You need to know about private loans. Student loans are a valuable option for you in college. Thus, learning all you can about the topic of student loans is essential to do before obligating yourself. Read on to learn more about student loans.
When it comes to student loans, make sure you only borrow what you need. Consider the amount you need by taking a look at your total expenses. Factor in items like the cost of living, the cost of college, your financial aid awards, your family’s contributions, etc. You’re not required to accept a loan’s entire amount.
If you’re having trouble arranging financing for college, look into possible military options and benefits. Even doing a few weekends a month in the National Guard can mean a lot of potential financing for college education. The possible benefits of a full tour of duty as a full-time military person are even greater.
Try shopping around for your private loans. If you need to borrow more, discuss this with your adviser. If a private or alternative loan is your best bet, make sure you compare items like repayment options, fees, and interest rates. Your school may recommend some lenders, but you’re not required to borrow from them.
Be careful when consolidating loans together. The total interest rate might not warrant the simplicity of one payment. Also, never consolidate public student loans into a private loan. You will lose very generous repayment and emergency options afforded to you by law and be at the mercy of the private contract.
PLUS loans are student loans that are available to graduate students and to parents. The interest rate is no greater than 8.5%. These rates are higher, but they are better than private loan rates. This makes it a good option for established and mature students.
If you’ve got a financial aid package which doesn’t cover the entire costs of college, you might have to obtain a private loan. Never simply take the first offer. Do some research to find solid terms with a great interest rate before signing anything.
Make sure you keep track of your loans. You should know who the lender is, what the balance is, and what its repayment options are. If you are missing this information, you can contact your lender or check the NSLDL website. If you have private loans that lack records, contact your school.
Know your grace periods so you don’t miss your first student loan payments after graduating college. Stafford loans typically give you six months before starting payments, but Perkins loans might go nine. Private loans are going to have repayment grace periods of their own choosing, so read the fine print for each particular loan.
Do not default on a student loan. Defaulting on government loans can result in consequences like garnished wages and tax refunds withheld. Defaulting on private loans can be a disaster for any cosigners you had. Of course, defaulting on any loan risks serious damage to your credit report, which costs you even more later.
You have a lot of information now on student loans to digest. Consider that the loans will be part of your life for a very long time. Borrowing in a prudent manner is vital, so use this information when you start looking for student loans.