All loan borrowers are encouraged to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Although a student may be approved by their lender to borrow an alternative loan, LMU Financial Aid will not certify or disburse any loan funds until they complete Alternative Loan Counseling. LMU Financial Aid does not prefer, recommend, promote, endorse, or suggest any lenders. LMU Financial Aid will process loans from any eligible lender that a student selects.
Alternative loans* are credit-based loans offered by a variety of third-party lenders. These loans are borrowed by the student and require the student to have a satisfactory credit history or a creditworthy co-borrower.
Students may borrow up to their LMU cost of attendance, minus any other financial aid they receive. Loan fees, interest rates, and repayment terms vary by lender, so please review all application information very carefully.
Applying for a Loan
Alternative Loan Application Process
1. Apply for Loan
- Go to our Alternative Loan Portal to compare and select the best loan for your situation.
- Complete the Self-certification form provided by the lender.
2. Get a Cosigner
- Do you need a cosigner?
- Discuss Loan details with your cosigner.
- Complete the application together.
3. Alternative Loan counseling
- Monitor your PROWL account via MyLMU.
- Complete Alternative Loan Counseling form with help of the Disclosure and Solicitation form.
- Submit to Secure Document Upload.
4. Certification and Disbursement
- Financial Aid notifies the lender of the approved loan amount in 3-5 business days.
- Once certified, the loan will disburse in 10-15 business days.
Alternative Loan Counseling helps promote responsible borrowing among students considering private financing options. It is an opportunity for the student borrower and the counselor to ensure that all forms of federal assistance have been considered, as well as to gather information about the terms and conditions of the loan.
To make the counseling accessible during COVID-19, it has been made available to complete digitally via the Alternative Loan Counseling form available on our forms page.
Students are expected to know the following terms of their loan:
- Name of lender
- Interest rate
- Fixed or variable interest rate
- Repayment term
- Repayment plan
- Amount borrowing
LMU Financial Aid highly recommends students read and have the Application and Solicitation Disclosure Form provided by the lender readily available to help complete the form. Upon counseling completion, students must upload it to our secure uploads portal for review. Once submitted, we ask students to allow 3-5 business days for certification and 10-15 business days for disbursement.
In general, alternative loan funds will be disbursed electronically to your student account, equally over the terms of enrollment (50% in the fall semester and 50% in the spring semester). During Alternative Loan Counseling you may request a different disbursement schedule and LMU Financial Aid will make every effort to accommodate your request.
Rules for repayment vary from lender to lender. Some lenders may defer repayment during periods of enrollment, but it is best to verify repayment terms directly with your lender. Please note that private loans are not eligible for Federal Direct Consolidation, Federal Income-Based Repayment plans, or Federal Economic Hardship Deferments.