Attending university or college can be very costly. Expenses like tuition, books and living are hard to cope with if you do not have financial assistance. Therefore, you need financial help to take care of them all. As much as there may be grants and scholarships for some students, not every one of these students actually qualify for the grants and scholarships. Moreover, these grants may not cover all the cost. This therefore calls for another financial option to be considered to help cover these costs and the most viable option is the student loan. Unlike grants student loans are to be repaid after completion of your study.
Student Loan Types
There are few student loans types available that you can take into consideration. First you can consider direct student loan via Department of Education. The only two types of federal student loans available in this option are Stafford student loan and Perkins student loan. These two loans are available for both the graduates and undergraduates.
On the other hand, Perkins student loan is given based on your financial need and bears a lower interest rate than Stafford student loan.
Difference Between Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans
Here I will explain what unsubsidized and subsidized Stafford student loans are and their differences. Students meeting the minimum requirements qualify for Stafford loan. This means that the interest on the loan during the course of study are paid by the government. On the other hand, unsubsidized loans is whereby the interest accrues even while you are still in school and it is added to the original loan or principal loan to be paid after graduation or course completion.
How To Apply for a Student Loan
To be considered for student loan you need to fill out the free application for student aid commonly known as FAFSA. This application is completed by both those students applying for private student loans and federal student loans. It is run by Department of Education in the Federal Aid Office which also provides you with more information on how to fill out FAFSA. Consequently, you can simply log in to the FAFSA website and fill the online application.
Private loans can help you cover additional costs which you could not cover with the federal student loan which is usually limited as much as it has low interest rate. You can get private loans from lending institutions like credit unions and banks. You can get a list of private lenders from Finaid.com.
Have or find a co-signer if you are seeking private loan from private lender like a bank. This is because of the credit history which is a big factor. Students with no credit or have poor credit history need the help of co-signer to secure a loan. A co-signer is simply a person responsible legally for the loan in the event that you fail to pay it.
In addition, you can ask your parents to apply for a PLUS loan. This is the loan for parents and it helps them pay the fees for their children. The loan is granted by Department of Education and that means they do not need a private lender. It is the parents who are entirely responsible fro the repayment and they will need a credit check too. Application for this kind of loan can be got from the PLUS loan site.