FINANCIAL AID OFFICE

LOANS

 

Private (Alternative) Education Loans

If you decide to borrow always think federal aid first! Complete a FAFSA online at www.fafsa.ed.gov after Jan 1st each year to take advantage of federal grants and federal Direct Stafford Loans. Federal loans may have more beneficial terms and conditions than private loans which may include more flexible repayment options (standard, graduated, extended, income-based, income-contingent, etc.), deferment and forbearance options,  Public Service Loan Forgiveness (if qualified), Teacher Loan Forgiveness (if qualified), and Loan Discharge (for example due to a total & permanent disability).  The interest rate on private loans is determined based on the creditworthiness of the student and often requires a co-signer.  As a result the interest rate may be lower than federal Direct Loans for applicants who  have superior credit profiles, or alternatively, much higher than federal Direct Loans for those who have poor credit profiles.  In addition, federal Direct Stafford Loans may be consolidated into a Federal Direct Consolidation Loan which is not credit based; you need not have good credit to qualify.  Private loans cannot be consolidated into a Federal Direct Consolidation Loan, resulting in multiple loan payments upon graduation for students who have opted to borrow private loans, especially for those who choose to borrow from more than one lender.  Therefore, it is important to consider many factors in addition to the interest rate and do your research before choosing which loan is right for you.

If you have already taken advantage of federal grants and loans and still find the need for funds keep in mind the following tips and guidelines when selecting a lender. Always borrow conservatively – only borrow what you need. The choice of a lender is your personal decision. We strongly urge you to do your research and ask the following questions when selecting a lender:

  • What is the interest rate on the loan?  Is it variable or fixed? 
  • Will I need a co-signer?
  • What fees are associated with taking the loan (is there an origination or backend fee)?
  • Will funds be disbursed electronically or by a paper check that I will need to sign?
  • When does interest begin accruing and when does repayment begin? 
  • What will my estimated monthly payment amount be?
  • What repayment options are available to me?
  • If I am having difficulty making payments, what options do I have?
  • How long has the lender been in business?
  • Does the lender service its loans or are they sold to another lender or servicer once the loan has been disbursed to me?
  • If applying at a credit union, do I have to be a member?

Below is contact information for lenders and credit unions that Buffalo State College students have borrowed from during the previous three years.   Again you may choose to borrow from any lender and are reminded to do your research!

 Tip Sheet for Alternative Loans 

Lenders Selected by BSC Students– Previous 3 Years:

Remember – you are free to borrow from any lender you choose, including but not limited to the following:

  

Credit Unions/Other Selected by BSC Students– Previous 3 Years:

Remember – you are free to borrow from any lender you choose, including but not limited to the following:

Teachers Federal Credit Union

 

cuStudentChoice - network of various credit unions including:

  • AmeriCU Credit Union
  • Erie General Electric
  • FCU Holy Rosary Regional Credit Union
  • Money Federal Credit Union
  • Nassau Educators FCU
  • Northern Federal Credit Union
  • USF Federal Credit Union
  • Visions Federal Credit Union
 

Additional Helpful Information