Student Loan

Student Loans: What You Need to Know

Before Applying

Research your options.

Look into both public and private options for your student loan. Public loans, offered by the federal government, offer the advantages of fixed interest rates, greater flexibility in repayment options, and, in some cases, subsidies that partially defer interest until you’re out of school. Private loans, offered by banks, credit unions, state loan programs, and educational institutions themselves, could allow you to qualify for a higher amount – and with good credit, a lower interest rate.

Don’t borrow more than necessary.

It may look easy to apply for a higher amount at the outset, but remember that every dollar borrowed is a dollar to be paid back – with interest. By budgeting your expenses carefully before starting school, you will be able to limit your loan to only the amount that you need.

Explore other financing options.

These include grants, scholarships, and work-study options that could defray – or in the best cases, wipe out – your debt. And remember,: scholarships and grants are not only something to investigate when you’re first applying for college, but can also be awarded on a rolling basis for reasons such as strong academic performance or altered financial need.