Private/Alternative Loan

A private/alternative loan (BALP) is a consumer-based, non-need-based loan. The interest rate for an alternative loan is usually considerably higher than the rate for a federal loan. Depending on your lender there may be no payments required while you are enrolled half-time or more.

Things You Should Know Before Applying for an Private/Alternative Loan

  • Apply for FASFA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid).
    • Even if a student has a high EFC (Expected Family Contribution) FASFA will offer federal loans options to students without SAP issues.
    • Federal loans may offer lower interest rates and better repayment options than private/alternative loans.
  • Private/Alternative loan interest rates are credit-based.
    • Borrowers and/or co-signers with a good to excellent credit score are recommended.
  • Private/Alternative loans in combination with all other financial aid and scholarships cannot exceed the student’s budget.


  • Students are required to be enrolled in at least a half-time standing.
    • Half-time for undergraduates is 6 credits.
    • Half-time for graduates is 5-6 credits.
  • Undergraduate students must be in a degree seeking program. Graduate specials may be eligible to receive private/alternative loans provided loan lender requirements are met.
  • Student must meet Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) policy.

How to Borrow a Private/Alternative Loan

  • The borrower will apply directly with their lender of choice.
  • Borrowers have the right to select any lender. It is important to compare interest rates and borrower/repayment benefits.
  • Lenders most often selected by the University of Nevada, Reno, private/alternative loan borrowers
    • If you do choose another lender, you will suffer no penalty for selecting your lender of choice is a link to the lenders most often selected by the University private/alternative loan borrowers.
  • After you apply, the lender will contact our office electronically to request certification.

Private Education Loan Applicant Self-Certification

Repayment Calculator

Alternative Loan Repayment Calculator