How To Get A Student Loan In 6 Steps
Nothing says excitement better than a senior year of high school. Visiting campuses, exploring sororities and frat houses brings a certain amount of thrill, but it shouldn’t be all about the fun.
Once you make the first step toward your future education, you need to think about the practical side of college life that most future students don’t think about on time. Those practical issues are mostly finance-oriented.
If you’re worried that you’re the only one with this kind of challenge, don’t be. Millions of Americans are getting student loans every year and you’re about to become part of the student loan debt club. However, it doesn’t have to be stressful all the time and you can try to do it on your own terms as much as possible.
Explore this simple 6-step guide to learn how to get student loans.
1. Back to Basics
Applying is easy when you know to whom to address. That’s why it is important to know some basics.
A student loan is money that one can borrow from federal bodies such as the Department of Education or private lenders such as a local bank, a credit union or an online lender.
Federal student loans are easier to qualify for because you don’t have to provide proof on income or any credit history. Plus, you get fixed rates.
You can expect to pay your student loan in a period of a couple of years, once you start working or during your studies.
2. Keeping up with FAFSA
The loan is about the long run and it will affect your life in different ways. So, if you have any option on how to be more independent in this area make sure that you use it. If you’re eligible for grants and scholarships apply to get one.
Start filling out the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) as soon as possible, because you’ll have to provide tax history of you and your family. Earlier you submit it, the more funds are available to you. That kind of support would reduce your dependency on loans.
3. Find Free Money
This one is easy. The more free money you get without a direct loan, the less money you will have to pay back eventually.
There are smaller grants that will pay you if you get a good ACT. On another hand, there are even grants that will support you during your junior or senior year. Try to keep up so you can react fast when something changes.
4. Explore Private Loans
If you’re in bigger need of money than federal support can provide, check private loans.
Bear in mind that private lenders have their own application process and loan terms may vary so make sure to check every borrowing option.
For private loans you must have reliable income and good credit score, so you will probably need your parents to support you on this one. Make sure to check whats the interest.
5. What Loans Are You Accepting?
Loans are not something that you should be taking easy, so take time to understand how loans that you accepted actually work.
For example, there are loans which will cover you six months after graduation, while after that you become responsible for all payments plus interests. After that, the whole debt is yours.
You don’t have to make payments while you are actually in the college, but interest will accumulate during the time.
6. Don’t Pay Just Minimum
This one is after you get the loan, but people have a tendency to ignore it until the school is done.
Yes, you can start your payment in most cases once you graduate, but you could do better by making smart money decisions. When you get some extra money use it wisely and put it toward your student loans. It may not sound much at first but it adds up in a bit.
Learning how to get a student loan and actually getting it may be overwhelming, but just remember and you’re doing it for a better future.
Start the process early, be informed, get free money as much as possible and pay up front. By doing so you will save yourself a lot of stress after graduation comes and repayment part.