The best type of student loans to get are federal student loans. Here's what you need to do to get them:
1) Fill out the FAFSA. This will determine if you are eligible for financial aid. Go here:
2) Once you are eligible for aid, choose a government-based student loan. The best loan to get is a Federal Perkins Loan. These have low interest rates and the government will help you pay it back as long as you stay enrolled in school. You also don't need a cosigner or good credit for it. For more info go here:
3) The next best loan to get is a Subsidized Stafford Loan. This has many of the same benefits as a Perkins Loan. Learn more here:
You can also try to get a grant or scholarship, which is free money that you won't have to pay back. You can read about them here:
And here are some good sites to check out:
Know what types of loans you have.
This is critical because the terms and conditions of different kinds of loans vary. For example, you are not responsible for interest on a subsidized Stafford loan until you are in repayment. Unsubsidized Stafford loans, however, begin to accrue interest when you get the money. (The interest calculation on federal loans is variable and changes every July 1.) Knowing what types of loans you have allows you to determine which ones have been accruing interest. You need to know whether you have already been paying the interest on these loans or have opted to capitalize it. Capitalizing the interest means that interest accrued while in college or graduate school will be added to the principal balance of your loan at the time of repayment.
Additionally, you may have borrowed from the Federal Perkins Loan Program or from an alternative loan program. Note that federal Perkins loans have a fixed 5-percent interest rate, while alternative loans have variable rates. If you borrowed an alternative loan, you should review the promissory note to determine the interest rate. Most alternative lenders require you to pay interest while in school.
Know who your lender is
Your previous educational institution should have covered this with you when you left. If it didn't, feel free to check back with your financial-aid office -- it should have that information readily available. Be aware that some lenders sell student loans to other lenders. You should make sure that you read all correspondence from your lender. If your loan is sold and you are unaware of it you may unintentionally default on your student loan. If that scares you, remember that lenders are required to notify a student if a loan is being sold.
Know your grace periods
The federal loan programs offer students various options to help avoid default. When you leave college or graduate school, you are allowed a grace period -- usually a six-month period during which you are not required to make payments on your student loans. That period allows you to establish yourself in a job. Keep in mind, though, that interest continues to accrue on unsubsidized loans during grace and deferment (more on that later) periods. Once the grace period has expired, you will be required to make monthly payments. Making monthly payments on a timely basis is very important. Late payments are noted on your credit history, which can cause problems when attempting to obtain further credit (see below for more information on the consequences).
Keep in contact with your lender
If you are unable to make your monthly payment, you should contact your lender as soon as possible. Under the federal loan programs you are allowed periods of deferment and forbearance during which you may defer, or delay, payments on your student loans. For example, you may defer payments during periods of unemployment and financial hardship. However, you must file annual forms with your lender to receive a deferment or a forbearance. Your promissory note should detail the types of deferments offered in that loan program.
Know your repayment options
Under the federal Stafford loan program, you may request one of four payment options to suit your financial situation. The four options are standard repayment, a fixed monthly payment amount for a 10- year period; income-sensitive repayment, which ties the monthly payment to your monthly income; graduated repayment, in which payments start low and increase over time in designated amounts at designated periods of time (the amount of increase and when the increases take place depend on your loan servicer); and extended repayment, which lengthens the repayment period of your loan up to 30 years. You must qualify with your lender to be approved for an extended repayment plan. And keep in mind that you will pay more interest throughout the life of the loan under that plan.
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To answer this question correctly, it all depends if you are talking about Federal Student Loans or Private Student Loans.
Federal Student Loans have the best interest rates out there. You would need to fill out your FAFSA form if you have not already and submit that as soon as possible. (www.fafsa.ed.gov)
Right now rates on federal student loans are:
Stafford 6.8% Fixed
Perkins 5.0% Fixed
PLUS 8.5% Fixed
Once you have completed your FAFSA, contact a lender directly to apply for your loans. You will be able to discuss with them exactly what loans are best for your situation and how to receive the lowest possible rates.
If you’ve exhausted the amount awarded to you of federal loans there is the Private Loan option. When dealing with Private Student Loans, know that they are credit based, which means your interest rate will be determined by what kind of credit you have. Also, Private Loans normally carry a higher interest rate than Federal Student Loans. (I’ve included a source below for more details on available loan options). Also, if you need additional help, feel free to contact us on yahoo at studentaidlending.
Good Luck, I hope this helps!
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