Financial Aid

Alternative or Private Loans

It is the policy of the Office of Financial Aid to require that students complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) before applying for an alternative or private loan.  By completing the FAFSA, students are able to be considered Federal Direct Student Loans and can also be considered for grants.  

Before the Office of Financial Aid will certify an alternative loan, the student borrower must have made a decision on federal loans offered (not including Federal Direct PLUS Loans) or complete the Alternative Loan Confirmation Form.  This form asks the student to confirm that he or she will:

  • complete the FAFSA and cancel alternative loans
  • complete the FAFSA and use alternative loans as a supplement
  • confirm the decision not to complete the FAFSA and use federal loans (even if the interest rate and repayment terms are better) and only use alternative loans for financing educational costs


Students who are ineligible for federal student aid are exempt from this process:

  • International students
  • Students who have lost financial aid eligibility because of failure to meet academic progress
  • Students who are not enrolled in a degree granting program (except teacher certification and approved pre-degree programs)
  • Students who have reached the maximum loan aggregate in federal student loan programs
  • Students who borrow to pay a past due balance with the University of Michigan-Dearborn
  • Students who are enrolled less than half-time (minimum of 6 credits for undergraduate and 4 credits for graduate students)

Additional information on alternative or private loans can be found at FinAid! The Smart Student Guide to Financial Aid including direct links to individual lenders.

Federal Aid First:  Federal Student Aid Frequently Asked Questions