How early do I need to apply for AlaskAdvantage loans?
You should apply for an AlaskAdvantage loan after your school's financial aid office has determined your unmet financial need. Allow a minimum of three weeks for the loan approval and disbursement process. With approval from your school, we will process your application even if it comes in after your school term begins, as long as your academic period has not ended.
What is the process for getting an AlaskAdvantage Loan?
Apply for AlaskAdvantage Loans by completing a loan application with ACPE. To keep borrowing costs as low as possible, always apply for the federal Direct Stafford Loan before you apply for the Alaska State Education Loans.
In some cases, your school may allow you to apply for the an Alaska state loan without completing the FAFSA. ACPE strongly recommends you complete the FAFSA to get the best possible financial aid package. To complete an AlaskAdvantage loan application, you have the following options:
What are the requirements for a reference on a loan application?
It is best if your first reference is a relative that does not live with you. A reference should be someone you stay in contact with, and would be able to verify your contact information if necessary.
What is an MPN and how does it work?
A Master Promissory Note (MPN) is the contract between you and the lender. By signing it you agree to the terms and conditions under which you are borrowing.
What is a credit score?
A credit score is a number derived from information in your national credit bureau file, it represents the likelihood that you will be able to repay a loan as required. A credit score does not consider employment or income. Your credit score is based on your previous repayment history, the relationship between available credit and your repayment obligations.
The Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education (ACPE) uses the FICO score, provided by the Experian credit bureau. A FICO score is a proprietary credit score, developed by Fair Isaac Company (FICO). FICO scores range from 350-850, the higher the score the better. Read more about credit scores by visiting myfico.com.
What if I don't have a credit history?
Alaska law specifically requires that Alaska Supplemental Education Loan applicants have a credit history that demonstrates the ability to repay a loan obligation. ACPE requires a FICO score of 680 for loan approval. If you do not have a credit score of 680 or greater, you may not have used credit enough to have established the required FICO score.
There are a number of financial aid options available to individuals who do not have sufficient credit to meet the FICO score requirement. You should talk to the financial aid officer at your school about federal student loans, grants, scholarships, student employment, and other programs that may be available. In addition, you have the option of applying with a credit worthy cosigner.
What is a cosigner?
A cosigner on a loan assumes responsibility for the loan if the borrower should fail to repay the loan. A cosigner has an independent responsibility to repay the loan and to notify ACPE in the event of changes affecting the cosigner or the student borrower.
ACPE may notify the cosigner of delinquency in repayment, deferments granted, or any repayment agreement that increases the amount due on the loan. You may elect to provide an endorser/cosigner to ensure your application is found to be creditworthy. If you elect to provide an endorser/cosigner in support of your loan request, that person will continue to be a responsible party for the loan even in the event you meet the credit conditions independently.