"Insurance" organizations, who collect premiums for providing either life or property/casualty coverage, created their own types of loan agreements. "Banks" and "Insurance" organizations loan agreements and documentation standards evolved from their individual cultures and were governed by policies that somehow addressed each organizations liabilities (In the case of "banks," the liquidity needs of their depositors; in the case of insurance organizations, the liquidity needs associated with their expected "claims" payments).
Private student Loans is another alternative that comes into force rescuing students who have a bad credit history. I have heard of many cases where students apply for loans as a supplement with their Stafford or Perkins loans. In other cases, I have seen people applying for student loans with private organizations when their Stafford loan amount comes to an end.
The interest rate for these types of loans is plus 1 percent of prime and is adjusted monthly. For these types of loans, borrowers are completely responsible for all third party costs and points can be bought with these types of loans to keep long term costs down.
It is an unsaid rule in the world of loans that one needs a co-signer to ensure that the student loan gets approved. That said, it does not mean that you would not get loans if you do not have a co-signer to sign on your agreement. There are some lenders in the market who would offer loans to you with you having to worry about the co-signer.