Private Loans

Private loans, also called alternative loans, are non-federal loans by a lender such as a bank or credit union and are available to credit and non-credit students.. Private loans are not guaranteed or governed by the U.S. Department of Education. 

COCC does not have a preferred lender list for private loans. Borrowers should carefully review terms and conditions, which vary by lender and loan agreements. Federal education loans typically offer better terms than private loans. COCC encourages students to maximize all other financial resources first, such as scholarships, grants, and federal student loans by applying for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.

1 Determine Eligibility

The lender will use credit history and other factors to determine a student's eligibility. Students are often required to obtain a cosigner. The Financial Aid Office can only certify private loans up to the cost of attendance minus other types of aid. This means that the private loan may not be certified for the amount the lender approves. Use the Budget Loan Worksheet to estimate your financial need.

Aviation and Culinary students:  Students in these programs using private loans must work with our loan specialist.

2 How to Apply

Apply for one private loan for the full academic year. Meet with your academic advisor and determine a tentative class schedule for the year to assist with budgeting.

ELMSelect is a secure site and neutral third-party processor that COCC uses to process private loans.


3 Certification
  • Lender informs COCC of approved loan. COCC retains the right to refuse certification based on professional judgment.
  • COCC emails "Private Loan Request" form to student.
  • COCC verifies enrollment and eligibility. Some lenders may require the Private Education Loan Applicant Self-Certification.
  • COCC facilitates receiving and disbursing of approved funds via Bobcat Web.
  • Refunds from over payments will be issued through the COCC Cashiering Office.


For more information on private loans visit or contact the Financial Aid Office at 541-383-7260 or