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Alternative Loans

Private student loans should be considered after applying for federal and state financial aid.  Private student loans are available to supplement your federal financial aid award if you need additional financial aid.  If you need to complete a FAFSA (Free Application for Student Aid) click here   You can complete a FAFSA even if the semester has already begun.

DMACC highly recommends that you meet with a financial aid advisor before the applying for a private loan. Contact our office at 1-800-362-2127 to schedule an appointment.
The Federal Student Aid Office has more information for comparing private student loans and federal student loans on their website.  Click here for more information

Some things to consider:

  • Does the loan require a co-signer?  Even if you qualify for the loan on your own, will having a cosigner lower your interest rate?
  • If your loan requires a co-signer, can the co-signer be released at some point during repayment?
  • Private student loan applications require a credit check.  Lenders will review your credit history when determining whether to provide you with a private student loan.
  • What is the interest rate?
  • Is the interest rate fixed or variable?  If you don’t know, be sure to ask your lender what the difference is.
  • When does repayment begin?
  • When does the interest begin accruing?
  • Review your financial aid award and your expenses to evaluate how much you should borrow.
  • How many credits must you be registered for to receive the loan?  Some lenders require you to be registered half-time.

Applying for a Private Student Loan

If you have decided on a lender, the lender will handle the application process. provides a loan comparison chart that may help you with deciding which lender to use.  You may use any lender you wish and are not subject to use a lender from this list.  You might start with your own personal bank to see what student loans they offer.  When you do choose a lender, be sure the lender will work with DMACC. 

FinAid’s website:

Historical Lender List

Des Moines Area Community College does not have a preferred lender list for private student loans.  The list below provides information regarding lenders that have provided loans to students at DMACC over the past 3 years.  You do not have to use a lender from this list.  You may choose a lender from any lender you find that gives you that meets your needs and requirements. 

Lender Phone Number
Wells Fargo 888-511-7302
Iowa Student Loan 855-811-9849
Sallie Mae 888-272-5543
Minnesota Office of Higher Education - Self Loan 800-657-3866

Receiving the funds from your Private Student Loan

Once you have been approved by your private lender for a student loan, your lender will send your loan information to DMACC to be certified.  Once this is complete, the funds will be sent to DMACC. All private loans, as with other financial aid funds, are first applied directly to your DMACC account to pay charges for tuition and other college-related charges. If your loan funds exceed the charges on your student account, you will then receive these funds (referred to as a "refund") to pay other educationally related expenses. Alternative loans will not exceed the cost of attendance at DMACC.  Disbursing or crediting your student account with private loan funds will only occur after verifying that you are attending the courses for which you are registered.  More information about when funds are released to students can be found by visiting the “Release of Funds Information” portion of this website.

Please note:

  • “Guest” students are eligible to apply for Sallie Mae Loans, Wells Fargo Loans, and Iowa Student Loans.
  • Students who are enrolled less than halftime are eligible to apply for Sallie Mae Loans and Wells Fargo Loans only.
  • Iowa Student Loan (Partnership) requires halftime enrollment.
  • Applicants for the Sallie Mae Loans and Wells Fargo Loans must apply for a minimum of $1000.00.
  • Applicants for Iowa Student Loan must apply for a minimum of $1001.00.
  • Private loan amounts are limited by a student’s cost of attendance (student budget) as determined by the Financial Aid Office.