Getting money to pay for your college education can come from a number of sources. Many financial institutions offer student loans of various types, and so does the Federal government. When trying to get money to pay for your education, the best question to ask is “Where can I get a student loan with the best terms?
There are many sources you can go to for a student loan. For practical purposes, however, you always want to try and get a student loan with the lowest interest rate and the best terms for repayment. The government website for Federal Student Aid also says that it offers loan forgiveness and deferment options, which may come in handy – if needed. This type of loan comes from the Federal government, and it is now only available directly from the Department of Education. They definitely have the lowest interest rates and are somewhat flexible when it comes time to pay the loan back. It makes sense to try and get as much money to pay for your education as possible with excellent interest rates and repayment terms; then, if more is needed, go to private sources.
In order to start the application process for a Federal student loan, it will be necessary to fill out a form called the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). You can find it at the official FAFSA website. 2 Students who will be applying need to be aware that there are deadlines for submitting applications, and the college you want to attend may have deadlines, too. When talking to a college about a deadline, you need to ask whether it is for the date they recieve the FAFSA, or if it applies to the date the FAFSA is processed.
The Federal government offers two types of student loans, called Direct Stafford Loans, for undergraduates – Direct Subsidized Loans and Direct Unsubsidized Loans. The Federal Student Aid website defines subsidized student loans as being loans where no interest is charged while you are still in school. In order to get this type of loan you will have to demonstrate on the FAFSA that there is a financial need.
An unsubsidized student loan does not require that you have a financial need, but the school will determine how much you are eligible to receive. Interest is charged from the time the loan is issued, but the student has the option to start paying the interest immediately, or wait until after graduation. If you decide to wait, the amount of interest is added to the principal amount, and interest is going to be charged on the total.
The amount of money that is available for a Stafford Loan differs depending on whether students are dependent or independent. A dependent student, for instance, can get up to $5,500 in first-year loans, but an independent student can get as much as $9,500 for the first year. If a student loan is not going to be enough, students, parents, as well as graduate students, may also apply for a PLUS loan, which is unsubsidized.
Private student loans can also be obtained. These are available at many lending institutions, but should only be considered after you get all available money from government student loans first.
Knowing where I can get a student loans means starting with the Federal government and going through the application process. Education is expensive. Ignorance is more expensive. Be smart and explore all your options.