Alternative Loans

​Private student loans (sometimes called alternative loans) are loans that eligible students may access to help pay for the cost of attending college. The loans are accessed by students from banks and finance companies, much like a personal or auto loan. They are not affiliated with the U.S. Department of Education, Federal Student Aid, or DMACC.

Students seeking degree, diploma, or financial aid eligible certificate should only consider private loans after applying for federal and state financial aid. In fact, most DMACC students are required to complete the FAFSA ( before accessing any private loan program. To see if you would be exempt from filing a FAFSA, see ​ES 4325. Private student loans may be available to supplement your federal financial aid award if you need additional financial aid or federal aid has been exhausted. In almost all cases, they should not be a student's primary form of financial aid. For students in a non-credit program (such as Commercial Driving) the private loan may be one of the few financial aid options available.

If you need to complete a FAFSA (Free Application for Student Aid) visit You can complete a FAFSA even if the semester has already begun. Contact the Financial Aid Office if you have any questions or need further information about the FAFSA. Please keep in mind that students attending non-credit programs at DMACC are not eligible to receive federal or state financial aid. In this case, completing the FAFSA is not encouraged.

Additional resources you could look into before asking for a private loan would be:

  • Grants: These are often funded by the federal or state government and do not have to be repaid. Students are only eligible for grants based on having completed the FAFSA ( Not all students are eligible for grants, but ALL students should apply just to be sure.
  • Federal Student Loans: Federal Direct Loans are federally funded and based off the FASFA. Federal loans tend to have lower interest rates than private loans, but should be used after all “free” money (like a grant or scholarship) has been exhausted.
  • Federal Work-Study: Work-Study is federally funded and based off the FAFSA. This is a part time job on campus that you earn hourly wages from. Student employees receive a paycheck much like any other part time job.
  • Scholarships: Scholarships are based on a variety of factors, including information from the FAFSA, student’s program of interest, and grades. All students should apply for scholarships! A student often has to be meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress to be considered for most scholarships.
  • Tuition reimbursement benefits is sometimes offered through your place of employment. Check with your employer and contact DMACC Student Accounts to see if you would qualify.
  • DMACC Student Accounts offer payment plans to fit your monthly budget.