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Everything You Need to Know About Student Loans in 3 Minutes
Student loans are one of the go to options by students seeking to finance their college education. The amount is used to sustain college expenses such as tuition, books, boarding, computers, and transportation expenses. Student loans can help college students get the quality education that they need, without hurting their finances. However, choosing the right type of student loan is essential not only to sustain your school expenses but to be able to repay this amount, without putting you in neck-high deep debt in the future.
Here is a comprehensive guide of the types of student loans you can apply for to fund your dreams of completing a college degree.
Direct Student Loans
A direct student loan is a federal student loan that you apply directly from the Department of Education of the United States. A direct student loan can be also availed from banks or any institution that lends money directly to the borrower. Direct student loans can be subsidized or not. If you have existing scholarships and grants, you can apply for a direct student loan to complete whatever your grant or scholarship lacks. Undergraduates can borrow up to $12,500 a year or around $57,500 in total in federal student loans.
Direct PLUS Loans
Direct PLUS Loans are additional loans that help students fund the other necessities that they need for college on top of the tuition. It is still a type of loan categorized under Federal Loans or loans funded by the government. However, since a Direct PLUS Loan is requesting for additional monetary aid, the applicant needs to have a good credit score to qualify. There is no limit to the amount of loan you can apply for thru Direct PLUS Loans. Current interest rates for Direct PLUS Loans are at 6.08%.
Private Education Loans
Alternative education loans of private education loans are funding options for college students and their parents who still lack sufficient money to attend college, despite having approved Federal Loans. Private education loans work like personal loans. The eligibility and amount you can apply for depends on your credit history.
Some private education loans are also offered for students with bad credit. However, these types of loans have higher interest rates, even higher than credit card interest rates. Deferment and forbearance options are very limited in private loans compared to loans subsidized by the government.
Federal Government Loans Vs Private Loans
Federal loans are by far more advantageous compared to private student loans. Federal loans offer lower interest rates and provide borrower protections such as deferment and loan forgiveness. Loan forgiveness is granted to borrowers that are working full time in public service – public school teachers, military, public service, government employee, or a non-profit job worker.
Private student loans have higher interest rates and require the borrower to present documents that will identify their creditworthiness via their credit score. Some students who need more financial aid to complete their college education turn to private loans from banks, private lenders, and credit unions.
Both types of loans require a credit check, but private loans have stern eligibility requirements compared to Federal loans. A credit score of 640 or better would help you qualify for a Federal loan. However, private loans require a higher score, 670 to be considered. If you do not have a credible credit history yet, you will need a co-signer, most likely your parents, with a good credit score, in order to qualify for a private student loan.
To ensure that you are getting the best student loan options, a thorough and detailed research would help you arrive with the best choices to fund your college education.
If you can look for scholarships or private and federal grants to help you through your finances in college, the less student loan you’ll need to complete your education. Securing a student loan is not too difficult as well, and you’ll have plenty of options to choose from. However, paying back your student loan can be challenging, but is feasible, as long as you carefully thread the student loan application that you’ll pursue to help you get through your college education.
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