Financing Teacher Education Programs

Greater Alliance Federal Credit Union

Greater Alliance Federal Credit Union (GAFCU) is a forward-thinking and growing credit union built upon more than 80 years of commitment to members, community and service. GAFCU was founded in 1937 when five dedicated educators chartered, what was then known as Central Bergen Teacher’s Federal Credit Union. The organization began to expand its field of membership in the mid-1980s under the sanction of the NCUA (National Credit Union Administration) to include a diverse mix of employee groups and associations – and became known as Central Bergen Federal Credit Union.

Who is Eligible to Participate

Any individual enrolled in a NJCTL Teacher Education Program residing in the United States is eligible for GAFCU membership. Eligibility commences upon receipt of the program acceptance letter. Inviduals who are not a part of an Endorsement Program may also apply for a loan for individual courses as long as the amount is greater than $500.

Personal Loans

For the purposes of financing a NJCTL Teacher Endorsement Program, a GAFCU member is eligible for a personal loan at a fixed rate for 48 months (to view the current rate click here). Terms of up to 84 months are available, with no collateral required. Please note that not all individuals may qualify for financing. The minimum loan amount is $500.  

Optional Summer Payment Skip 

GAFCU is pleased to offer teachers the opportunity to skip summer payments (July and August) in such a way that personal loan re-payment is structured over the 10 months in which the teacher is paid. For example, a 48 month personal loan with summer skip would be structured for repayment over the course of 40 payments.

Optional Payroll Deduction

Teachers in participating school districts may utilize payroll deductions for loan repayment. Teachers in non-participating school districts can utilize semi-monthly payments scheduled the day after direct deposit for the purposes of personal loan repayment.


Individuals who take a personal loan to pre-pay their entire tuition for a NJCTL Endorsement Program will receive a 5% discount (discount amount varies by program). Tuition is refundable during the initial 15 days of enrollment, thereafter program tuition is non-refundable. Please note that the 5% discount applies to full endorsement programs and not to individual courses.

Process and Timeline

From start to finish, the personal loan process takes 5 to 7 business days from the time the application is submitted until closing on the personal loan. The entire process can be completed online with 2-3 brief phone calls with the team at GAFCU. A summary of the personal loan process is as follows:

  • If you have not done so already, please apply for admission for one of NJCTL's teacher education programs.
  • After you have received an acceptance letter from NJCTL, to one of their endorsement programs, apply for a membership with GAFCU. As part of the GAFCU application process, you will need to scan you driver's license, state identification card or another acceptable form of identification to verify your identify. Additionally, you will need to make an initial deposit of $50 through a bank account, debit card or credit card.
  • On the congratulations page, record your membership number (which is your account number) and click on 'Consumer Loan Products - Apply Now' to apply for the personal loan. Apply for the loan in the amount program cost (less 5%) plus $50 (to achieve the required $100 minimum balance).
  • After applying for the personal loan, create your online account with GAFCU.
  • Expect a phone call or email from the loan officer shortly after you complete your application. When speaking with the loan officer, please indicate if you would like to utilize Summer Skip and make arrangements for loan closing.  In preparation for closing, you will be required to submit supporting documentation such as pay stubs. At closing please have the funds deposited into your GAFCU savings account.
  • Once you receive online access to your GAFCU savings account, link that account to your PayPal account. If you do not have a pay pal account, click here to create a PayPal account.
  • After closing on your loan, login to NJCTL Moodle, register for the complete endorsement program and make payment for the entire program cost via PayPal. The entire program cost reflects the 5% pay in advance discount.
  • The first loan payment will be due 30-45 days after the loan closing date.
  • ALL borrowers must have or open a share (savings) account and are required to maintain a minimum balance of $100 in their personal savings account after their first six months of becoming a member. A full credit check will be required for all borrowers. All advertised rates are subject to individual qualifying factors and subject to change without notice.