Student Loans

Southeastern offers private (or alternative) loans to students who need additional financial assistance beyond grants and scholarships. We do not participate in the federal student loan program any longer. Therefore, it is important for you to consider carefully whether borrowing is the best option for you. Private student loans are offered by private banks and lending institutions. The applicant (and co-borrower if necessary) must meet the credit requirements established by each lender. Interest rates, terms, and conditions may vary among lenders.

Consider your options

Before applying for a private student loan, we require you to complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and exhaust your grant eligibility. Be sure to pursue work-study and scholarships from Southeastern and outside agencies. In addition, most students will need a credit-worthy co-borrower (for example a parent, grandparent, or other relative) to increase the probability of having your loan approved while ensuring that you receive the lowest interest rate possible. Interest rates on private student loans are based on your (and co-borrower's) credit rating along with the LIBOR or Prime Rate and a Margin. Be aware that almost all private loans are adjustable rate loans, which means the rates vary monthly or quarterly. Most likely, the interest rate will increase over the life of the loan.

Southeastern has limited lenders due to limited lenders with restrictions for community college students.


Each lender will offer different repayment options. Select the repayment options that best fits your financial situation. You will save money by making interest payments while in school. If you are not able to make interest payments while in school, be sure that your lender offers an in-school deferment option. Keep in mind the longer the term of your loan, the lower your monthly payment will be. However, you will pay more in interest. You will always have the option of paying more than the minimum monthly payment.


To apply for a private student loan, you need to read the disclosure information and carefully compare the three lenders. Students should visit FAST Choice to understand their options and apply. Once you apply, the Financial Aid Office will review your application and mail you a Loan Request form and Private Student Loan Counseling Certification form. Return forms to the Financial Aid Office. Your loan will not be certified until both forms are completed. Below are the four lenders we currently certify.

Citizens Equity First Credit Union (CEFCU) is a member-owned credit union that offers competitive options for students who need a financial boost for their educational expenses. To learn more or apply, go to or call 800.542.3328.

The Your Future Education Loan® from Commerce Bank offers a flexible way to bridge the gap between federal loans and the cost of your education expenses. To learn more or apply,click on the link above or call 800.453.2265.

Sallie Mae offers the Smart Option Student Loan®, which gives students the flexibility with repayment options, along with competitive interest rates and borrower benefits. To learn more or to apply go to or call 800.4.SALLIE (800.472.5543).

Student Loan Application and Solicitation Disclosures

CEFCU Private Student Loan Solicitation Disclosure

Smart Option Student Loan Borrower Responsibilities

Truth in Lending Act (TILA)

The Truth in Lending Act, also known as Regulation Z, was issued by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. The purpose of the act is to promote consumer awareness and transparency in terms and costs from credit agencies, banks, etc. The act also regulates private student loan application or solicitation disclosures. For the complete act, visit the FDIC website.

For additional information, please contact the Financial Aid Office at 618.252.5400 ext. 4110 or email at

Note: Southeastern does not participate in the Federal Stafford Loan Program. Terms and conditions of the Federal Stafford Loan program may be more favorable than the provisions of private student loans.