There are two basic categories of loans available: federal loans and private or 'alternative' loans. In general, the federal loans for students (also called Federal Direct Loans and Federal Perkins Loans) should be your first choice.
Alternative loans do not require a FAFSA and may be a solution if, after receiving your financial aid package, you still find a gap between your direct cost to the college and your available funds. The studednt is the borrower, but the loan requires a credit-worthy co-signer. The interest rates are usually variable and are currently very low for co-signers with excellent credit.
Based on the credit-worthiness of the co-signer, some lenders are offering fixed interest rates. In most cases, there is no origination fee and repayment is deferred while the student is in school (interest accrues during in-school and repayment periods). If you are interested in this loan program, you should shop around as there are many lenders out there with competitive interest rates and repayment options. The link below will provide you with reputable lenders our students have used during the last three years.