Private or alternative educational loans are not federally guaranteed and should only be considered after your eligibility for all other types of aid, including Federal Pell Grants, Federal Direct Loans, and Federal Direct PLUS loans have been exhausted.

The repayment terms of federal loan programs may be more favorable than the terms of private loans. Private student loans may not be included in Federal Direct Consolidation Loans and are not eligible for the Federal Income-Based Repayment Plans or for Federal Economic Hardship Deferments.

Private educational loan programs require the borrower to have a satisfactory credit history and may require a cosigner in some cases. Before selecting a lender, students should review all program information carefully (interest rates, benefits, repayment provisions, options, etc.).

Visit SimpleTuition Private Loan Comparison Tool for a list of private lenders who currently offer private student loans before selecting a lender. Many additional lenders exist than are posted on SimpleTuition's private loan comparison tool.

If you have an outstanding private loan with a lender that is not listed here and you intend to remain with that lender, contact both the Financial Aid Office ( and the lender directly to initiate the new loan.

In general, graduate students are more successful if they borrow through the Graduate PLUS program rather than through an alternative loan program.

The borrower should initiate a private educational loan application process directly with the lender in order to ensure all of the preliminary steps (credit approvals, promissory notes, etc.) have been completed prior to CCA's certification of the loan application.

Loan Application Tips

Gather information first: current address and phone number, your social security number (SSN), current driver’s license number, employment information—yours and your cosigner’s, if applicable), and the name and contact information for at least one personal reference.

Find a cosigner
Most applicants will need to include a cosigner to meet lender credit requirements.

Select a lender and apply online
Please review the Alternative Educational Loan information and CCA's Private Loan Comparison Tool to compare and choose a lender. It is not required that your lender be listed on CCA’s website.

However, please provide the Financial Aid Office with your lender’s name and contact information.

The Application Disclosure provides general information about your loan once you begin the loan application.

If you have a cosigner, that person should complete all relevant portions online. You may need to provide your cosigner with your application number for reference purposes.

Watch for an email or letter from your lender
This letter should include instructions for "next steps" regarding your application.

Complete the applicant self-certification form
The form may be available online, sent via email as an attachment, or sent via ground service through the United States Postal Service.

Review the applicant self-certification form instructional PDF for additional guidance in filling out the form.

Read your Approval Disclosure
This disclosure offers information on specific loan terms that will not change for at least 30 days. Like the form mentioned above, it may be made available to you online, as an attachment to an email, or sent via U.S. postal service.

Once all required paperwork is received, including the self-certification form, your lender is expected to contact the college to verify you need financial assistance to pay for tuition and other education-related expenses.

It can take up to 48 hours for CCA to provide the lender with the requested information.

Watch for the Final Disclosure that provides information for canceling the loan as well as updated cost information.

After a mandatory cancellation period (required by law), the lender sends the loan funds to CCA, where they are deposited into the student’s CCA account.