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Types of Alternative Financing

Besides aid from the U.S. Department of Education (ED), the federal government offers several other financial aid programs. These programs include: 

Enroll in an interest-free monthly payment plan through TouchNet, (plan enrollment is a $40 non-refundable fee). Review the "How to set-up a Payment Plan" guide. Enrollment for fall plans is mid-July, spring plan is mid-December, and summer plans are mid-May. Please refer to the TouchNet announcement section for specific dates when plans are available.

Private student loans, also referred to as alternative student loans, are great solutions to help you pay for college or graduate school. These private college student loans are available through banks, credit unions, online lenders, and other financial institutions.

How to choose the loan that's right for you

Important Information on Private Loans

We strongly suggest that students and parents exhaust their loan options through FAFSA prior to taking private student loans. (Federal student loans can be a better option for you with their fixed interest rates, future payment postponement possibilities, loan forgiveness options, and various repayment plans. Subsidized direct loans are not charged interest while you are enrolled in school.)

If you need additional funding after exhausting your Federal Direct and Parent Plus loan options, Salem State participates in a number of alternative loan and programs. You and your family should research your options and choose the loan and lender that best fits your families' needs.

  • Financial aid will not certify a student’s alternative loan until their file with the lender is 100 percent  complete.
  • Financial aid cannot certify a loan amount above the students cost of attendance; therefore the loan amount you requested from your lender may be reduced by our office.
  • Borrowers should verify with their lender that all required documents and disclosures have been received.
  • Most "traditional-aged" undergraduate students will require a co-signer for a private loan.
  • Once your loan is approved, it can take from seven to ten days before your loan appears on Navigator. No exceptions.

To begin your private loan search and applications please visit our Resource List* (hosted by ELM Resources**)

*Salem State does not recommend any particular lender. The lenders on our preferred list are there as we are confident in their product, their customer service and the variety of loan and repayment options they offer students.

**ELM Resources is a third party loan comparison company, they do not endorse or promote any loan products. Please review Salem State University's Financial Aid Office, Code of Conduct

Tax benefits can be used to receive back some of the money you spend on tuition or loan interest or to maximize your college savings. It is important to note that this is not a financial aid award but money paid to the family through the annual tax cycle - not when the bill is due. 

For more information, read IRS Publication 970, Tax Benefits for Education, to see which federal income tax benefits might apply, or visit


Contact Us

Financial Aid

Monday–Thursday 8:30 am–5 pm, Friday 10 am–5 pm
Student Navigation Center: Second Floor, Classroom Building, Harrington (Central) Campus, 71 Loring Avenue, Salem, MA 01970
Mailing Address:
352 Lafayette St.
Salem, MA 01970
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