Private Alternative Loans

A private education loan, also known as an "alternative loan" is a non-governmental loan made by a bank to an individual expressly for the purposes of paying for college expenses such as tuition, room and board and other associated costs. Traditionally, private alternative loans are used to cover the "gap" between what the cost of education and what a student's financial aid, such as scholarships, grants, and limited federal loans, can cover.

ORU strongly encourages all students to exhaust all other sources of financial aid before applying for a private alternative loan. Unlike federal loans, private alternative loans have variable interest rates, fees, and strict credit criteria. Most lenders will require the student to have a co-signer with excellent credit history, acceptable debt-to-income ratio, verifiable employment and income, and other credit building criteria. These factors vary by lender and will determine the borrower's interest rate and fees. Interest will accrue on the loan while the student is in school, during grace, and during repayment. Repayment plans and forbearance options are available but limited. Some lenders require the borrower to make interest-only payments while in school.

Students should carefully compare their options when selecting a private lender. New FICO rules allow potential borrowers to "comparison shop" without the inquiry affecting their credit score so long as the inquiries all occur within 30 days. For a list of lenders we work with please see the following link: The application process for an alternative loan can be initiated online by following the link provided.

Please allow 5-10 business days for the initial conditional approval and up to 30 days during peak season for the Lender's final processing and approval. Completion of the application is solely dependent on the expediency of the borrower in providing the required signatures, information, and documentation. Lenders will notify the school of approved and complete applications within 3-5 additional business days.

*Oral Roberts University is dedicated to providing the most efficient customer service to our students. In an effort to achieve this goal, we issue formal information requests to student loan lenders based on the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA) best practices to recommend lenders that provide the most competitive pricing, reliable technology, and dedication to quality customer service (click here to view the request). Students may choose from our recommended list or any lender they believe best meets their needs. Please contact the Financial Aid Office if you wish to select a lender that is not represented on our Recommended Lender List.

Know your rights as a borrower, "Truth in Lending Act"