While alternative loans should be your last resort, they can be necessary when other financial aid doesn't cover the entire bill. These loans may not come with the same protections as federal student loans and NC Assist Loans so take your time to shop around. Find the lender with the lowest interest rates, flexible repayment plans, and other borrower protections.
Before you borrow an alternative loan make sure you understand the terms and conditions of the loan. Get the answers to these common questions:
- Is the interest rate fixed or variable?
- What are the fees?
- What is the loan term (length of loan)?
- How are the funds disbursed (to you or the school)?
- Are there loan limits?
- When do you begin repayment?
- Do you need a co-signer (another person to be legally responsible for paying your loan if you do not)?
- What repayment plans do they offer?
- What deferment options are available?
Remember, never borrow more than you need or can reasonably repay.