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Private Alternative Loan Options

IMPORTANT NOTE: It is our firm belief that families should borrow only when absolutely necessary, and then only to the extent needed. We encourage that serious and deliberate consideration be given to making any borrowing decision. We recommend that you examine all other options, including the federal student loans, before pursuing private loan options, as these loans may be more expensive than other options. The interest rates listed for private loans are either variable or fixed, and monthly payments are extended over several years. Private loans are credit-based and may require a cosigner. If you are not enrolled at least half time, you would not be eligible for federal loans and a private loan may be a viable funding option for you.

Federal regulations require the completion of a Private Education Loan Applicant Self-Certification form for all private education loans. Most lenders will prompt you to complete this form as part of your online application process. The private loan application and disbursement process cannot be completed until the signed Private Education Loan Applicant Self-Certification form has been received by the lender. If your lender does not provide the form then you may obtain the Private Education Loan Applicant Self-Certification form from the Loan Area of the Office of Student Financial Aid and Scholarships. We will assist you in completing the required form.

Vanderbilt University provides a historical list, FASTChoice.

FASTChoice is a tool for comparing a historical list of private loan lenders through which our students have borrowed during the past three award years. The lenders are listed in volume order, and the information provided is accurate to the best of our knowledge. Before viewing the private lender list, you will be prompted to complete the Borrowing Essentials section, an interactive overview of basic borrowing information. If you return to the private lender list at a later time then you can choose to opt out of viewing the Borrowing Essentials section again.

You may use the advanced filters within FASTChoice to assist your search.

Advanced Filters:

  • Borrower Type
  • Interest Rate Type
  • Enrollment
  • Resident Type
  • Non-Degree Seeking
  • Past Due Balances
  • Not Meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress

You may choose to borrow through any lender, including lenders not on this list. If you choose to borrow through a lender that is not on this list, we will process your application and certify your eligibility with that lender.