Sometimes standard financial aid is insufficient to cover the costs of a college education. For some students, this could mean the inability to stay in school. This situation is not optimal, but it is a reality that some students now face. Here at UMF, we recognize that students and parents may be looking for other ways to pay for college. The UMF Financial Aid Office does not sponsor or endorse any private alternative loans, but we have found information at the following FAME link to be a helpful source of information for students and parents. In addition, there is excellent available information at finaid.org.
The Federal Truth-In-Lending Act has changed the regulations necessary for borrowers to receive private educational loans. Specific adjustments include providing three detailed disclosures to the borrower throughout the loan application and approval process, obtaining a borrower self-certification form and providing a three-day right to cancel period in which the student may cancel the loan.
The borrower must submit a signed self-certification form to the lender. This form, which is completed and signed by the student, must show the student’s cost of attendance, expected family contribution, estimated financial assistance, total aid and the maximum private loan amount allowed. The self-certification form is available here or from your lender.
Students who borrow alternative loans after February 14, 2010 will receive the following disclosures during the course of the loan application process:
1. At the Time the Student Applies for the Loan – This initial disclosure provides general loan rates, fees and terms including the maximum rate and maximum payment amount possible. It also contains information on the availability of federal student loans (Stafford and PLUS Loans) that may be available at lower interest rates.
2. Upon Approval of the Loan – This disclosure provides specific loan information for the applicant and estimates the total repayment amount based on both the current rate (at the time of approval) and the maximum interest rate that may be charges under the loan program.
3. After the Student Accepts the Loan – This final disclosure explains that a student has a three day cancellation period in which the cancel the loan. The loan funds will not be sent to the school until three business days have passed. (Some lenders have a longer cancellation period)
Regulations for Lenders Upon Acceptance of the Loan
When an alternative loan has been approved, the applicant must be given 30 days to accept the loan. During this time, the lender cannot change the rates or terms of the loan officer unless:
- changes are made based on the index to which the loan is tied
- the change is to the benefit of the borrower; or
- the change is made upon request of the borrower.
Additional information regarding Private Alternative Loans pertinent to UMF may be found at: www.elmselect.com
- Type in school name under school search – UMF
- Compare loans and check details as needed.
- Select the lender of your choice and contact them either online or via telephone to begin the pre-approval process. We do not accept any paper applications.
- Your lender will perform a credit review. If approved, your lender will either mail you a pre-printed promissory note and self-certification that you will need to complete and return to your lender or provide you with a website where you can file electronically.
- Once we have received notification from your lender that you have been approved and have returned all the necessary paperwork, we will certify your loan. You may check at mainestreet.maine.edu or may call Merrill Center Student Services (207) 778-7100 to check on the status of your loan.
- Once the lender has received all necessary information from you and our office, they will send your loans funds to UMF.
- The funds will then be applied to your UMF account to cover expenses. If applicable, a refund check will be issued if there is a credit balance.
The list of alternative loan lenders on Elm Select has been researched carefully and compiled based on interest rates, origination fees, Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements, payment of prior balance options, repayment terms and options, enrollment options, as well as other factors. The information that is provided will be reviewed and then updated every two years to give the best possible alternative loan options for students. There is no obligation for students to use the lenders listed and may apply for an alternative loan with any lender they choose. The list is available as a tool for students to start their search and a way to compare different alternative loan options. Please contact our office with any questions about your alternative loan options.