Private Alternative Loans Students who need additional funds after considering the federal student loans listed above or students who are ineligible for federal aid – may need to apply for a private alternative loan. There are several private commercial educational loan options to assist students and families in meeting college costs. You should only consider obtaining a private alternative loan only if you need funds above and beyond the maximum amount of Federal Direct Loans or you don’t qualify for federal financial aid. You are also encouraged to compare private alternative loan costs with those of the Federal Direct Loan programs. Most private alternative lenders rely heavily on the creditworthiness of the student and cosigner to determine whether or not a loan application will be approved as well as the interest rate to be assessed. Marshall University recommends that borrowers compare and research various private alternative lenders available in the marketplace, but to avoid direct-to-consumer loans. Direct-to-consumer loans often have much higher interest rates than private alternative educational loans. Usually direct-to-consumer loans do not require school certification. A good place to begin your research for Private Alternative Educational Loans is at ELMSELECT. When applying for a private educational loan, the borrower must complete a Private Education Loan Self-Certification Form and submit it to the private educational lender. This form may be obtained directly from the private lender or by clicking this Private Education Loan Self-Certification Form link. The Private Education Loan Self-Certification Form includes the following information: The student’s Cost of Attendance (COA) for the period of enrollment covered by the loan; Any Estimated Financial Assistance (EFA) for the period covered by the loan; and The difference between the COA and EFA.