Alternative and College Access Loans
Alternative education loans should only be considered after students and parents have explored federal loan options which often have lower interest rates. Students who have not applied for federal aid, including federal loan programs, may do so by completing the FAFSA online.
Alternative education loans are designed to assist students that have exhausted their federal aid options or are otherwise not eligible (i.e. non-degree seeking student in certificate or certification program) for federal aid.
ASU does not promote or endorse any alternative education loans lenders. If you feel that an alternative loan may be best for you, we recommend comparing loan products and lenders to find the best interest rate and repayment options for your situation.
ASU uses FastChoice as an online, lender-neutral platform to display a historically cumulative list of lenders and education loan products that our students have used. You are welcome to borrow funds from the private lender of your choice regardless of the their inclusion on this page. No matter who you choose, we highly recommend you compare and research your options ahead of time to find the best fit for you and your family. Along the way, we’ll be happy to answer any questions or provide information as much as we’re able.
Please note that lenders may require or strongly recommend a cosigner in order to approve a loan or provide the best interest rate possible. Some alternative education loans may also require payments while the student is still in-school.
Visit FastChoice to view Alternative Education Loan options.
You MUST complete the ‘Borrowing Essentials’ Loan Counseling.
College Access Loan (CAL)
The College Access Loan Program provides alternative educational loans to Texas students. Students do not have to demonstrate financial need. However, the amount of federal aid for which you are eligible (regardless of whether actually accepted) must be deducted from the cost of attendance in determining the CAL loan amount.
The CAL is awarded based on the requirements set by The Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) and the availability of funds. The CAL is awarded only to Texas residents. The CAL is a student initiated process. The application process includes the application, credit check, and self-certification.
Students may borrow up to the amount of their full cost of attendance minus all other financial aid they are eligible for, including amounts not yet accepted. (No less than $100.00)
ASU utilizes FastChoice, an online neutral lender and product comparison tool. Access our comparison tool by visiting FastChoice.
Advantages of a Co-Signer
Eligibility for alternative loans often depends on the student’s credit score; therefore, a cosigner is most often required. Even if a cosigner is not required, the student can usually receive a more favorable rate with a cosigner. Alternative loans generally cost more than the educational loans offered by the federal government but are less expensive than credit card debt.