Now that you’ve aced the entrance exams to the school of your dreams, your next step is to figure out where to get student loans that can help finance your college or postgraduate education. Unless you are a millionaire or a genius with a full scholarship, chances are you are already scouting for possible sources of student loans.
Read on to find out where you can get student loans that will cover your tuition fees and other school-related expenses.
Where Can You Get the Two Types of Student Loans?
There are two main types of student loans: federal loans and private loans.
Where Can You Get Federal Loans?
Federal loans are funded by the federal government. When you apply for financial aid as a student, you will probably be offered federal loans related to your financial aid package.
Federal loans typically feature more advantages in comparison to bank loans and other private loans. These benefits may include income-based repayment plans and fixed interest rates. The terms and conditions of federal loans are determined by the law.
Here are the four federal student loan categories:
- Direct Subsidized Loans: For undergraduate students who are qualified because of financial need
- Direct Unsubsidized Loans: For undergraduate, graduate, or professional students who qualify for other reasons aside from financial need
- Direct PLUS Loans: For graduate or professional students and parents of students
- Direct Consolidation Loans: For students who choose to combine all of their eligible federal students loans into one loan
There are also specialized kinds of federal loans that you may qualify for depending on the education and career you are pursuing, such as nursing, teaching, etc.
In terms of payment, you do not need to start paying your federal loans until after you graduate school or stop studying.
Where Can You Get Private Loans?
Private loans, also known as nonfederal loans, are borrowed from private lenders. Some examples of private lenders are state-based agencies or organizations, banks, schools, and credit unions.
Private loans are commonly more expensive in comparison to federal loans. The terms and conditions of private loans are determined by the lenders.
Here are some of the private lenders that rank high in the “Best Private Student Loans of 2021” survey by the U.S. News & World Report:
- Best for fair credit: Earnest
- Best for customer service: Education Loan Finance (ELFI)
- Best for instant approval: College Ave Student Loans
- Best for product availability: Sallie Mae
- Best for no fees: Discover Bank
In terms of payment, you will typically be required to start paying your private loans while you are still studying. However, there are some private lenders who may let you defer your payments while you are still in school.
Apply for the Student Loan That Suits You
Depending on your financial needs as a student, you may decide to get either federal loans or private loans. You may also choose to get a combination of the two.
Either way, make sure that you are qualified for the loan of your choice, prepare your requirements, and get ready to complete your paperwork. Now that you have a good idea where to get student loans, the next step is to start applying for the loans that are right for you.