Alternative Loan

Due to the various interest rates, fees and student loan indebtedness, Whittier Colleges encourages all undergraduates to have their parents apply for a Federal Direct PLUS Loan first with the Alternative loan as a loan of last resort. To learn more about the Federal Direct PLUS Loan, click here.

Graduates - We encourage you to apply for the Federal Direct Loans first, Federal Direct PLUS loan for graduate students second, with the Alternative loan as a loan of last resort. To learn more about the Federal Direct Loans, click here. To learn about the Federal Direct PLUS Loan for graduate students, click here.

Who Is Eligible?

This is a private loan in the student's name. A creditworthy co-signer is recommended and may be required to keep the loan fees and interest rate to a minimum. The student and co-borrower must be a U.S. Citizen or permanent resident. International students are welcome to apply for this loan; however a creditworthy U.S. Citizen or permanent resident cosigner is required.

Although most lenders provide these loans based on at least half-time enrollment, there are a few lenders who will provide this loan to students enrolled less than half-time.

Amount of Eligibility 

You may borrow up to the cost of attendance minus any other financial aid received. Be advised that some lenders may limit the amount that you can borrow to assist with loan indebtedness.

Interest Rate

The interest rate may vary depending upon the lender and the creditworthiness of the student and their co-signer.


Your Alternative Loan funds will be sent via EFT (Electronic Funds Disbursement) and/or paper check.  The funds will be applied directly onto your Whittier College student account. The loan amount borrowed is divided into a fall and a spring disbursement. Provided that all requirements are complete for the Alternative loan (contact your lender for assistance) funds will be applied to your Whittier College student account seven days prior to the first day of class.


Repayment begins six months after you graduate or are enrolled less than half-time. There is no prepayment penalty and depending upon the lender repayment terms range from 15 to 25 years. 

How to Apply for an Alternative/Private Loan

You should exhaust all other methods of financing your education including federal loans, grants, and scholarships, before taking out a private student loan.

If you would like to research your alternative loan options, please visit our alternative loan page by clicking here, this free online resource will help you compare private student loans.

Once we have received notification that the Alternative loan has been approved and the application is complete, we will process your Alternative loan.

FASTChoice Alternative Loan List