Important Information About Student Loans

Important Information About Student Loans

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by Pat Lowe

For students who cannot afford to directly pay for their college, student loans are typically used to obtain the cash they are needing. Student loans are one of the most common ways young adults use to fund their education after high school.

Many parents do not have the cash to directly pay for their children’s post-secondary education. They might use a mix of student loans, grants and scholarships to finance the cost of university or college. This includes tuition, books, housing fees and other expenses associated with higher education.

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New students can use several types of student loans. The most frequently found is the federal loan. This financing option has smaller limits, and is usually limited to paying for tuition fees only. The federal student loans are tightly regulated by the government, and can be obtained through the university’s financial aid packages. They typically have an extremely low interest rate. The student does not need to start paying back the amount owed until they have either finished school or are no longer going to school full time.

When a student goes to apply for federal student loans, there are several things that should be remembered. First, there is usually a six month no payment period associated with these kinds of loans. Therefore, following the point in time in which the student finishes school or has cut back to half-time attendance, they won’t have to start returning money to the lender for the set period of time. Interest, however, begins building as soon as you graduate from school or have fallen to part time enrolment. The payments and amounts owed affect the student’s credit rating.

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There are also student loans that are given to guardians rather than to the student. Higher maximums are available with these loans. The interest rate may also be higher than the federal student loans that are more commonly issued. Interest also begins to accrue immediately. This is due to the fact that the adult is the one responsible for the loan, not the student. Choosing this route does not help build the student’s credit score.

Lastly, there are private alternative student loans. These go outside of the government regulated system, and are frequently reserved for individuals who need more than the amounts given to typical students. Private loans have the highest maximums, and may also bear the highest interest percentages as well. Personal student loans are given either to the guardians or the students, and can be done through a variety of institutions as well as private companies. This option is usually used by individuals attending very high cost universities where federal funding is not enough. Students can use both private and federal student loans at the same time if required.

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