, subsidized and unsubsidized, are the studentís first choice in borrowing. Once you have reached your annual Direct Stafford Loan limit, there are two additional types of federal student loans which are available:  the Parent PLUS Loan (for parents of dependent undergraduate students) or the Graduate PLUS Loan (for students in a graduate program). Another option that is available to consider supplementing your other financial aid with is alternative student loans.

Alternative Loans are private loan programs offered by the lenders to credit-worthy students to meet educational expenses not covered by financial aid. Students who are not eligible may apply with a credit-worthy co-borrower.

An alternative/private student loan may be an appropriate choice for you, if:

  • You have applied for the maximum amount of all federal loans available to you and still have a difference between the cost of attendance and the total financial aid you have received.
  • You are a dependent undergraduate student and your parents will not borrow (or have been denied) a Federal Parent PLUS Loan (see also additional Stafford Unsubsidized Loan.)
  • U.S. government regulations make you ineligible for a federal loan. For example, if you are not making Satisfactory Academic Progress, are in default on a federal loan, choose not to send in verification documents, are enrolled for less than 6 credits, or are ineligible for other reasons, you may be eligible for an alternative loan.
  • You owe for a prior semester.
  • You are an international student.

When applying for alternative loans, it is important to compare interest rates and fees, as well as deferment and repayment options before choosing a loan. The terms of each of these loan programs and lenders vary; so you are advised to investigate each and decide which is most advantageous for you. To assist you in comparing federal and private loans, we have included some "Questions to Ask the Lender" and a Comparison Tool for you to use.

Prior to completing an application and promissory note, we suggest you apply for pre-approval to determine whether or not you need a co-borrower. If you have had prior educational loans with any lender, it is recommended that you apply with your previous lender.

If you apply online and are pre-approved, the lender you select will notify FIT that you completed the application and promissory note. If you are a degree student, have been accepted and have paid a tuition deposit, we will complete a certification form that completes the process. If you applied prior to your acceptance into FIT, a certification form will not be completed unless you are admitted and pay a tuition deposit. If you are not a degree seeking student, we will not certify your loan until you have registered for classes. The amount for which you may be eligible depends upon the cost of attendance minus any financial aid you may be awarded.  

We encourage you to review your charges and apply only for the amount you need. Loans must be repaid with interest. Delinquencies have dire circumstances and can ruin your credit for years.

FIT neither provides nor maintains a list of suggested alternative loan lenders. However, as a service, FIT has provided a link to a list of Alternative Loan options provided by FASTChoice (if you have problems viewing the FASTChoice site, copy and paste this link: https://choice.fastproducts.org/FastChoice/home/286600/1 into another browser (such as Mozilla Firefox or Safari). This is a historical list that includes lenders that have been chosen by FIT students over the last 5-years. You are free to choose any lender, regardless if they are listed.

The data accessible through this linked website is for informational purposes only and is not represented to be error free. Any link to non-Fashion Institute of Technology information is provided as a courtesy and does not imply endorsement, investigation or verification by the College of the linked website or information contained therein.


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