Preparing for the great opportunities of life with a quality college education is a very important step for a good future. Education, however, is just not as cheap as it used to be. Even after you are able to secure some financial aid, and maybe even a scholarship, there may still be a need for more money. Many financial institutions offer relatively easy ways to get a student loan. Here are some things you need to know in order to get a loan for your educational needs.
Before you ever think about getting a loan, it is a real good idea to do a considerable amount of research and see what kind of money may be available for free. Look online at various opportunities, and then look for more information at the specific college website for special financial aid programs that they may have. Only after these sources are exhausted should you begin to consider taking out a loan for the balance needed.
Who Will Get The Loan?
The ease with which you can get a loan could partially be determined by whether it is the student himself (or herself) applying for it, or if it is a parent taking out a loan for their student. If the student applies, then most likely a co-signer will be needed, unless they already have a good paying job and a good credit rating.
What Types Of Loans Are Available?
The most common type of loan, and the most desirable, is a Federal loan. While there are a number of these available through your local bank, the two most prevalent types are the Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP), and the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program (FDLP). If you must get a loan, then this would be the first one you want to consider as it offers probably the best features in terms of length of repayment and lower interest rates. It is even possible that no payments need to be made while you are in college, or that the government itself may pay your interest until you graduate.
Other loans are available from private financial institutions. If you cannot get the full amount through a Federal loan, then get what you can from it (because of the lower interest rate), and finance the balance from a private source – such as a bank, credit union, or loan company. This type of loan will be based on the credit rating of one applying.
What Should I Look For In A Student Loan?
Education loans are often unsecured in other words, they do not require you to put up any collateral against the value of the loan. This is a great feature and makes them a valid option for getting an education – and finishing it. Since college graduates, on an average, do make considerably more than non-graduates throughout their lifetime, it is a good idea to get a good start in life by securing a solid foundation as quickly as possible. Getting a student loan may be just the thing that enables you to accomplish such a worthwhile goal.
What Should I Avoid In A Student Loan?
When you go to apply for a student loan, you want to make sure that you do not take out more than you truly need. Remember that when school is over, it is time to begin making your payments – if you are not doing so all along. Once you graduate you will need to learn the value of balancing paying the bills with pursuing your goals and ambitions, keep your student loan payments low.
Possible Options To Reduce Your College Bill
While it will not be possible to avoid getting a loan, there are some ways that you can reduce the size of the loan. If you still have some time before you start college, then you may want to get a job and start saving for it now. Another possibility would be the military option, which provides either matching funds or possibly even all of it. This changes from time to time, so you will need to check with a recruiter to see what is happening at the moment. One more possibility would be to attend a community college for the first couple of years and get the more general courses out of the way – at a greatly reduced price.