Alternative Loans

Private Loans

Private/Alternative student loans are available to students to help cover educational expenses once their federal aid options have been exhausted. Private loans are funded by external third parties; Des Moines Area Community College is not a lender. Private loans are subject to a credit analysis, may require a co-signer, and are not guaranteed.  Each individual lender sets the loan interest, repayment, fees, and the terms and conditions of their private loans.

A first time private loan borrower is encouraged to meet with a financial aid advisor before the loan is certified by the Financial Aid Department. Contact our office at 1-800-362-2127 to schedule an appointment.

A borrower can borrow a private loan from any lender of their choice. When selecting a lender, a borrower should consider the following:

  • Does the loan require a co-signer? If the loan does require a co-signer, is there an option to release the co-signer once I’ve successfully started repayment?
  • Does the loan have an origination fee.?
  • Is the interest rate fixed or variable? If it is variable, is there a maximum rate?
  • When does repayment start? Do I have to pay interest while I am enrolled?

How to apply for a Private/Alternative Loan

Step 1 of 2: Select a lender of your choice or start with our preferred lender list, see below.

Step 2 of 2: Apply for the loan with the lender you have chosen. Make sure all steps are completed with the lender to ensure the loan can be disbursed in a timely manner

Preferred Lender List Disclosures

This list was selected through contact with the Financial Aid Department by the Lenders.  Lenders submitted information to the Financial Aid Department concerning their loan products

  • Lenders were evaluated based on efficiency of loan processing, customer service, interest rates, origination fees, and repayment incentives for the student
  • Each lender on this preferred lender list is unaffiliated with the others
  • A student is not required to borrow from a lender on this list, and may apply for a private student loan with any lender

The maximum federal grant for 2014-2015 is:
1. Pell Grant - $5,730
2. SEOG - $500.00 is the maximum award if full time at DMACC.

The maximum federal loan is:

  • Stafford Loan (Direct Loan) -
    1. Freshman dependent students - $5,500
    2. Freshman independent - $9,500
    3. Sophomore dependent students - $6,500
    4. Sophomore independent students - $10,500
  • PLUS Loan - The borrower is eligible to borrow up to the cost of attendance less other financial aid. The PLUS Loan is subject to a credit analysis
  • Required Truth in Lender Act (TILA) disclosures are provided for each lender on the preferred lender list. TILA disclosures are attached as a PDF for the borrower to download and review.  

Alternative Loans

All alternative 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. Alternative Loan applicants are required to apply for need-based aid by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Sample List of Alternative, Non-Need-Based Loans

The following information compares a few alternative, non-need-based educational loan options. The programs listed are only a sample of the numerous alternative loan programs available; students should shop around and compare each borrowing option based on their own personal borrowing needs. Students are free to borrow from any lender they wish and are not limited to those listed here. For help comparing options, see the FinAid website loan analyzer at

Please note:

  1. Guest students are eligible for Sallie Mae Loans, Wells Fargo Loans, and Iowa Student Loans.
  2. Students who are enrolled less than halftime are eligible for Sallie Mae Loans and Wells Fargo Loans only.
  3. Iowa Student Loan (Partnership) requires halftime enrollment.
  4. Applicants for the Sallie Mae Loans and Wells Fargo Loans must apply for a minimum of $1000.00.
  5. Applicants for Iowa Student Loan must apply for a minimum of $1001.00.
  6. Satisfactory Academic Progress will also be reviewed to determine Private Loan eligibility.
  7. Private Loan amounts are subject to budget amounts set by the Financial Aid Office.