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. In most cases, there is no origination fee. 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 list below represents lenders our students have used during the last three years.