UT Tyler Financial Aid

Financial Aid

Alternative Loans

Alternative Loans are administered and processed by private lenders to be utilized for educational costs not already covered by other forms of financial aid.

The University of Texas at Tyler uses ELMSelect to maintain a historical lender list, while we cannot recommend any one lender over any other you can see what lenders other students are using and compare them. To use ELMSelect choose your program from the dropdown list and review the historical lender list.

Application Process

Alternative Loans take longer to process than the Federal Direct programs due to the federally mandated right-to-cancel period and the manual nature of processes. Please see the guide below for information on how to apply.

  1. Select your preferred lender either using ELMSelect or another method. Complete the application process through the lender's website following their guidelines. Be sure to use the correct School Code: 01116300
  2. When applying be sure to enter the correct loan term, the loan term can be for a single term or for both the Fall and Spring terms. Use the academic calender to determine your preferred loan term.
  3. Complete all disclosures and agreements with your lender, if you are unsure of any part of the process reach out to the lender.
  4. If approved, you will be asked to complete an additional disclosure from the lender.
  5. We will then receive notification of your loan allowing us to certify the loan, please note that we will not certify the loan unless you are enrolled in a qualifying number of credit hours.
  6. Once the certification process is complete you will need to complete a final loan disclosure statement from the lender.


The final process will take ten business days at least so make sure to plan accordingly.

Tips for Reviewing Student Loan Options

Ask questions, you are responsible for knowing what type of loan and the terms you are agreeing to. We highly recommend utilizing federal aid via the FAFSA before applying for any alternative loans.

Things to look for and questions to ask

  • What is the interest rate? Compare interest rates before choosing a loan as the interest rate will impact how much you end up paying back.
  • Is the interest rate fixed or variable? Variable interest rates can and will change over time while fixed rates remain the same as long as you have the loan.
  • Is the interest capitalized? If it is, the amount of money you ultimately owe will increase over time.
  • Is there an origination fee? Origination fees are charged by some lenders and are paid out of the initial loan value.
  • Are there any penalties for paying the loan off early?
  • Are there any benefits offered by the lender such as reduced interest rate for auto pay?
  • When will you need to start repaying? Some lenders require you start repayment while still in school while others defer payment until after graduation.
  • What options are there for repayment? Different lending programs may have different repayment options.
  • Will you require a co-signer? Student borrowers often have little to no credit history so some lenders may require you to get a cosigner.
  • Are there other requirements for eligibility? Some loans require you to be enrolled in at least a certain number of credit hours or to being meeting  the University Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements.

Credit Checks

Nearly all alternative loans are credit based and will subject you to a credit check. If you want to apply to multiple loans you can avoid multiple credit hits by applying to all of them within a 30 day period, if you apply more than 30 days apart you will have multiple credit checks that can impact your overall credit worthiness.