Alternative Student Loan (Private Student Loan)
Alternative or private loans can be used by students who cannot cover the cost of attendance with federal student loans due to having reached annual and/or aggregate totals or have school-related expenses that cannot be funded with federal funds. These loans are similar to consumer loans in that loan approval is based on the borrower's credit record. Most lenders offer a pre-determination of eligibility prior to actual application. These loans are unsubsidized and the interest accrues, beginning at the date of disbursal (including in-school enrollment). There tends to be no cap on the interest rate, which is variable. For most alternative loans, eligibility for the amount borrowed must be certified by the Financial Aid Office. Students should note these factors when considering an alternative loan:
- fees deducted from the proceeds of the loan prior to disbursal
- potential that the lender may sell the loan(s)
- length of deferment for residency program and grace period
- frequency of capitalization of interest accrued on the loan(s)
- repayment options and benefits
- co-signer options
- determination of interest rate
FASTChoice is an interactive tool that helps students with private loan education and processing. The list of lenders on FASTChoice is not a comprehensive list. Students always have the option to select a lender that does not appear on this list.
With Direct Federal Student Loans, students can:
- borrow directly from the federal government and have a single contact for everything related to the repayment of loans, including Direct Loans at different schools.
- complete the Direct Loan application process online.
- have online access to Direct Loan account information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Financial Resources for International Students
To be eligible for federal financial assistance, a student must be a U.S. Citizen, National, Permanent Resident (hold an I-151, I1551, or I1551C Alien Registration Receipt Card) or an eligible non-citizen [have an Arrival-Departure Record (I-94) from the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service] showing one of the following designations:
- Asylum Granted
- Indefinite Parole or Humanitarian Parole
- Cuban-Haitian Entrant, Status Pending
- Conditional Entrant (valid only if issued before April 1, 1980)
Students are not eligible for federal financial assistance if they:
- have a Notice of Approval to Apply for Permanent Residence (I-171 or I-464);
- are in the United States on an F1 only;
- have G series visas (pertaining to international organizations).
International students who do not qualify for federal financial assistance must document that they have sufficient financial resources to finance a medical education. Most international students who do not have sufficient personal financial resources (i.e., savings, sponsorship, scholarship funds) rely on qualifying for a private student loan (usually with an approved co-signer). Eligibility for the amount borrowed must be certified by the Financial Aid Office.
Helpful Web sites:
- Canadian Student Financial Aid Information
- Citizen's One
- College Avenue
- Sallie Mae
- Wells Fargo
- Wells Fargo MedCAP-XTRA Loan
Student Loan Programs and Required Credit Review
Negative credit can prevent approval for the following:
- Graduate PLUS Direct Loan
- Residency and Relocation Loan (for fourth-year students)
- Alternative (Private) Student Loan
Negative credit may also require a student borrower to have a co-signer on the loan. Students should request a copy of their credit report before beginning school and resolve any outstanding problems. Credit scores will affect the interest rates on private student loans, with a poor credit score resulting in a higher interest rate. Most lenders do not set a cap on interest rates and the amount of interest can be charged during the life of the loan.
Residency and Relocation Loans
This loan program is available to assist fourth-year students with the costs associated with residency application, travel for interviews, and relocation for residency, if applicable. Residency and relocation costs cannot be included in the cost of attendance and funded by federal funds. The Financial Aid Office does not process these loans. Residency and relocation loans do not require certification of eligibility.
- SallieMae Medical Residency & Relocation Loan
- PNC Bank Medical Professions Loan Program
- Wells Fargo
This is not a comprehensive list of participating loan lenders. Students are always free to select other lenders.