If you have expenses that are not paid for by the Federal loans or grants you have
received, you may want to investigate private loans as an alternative. Most alternative
loans require a good credit rating and/or a creditworthy co-signer. Terms, fees, and
borrowing limits of alternative loans may differ from lender to lender.
Federal and State Aid First!
The University of Houston-Clear Lake recommends that all students complete the process
for federal and state aid before considering alternative (private) loans. You may
qualify for federal or state grants or loans. The terms and conditions of federal
and state aid may be more favorable than the terms and conditions of alternative loans.
If you decide to forgo the federal and state application process, you will be required
to meet with a financial aid counselor for special loan counseling.
If you served on Active Duty, you might be eligible for education benefits offered
by the Department of Veterans Affairs. For example, the Post-9/11 GI Bill provides
financial support for educational and housing expenses to individuals with at least
90 days of aggregate service after September 10, 2001, or individuals discharged with
a service-connected disability after 30 days. You must have received an honorable
discharge to be eligible for the Post-9/11 GI Bill.
If you are currently serving in the military, you may be eligible for funding offered
through the Department of Defense Tuition Assistance program. Check your eligibility
status and the amount for which you qualify with your Service prior to enrolling.
If you are the spouse or child of a service member who is serving on active duty Title
10 orders in the pay grades of E1-E5, O1-O2, or W1-W2, you may be eligible for financial
assistance from the Department of Defense for education, training, and/or the occupational
license and credentials necessary for a portable career.
If you are the spouse or child of a service member, you may be eligible for transfer
of the service member’s Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits to you.
- Are not federally guaranteed
- Often require certification by the Office of Student Financial Aid
- We will not lend more than the annual cost of attendance minus the total you were
awarded in other financial aid.
- You will be asked to complete a Private/Alternative Loan Self-Certification Form from
your lender. You can find information in your E-services account to complete this
form. If you have issues completing this form, please contact the Office of Financial
Apply to your lender online
Several lenders have expressed an interest in lending to UHCL students. We have partnered
with ELM Resources to provide a lender comparison and application tool. Please visit
our ELM Select website to compare and apply to these lenders. The ELM Select Web site also contains required information about how the lenders they list are selected.
Please note: You are free to select any lender you wish. The lender does not have
to be on the ELM Select website. UHCL will certify an alternative loan to any eligible
student regardless of lender.
Student loan Code of Conduct
In accordance with the Higher Education Opportunity Act, the University of Houston-Clear
Lake's Office of Student Financial Aid maintains and enforces a Student Loan Code of Conduct.
The office also adheres to the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators'
Statement of Ethical Principles and Code of Conduct for Institutional Financial Aid
The federal government requires the University of Houston-Clear Lake to disclose certain
characteristics about the selection of the lenders below. The following FAQ is designed
to maintain compliance with the disclosure regulations. If you have any questions
regarding alternative loans or the information listed below, please feel free to contact
the Office of Student Financial Aid at 281-283-2480 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How did we gather proposals for inclusion on the comparison chart of lenders?
A broadcast message was sent via our state professional organization's electronic
listserv. Lenders are associate members of the state professional organization. Interested
lenders were asked to respond via email for a Request for Information (RFI) form.
Lender representatives who responded to the broadcast message received a RFI via email.
A deadline of June 26, 2015, was given to submit the RFI via email.
2. What criteria did you use to determine which lenders to include in the comparison
chart on ELM Select?
Lenders who completed the RFI were included in the comparison chart on ELM Select.
3. How current is the comparison chart?
All information was received by June 26, 2015. The chart will be used from July 2015
to June 2016, and a new chart will be effective July 2016. Please note: The present
chart is subject to change at any time.
4. Are any of these lenders affiliated with another lender?
Yes, the lenders below are affiliated with one another. Sallie Mae is affiliated with
the following: Nellie Mae, Sallie Mae Bank, Academic Management Services, Regions
Bank, and BBVA Compass.
5. Can I secure an alternative loan before considering federal aid options?
If you are eligible for federal financial aid, you will need to visit with a financial
aid counselor to consider this option. Generally, we will not approve an alternative
loan before awarding all available federal aid first. In general, federal aid has
lower costs and is more favorable for students to utilize than alternative loans.
6. How much can I borrow in an alternative loan?
It depends. The amount you may borrow is the difference in the amount of aid already
awarded subtracted from your Cost of Attendance. For each individual student, this
is a different amount. For example, if your Cost of Attendance is $12,000 and you
received $6,000 in financial aid, you may be able to borrow up to $6,000 in an alternative
loan. However, please note, a lender has to approve you for this amount.
7. Can I borrow from a lender not on the comparison chart?
Yes. You can borrow from any lender you wish. You do not have to borrow from a lender
on the comparison chart.
Note: The University of Houston-Clear Lake cannot be held liable in the event the
borrower and/ or co-borrower is dissatisfied with the rates, terms, or service provided
by any lender, nor is the school responsible for any damages incurred by the borrower
and/or co-borrower as a result of the student's choice of lender. The information
listed above is current as of July 2015.