A loan is money one borrows and must pay back with interest. Typically, student or education loans have a long repayment period of at least 10 years and repayment does not begin until the student graduates or withdraws from school. Some education loans may have an option for loan forgiveness which means part of the loan is forgiven based on work in selected fields, income or some other requirement. Students are strongly encouraged to apply for scholarships and grants before applying for loans. Please contact the Financial Aid Office to learn about additional resources available to students such as VGCC scholarships and tuition payment options .
Private loans (sometimes also called alternative loans) are consumer loans made to individuals to help pay for college and must be repaid. They are usually higher cost, variable rate loans and are not backed by the federal government. They do not have a guarantee or subsidy and do not have discharge or loan forgiveness options. Their higher cost is due to the higher interest rates charged on private loans vs. the rate on federal education loans. Before applying for a private loan, we strongly encourage students to consider and apply for other forms of financial aid, including VGCC scholarships. To apply for financial aid, complete the FAFSA to determine any possible grant eligibility. For VGCC scholarship information, visit the VGCC Endowment Office.
Many private lenders offer alternative loans; however, the choice of which lender to borrow from is a decision the student must make. Our office does not endorse or recommend any particular lender and encourages students to perform a thorough review of all lenders before making a choice. Click on Private Loans for additional information.