There are many options for alternative loans through private lenders. An alternative/private loan should only be used after you have applied for the federal loans for which you are eligible. Eligibility and features of alternative loans do vary with each lender.
FASTChoice offers a comparison of lenders that we feel have good alternative loans programs. When you apply online you could receive pre-approval from most lenders within 10 minutes. You will go through a short entrance counseling to help you decide if an alternative loan is for you.