Student Financial Services
Alternative Loans

Preferred Lender List
Baylor utilizes ELMSelect, a neutral lender and product comparison tool, to present the lenders on our preferred lender list to you. Click here to visit our lender list on the ELMSelect site.

Rights and Responsibilities
You have the right to decline any financial aid that you are offered. You have a number of rights and responsibilities pertaining to borrowing student loans. Click here for a list of important rights and responsibilities of which you should be aware.

The lender you choose will require you to complete a Private Education Loan Applicant Self-Certification form. For a copy of the form that you may print, click here. (The lender may provide the form for you electronically. We recommend you use the version provided by the lender because you may be able to expedite it by electronically signing and submitting it.)


Alternative loans should be considered once you have explored the options available through the Direct Subsidized/Unsubsidized and/or PLUS loan programs. Some families turn to alternative loans when the federal loans don't provide enough money or when they need more flexible repayment options. (For example, a parent might be willing to cosign a note for the student but may want the student to bear primary responsibility for repaying the loan.)

Advantages of a Co-signer

Eligibility for alternative loans often depends on the student's credit score; therefore, a cosigner is most often required. Even if a cosigner is not required, the student can usually receive a more favorable rate with a cosigner. Alternative loans generally cost more than the education loans offered by the federal government but are less expensive than credit card debt.

Fixed versus Variable

Some lenders offer a fixed rate product, while others offer a variable rate product. Some lenders offer both types. A fixed interest rate will not fluctuate over time. A variable interest rate moves (up or down) based on changes of an underlying index. Some variable rate loans have an interest cap which cannot be exceeded.

Determining How Much to Borrow

Use your award letter, your BearWeb account, or contact a counselor in the Student Financial Aid Office to determine your maximum alternative loan eligibility. You should only request loan funds to cover your specific educational needs rather than the maximum allowed for the enrollment period. We recommend you borrow for the full academic year, not one semester at a time. Interest does not begin accruing on each portion of the loan until that portion is actually disbursed. Calculate how much you need to borrow for the semester and double that amount to cover both the fall and spring semesters. If you need help preparing a personalized budget, you may make an individual appointment by emailing

Loan Periods

Use the following dates for summer 2016 and 2016-2017 loan periods on your application. Please note, online programs may have different loan periods. Contact our office if you have questions. Also, please remember to enter the requested loan amount.

Undergraduates and Graduate Sudents

Fall/Spring 08/16 - 05/17
Fall 08/16 - 12/16
Spring 01/17 - 05/17
Summer 05/17 - 08/17

Law Students

Fall/Winter/Spring 08/16 - 04/17
Fall 08/16 - 11/16
Winter 11/16 - 01/17
Spring 02/17 - 04/17
Summer 05/17 - 08/17

Choosing a Lender

You are NOT restricted to the lenders presented on our preferred lender list. You should not be directed to any specific lender by the University; you may choose any participating lender and follow their application process.

Some important factors for you to consider in choosing a lender include cost (interest rates and potential origination fees), flexibility (repayment options), and customer service. Common customer service considerations include the availability of a fixed rate loan product, account information online, deferment options, and cosigner release options.

Baylor's lender list was established by an open Request for Information (RFI) process and scored by a University committee who reviewed submissions from lenders in spring 2015 on the basis of borrower benefits and services, timely processing, and prompt customer service. Placement on the lender list is the result of our evaluation of the lender's borrower benefits offered, flexibility, and customer service to you and our staff.

To comply with the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 (HEOA), Baylor has adopted the federally mandated Code of Conduct for Education Loans to address specific legislative concerns relating to educational loan programs.