A lot of people need to get student loans to make higher education possible. However, many people dread the process, in particular those who are not knowledgeable about them. This article offers advice on how to get the necessary funding to pay for your education.
Stay in touch with the lender. Make sure they always know your address, phone number and email, all of which can change often during your college experience. Be certain you always open mail that comes from your lender, and that includes e-mail. If any requests are made or important stipulations are shared with you, act on them right away. It can be quite costly if you miss anything.
Don’t neglect private financing for college. Public loans are great, but you might need more. Private loans are available, though perhaps not in the volume of federal ones. Research community resources for private loans that can help you pay for books and other college necessities.
Don’t let setbacks throw you into a tizzy. Health emergencies and unemployment are likely to happen sooner or later. There are forbearance and deferments available for such hardships. Interest continues to compound, however, so a good strategy is to make interest only payments that will prevent your balance from getting bigger.
Know what the grace period is before you have to start paying for your loans. Stafford loans have a grace period of six months. Perkins loans have a nine month grace period. Other types of student loans can vary. Understand when your first payments will be due so that you can get on a schedule.
Look to pay off loans based on their scheduled interest rate. Pay off the highest interest rate loan first. This extra cash can boost the time it takes to repay your loans. You won’t have any trouble if you do your repayment faster.
To make your student loan money stretch even farther, consider taking more credit hours. Sure a full time status might mean 12 credits, but if you can take 15 or 18 you’ll graduate all the quicker. This will decrease the loan amount.
Stafford and Perkins are the best loan options. They are the safest and least costly loans. This is a good deal because while you are in school your interest will be paid by the government. The Perkins loan carries an interest rate of 5%. On a subsidized Stafford loan, it will be a fixed rate of no larger than 6.8 percent.
One form of loan that may be helpful to grad students is the PLUS loan. The PLUS loans have an interest rate below 8.5%. This rate exceeds that of a Perkins loan or a Stafford loan, but is lower than private lenders offer. These loans are much better suited to an older student that is at graduate school or is close to graduating.
Remember that your school may have its own motivations for recommending you borrow money from particular lenders. There are institutions that actually allow the use of their name by specific lenders. This is somewhat misleading. The school could be receiving money because of your choice. Make sure to understand all the nuances of a particular loan prior to accepting it.
Don’t rely solely on student loans for financing your college experience. Make sure you save money for your education and research grants and scholarships to help. You can find many places online that show you how to apply for grants and scholarships that will help you secure the money you need. Start searching right away to be prepared.
When you’re trying to fill out a financial aid application, be sure that you’re not making any errors on it. Bad calculations will affect the amount you can take out on a loan. If you have any questions with regard to completing the loan forms, check with someone in the financial aid department at your school.
Stay in touch with the lender. This is important as you will want to know all of the information on your loan and what stipulations are involved in your payback plan. Your lender may also be able to provide you with valuable tips for repayment.
Find out what choices you have when it comes to repayment. If paying back the loan will be an issue once you complete school, you may want to consider a graduated repayment plan. This way, initial payments are small and don’t increase until later when you will probably have more money.
If possible, maintain a job while you are attending school. This can offset your expenses somewhat and also give you some spending money.
Don’t get into a panic if you see a large balance you have to pay back when you get student loans. It may seem like a huge balance looking at the whole thing; however, you will be paying it back gradually over an extended period of time. Stay on top of your payments and your loan will disappear in no time.
Always be sure you understand the terms of the payback. Some loans will give you additional time to pay them back. You should know what options you have and what is expected of you by the lender. Before putting your signature on the loan agreement, it is wise to understand all the details.
To keep the amount of debt you incur from student loans to a minimum, take advanced placement and/or dual credit courses when you are still in high school. These classes help you achieve college credits and help lessen the amount of time you have to spend at one of the pricey universities.
As stated in the introduction, many people need to get student loans to continue their education. Now that you are done reading, you have the knowledge you need to make wise choices. The tips located above will help simplify the process.