College loans are a good way for students to go back to college and earn a degree. However, there are many types of student loans out there and choosing the right one can be confusing. Many people who have been out of school for years and want to go back may have little trouble getting a student loan with low interest rates. Others who have just started college may have more difficulty.
There are a few different sources of college loans. Many students opt for a federal loan. These are usually given through special financial aid offices that help all students who apply. Each school that participates in the Federal Pell Grant program may offer specific financial aid offices that will help find scholarships and apply for them. The U.S. Department of Education also has many resources for applying for government loans.
There are many advantages to using federal student loans. First, they offer very low interest rates, often in the six to eight percent range. This is a great option for students who need financial aid but do not qualify for subsidized rates. Many students with parents who have generous incomes choose federal loans because of the low interest rates.
Second, you do not have to pay back college loans while you are in school. You do have to start repaying them as soon as you leave school, though. The amount you have to repay will depend on your income and the cost of your education. Students can opt for subsidized, private loans, which have similar terms to those of the federal loans. They will have to pay lower interest rates and their tuition and fees are deducted from their income, too.
If you’re still not convinced that you should take out federal or private loans, consider how much it would cost to go to a school that doesn’t offer any assistance. You’ll probably have to pay a large tuition bill. You may also have to buy books and supplies. A public college, which is many times the same name of your high school, will give grants for tuition and most likely will not require any student loans. Private colleges, on the other hand, require loans.
Now private loans have several advantages over unsubsidized ones. You get a longer grace period in which to repay the loan. As long as you can prove that you are enrolled in an eligible program, you’ll qualify for an unsubsidized loan. Plus, if you plan to attend a school that offers federal financial aid, you’ll be able to defer the payments for a certain amount of time, usually around six months. This will allow you to finish out your graduate program without any burden. You will still have to pay the monthly payments, however.
On the other hand, unsubsidized loans have a few disadvantages. First, the repayment terms are typically shorter. If you do not qualify for a grace period, the repayment term may last only two or three years. Even if you are allowed a longer grace period, you will pay more interest during the first few years of repayment. If you do not qualify for a subsidized loan, you will need to borrow at a fixed interest rate.
If you want to borrow money at a lower interest rate, then you would most likely want to opt for subsidized loans. However, remember that you will need to qualify for an unsubsidized loan before applying for one. If you have a financial need, the federal government pays most of the interest. Also, unlike subsidized and unsubsidized loans, Federal Stafford loans do not require any credit checks, down payment or collateral. You just need to be 18 years old and a citizen of the United States to apply.