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Alternative Loans

Alternative loans are private loans students or parents/guardians may apply to assist in meeting school related expenses - tuition, fees, books, supplies, transportation, housing. 

Who is eligible for an Alternative Loan?

  • You must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.

  • You must submit the FAFSA for the school year you will be attending.

    You must have a complete and cleared financial aid file at SBCC. If you have unsatisfied requirements in Pipeline, you must submit all required documents and complete all tasks. You can find PDF instructions on how to view unsatisfied requirements in Pipeline and submit all documents here.

  • SBCC must receive your alternative loan request from the lender 3-4 weeks before the end of the fall, spring or summer semester(s) for which the loan is intended. Check Deadlines for specific dates.

  • You must be enrolled in 6, or more units, per semester (half time).

    This includes the summer sessions. Summer I and Summer II count as separate semesters. Student will need to be enrolled in 6 for each summer session to maintain eligibility.

  • Effective Spring 2023 alternative loans are not subject to Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

Historic Lenders List at Santa Barbara City College

Below is a historic list of lenders from whom our students have borrowed over the past four years.  This list is not meant to be an endorsement of any lender and is not a preferred lender list.

We recommend contacting lenders directly regarding the alternative loan products they offer.

Santa Barbara City College Financial Aid Office does not promote or endorse any specific private lender. We advise that the alternative loan option be used as a last resort after all Federal Direct Loan options have been exhausted (as Federal Direct Loans generally have better benefits and lower interest rates).


    • Yes. Lenders recognize that occasionally students need to borrow more money than is available through the federal loan programs.
    • These loans are referred to as alternative loans or private loans.
    • Prior to processing an alternative loan at SBCC, you must file the FAFSA and complete your financial aid file.   SBCC’s Federal School Code for FAFSA is 001285.
    • Review your eligibility for aid in Pipeline for financial aid programs including federal loans.
    • Select the alternative lender you want to use and review their requirements and terms.  Please be aware that you may need a co-signer.
    • You can apply on-line or by mail. Go to the lender’s website and complete their application on-line. 
    • Be sure to list Santa Barbara City College as the school you are attending. SBCC’s School Code is 001285.
    • You have to tell the lender how much you want to borrow.  Please refer to  “How much can I borrow?” below to help you decide on a loan amount.
    • You have to select the loan period.  SBCC Financial Aid Office processes alternative loans for the fall, spring and summer semesters of each academic year.
    • Notification emails will be sent to the student's Pipeline regarding the various stages of the loan certification process.
    • Once the lender approves the loan, your lender will send a loan certification to the SBCC Financial Aid Office.  If your file is complete, SBCC will certify the loan.  If your file is incomplete, the certification will be placed on hold until your file is complete. You will be notified what is missing via your Pipeline email.
    • You must be enrolled in at least 6 units (half time) for the loan to be certified by SBCC.
    • The lender sends a loan check made payable to SBCC and the student borrower and mails the check to SBCC.  Loan disbursements are divided into two equal payments over the fall/spring academic year.***
    • Once our office receives the loan check, we will verify your enrollment, endorse the check and notify you that the check is ready. It may be picked up in person at the Financial Aid Office or you may request it be mailed to the most recent address on file in Pipeline.***

    Please note!  Alternative loan funds are not disbursed through the school system and do NOT pay any charges on the student account. Students are responsible for paying any balance they may have on their student account.***

    ***During COVID-19*** 
    A check made out payable ONLY to the school will be mailed to SBCC. SBCC Financial Aid Office will then post the alternative loan to your Award Letter and a disbursement will go out 1-2 weeks after it has been posted to your Award Letter. If you have a balance on your student account, the alternative loan will first be credited to that balance. If anything of your alternative loan remains, you will receive a disbursement for the difference. Disbursements are sent out as (1) Paper Check to the current mailing address in Pipeline, (2) Direct Deposit. To check on your Direct Deposit status for financial aid go to Pipeline --> Student Tab --> Financial Aid --> Direct Deposit.

    • Processing can take up to 3 to 4 weeks.
    • Alternative loan are disbursed to students no earlier than 10 days prior to the beginning of a semester.
    • The minimum alternative loan amount you can request is $1,000.
    • The maximum you can borrow is your Cost of Attendance budget minus any offered financial aid, which includes all offered aid through the SBCC Financial Aid Office and any scholarships.  
    • To find your Cost of Attendance, please select the appropriate budget from our website at Cost of Attendance.
  • Yes, Alternative loans are credit-based loans.  If denied, contact your lender for information concerning any resolution options available to you.
  • The interest rate varies by lender.  Please refer to your lender’s website for information.
  • Loan fees vary by lender.  Please refer to your lender’s website for complete information.
  • Please refer to your lender’s website for detailed information on repayment.

If you have additional questions, please send an email to the Alternative Loans email address at altloans@pipeline.sbcc.edu or call the office at 805.730.5157.

These procedures are effective for Alternative loan requests starting Summer 2020.