Alternative loans

Alternative loans are credit-based loans borrowed through private lenders. Generally, borrowers with better credit histories receive better loan terms. You may borrow up to the cost of attendance, less other aid.

Alternative loans generally have higher interest rates and fewer repayment options than federal loans. To apply for federal grants and loans, complete the FAFSA.

Learn more about the advantages of federal loans.

Lender options

Lenders that offer alternative/private student loans  have varying interest rates and terms available.

Be aware that there are two possible scenarios: 

  • Some lenders will require payment while you are in school 
  • Other lenders will let you defer payment, with interest accruing and being added to your balance 

Compare lenders

ELM Select Loan Comparison Tool

You have the right to borrow from any lender; Wayne State University has no financial interest in a student's choice of lender. You should compare alternative loan lenders to determine which lender best meets your needs. You may use the ELM Select Loan Comparison Tool to compare lender terms, rates and repayment options.

The ELM Select Loan Comparison Tool includes lenders who provided 10 or more loans to Wayne State University students for the 2022 calendar year. This list does not imply endorsement, is reviewed periodically and can be changed at any time. 

The application process

  1. You will apply directly through your lender. The application process for alternative loans includes a credit check. You will also be provided with disclosure statements detailing your interest rate, and confirming your acceptance of the loan. 

  1. Once the loan is approved, your lender will contact Wayne State University to request loan certification. Loans can only be certified up to a set estimated cost of attendance.

  1. After your loan has been certified, most lenders will then send the funds to WSU electronically, and the funds will be applied to your student tuition account. Any credit balance remaining will be refunded to you.

Note: Some lenders may send loan funds to Wayne State University via paper check. You must endorse the check before the funds can be applied to your student account. We will notify you if a check is ready for endorsement. 

Private loan self-certification form

Private loan lenders are required to provide loan disclosures to borrowers. They are also required to collect additional information from you on a Private Education Loan Applicant Self-Certification Form, which includes the following:

Cost of attendance: an estimate of tuition and fees, room and board, transportation, and other costs for the period of enrollment covered by the loan. You may obtain your cost of attendance at anytime via Academica.

Estimated financial assistance: all federal, state, institutional, private and other sources of aid. Your estimated financial assistance may be obtained at any time via Academica. If the loan you are currently applying for has already been listed as an award, do not include it as current aid on the self-certification form.

The Self-Certification Form should be submitted directly to your lender, not the Financial Aid Office. To view your cost of attendance and estimated financial assistance figures:

Graduate and professional degree students

Students pursuing a graduate or professional degree are encouraged to consider a Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan.

Parents of undergraduates

 Parents of undergraduates are encouraged to consider a Federal Direct Parent PLUS loan.