Alternative Loans

Alternative Loans are available to students who have received the maximum award amounts under the Federal Direct Loan Program and require additional funding. These loans are sponsored by banks and private lending institutions. The interest rates and repayment schedules may vary. These loans must be certified by the Financial Aid Office before funds can be disbursed. Please contact the Financial Aid Office for additional information.

These loans require repayment, with interest. Students may apply if they:

  • do not qualify for any type of conventional financial aid;
  • are not enrolled in a degree program, but are taking classes through Continuing Education or Open University;
  • are an international student (F or J series visas).

Alternative Loan Features:

  • Credit check is required.
  • Repayment begins while attending school.
  • Higher interest rates than Federal Direct Loan.
  • Possible co-signer needed.
  • There may be prepayment penalties or fees

How to Apply:

  • Contact the lender of choice directly to request an application.
  • Determine the loan amount.  The maximum loan amount is the “Cost of Attendance” established by the Center for Student Financial Aid at Cal State LA.


  • Funds are either mailed and/or electronic transfer to Cal State LA.
  • A check will be mailed for any funds remaining after all charges are paid by the Disbursement Office.

Things to consider: We strongly recommend that you evaluate the following criteria

  • Benefits
  • Customer service
  • Loan servicing
  • Debt counseling
  • Default rate
  • Reliability
  • Accuracy