As the cost of college increases, the need for student loans becomes more common. But all too often, students are not borrowing wisely and are left with a mountain of debt to pay off. So it pays to do your research, find out the different options and choose wisely. This article can be your starting point for your education on student loans.
Know how long of a grace period is in effect before you must begin to make payments on the loan. Usually, there is a time period after you leave school before you must begin paying the loans. This can also give you a big head start on budgeting for your student loan.
Do not hesitate to “shop” before taking out a student loan. Just as you would in other areas of life, shopping will help you find the best deal. Some lenders charge a ridiculous interest rate, while others are much more fair. Shop around and compare rates to get the best deal.
Learn the requirements of private loans. You should know that private loans require credit checks. If you don’t have credit, you need a cosigner. They must have good credit and a good credit history. Your interest rates and terms will be better if your cosigner has a great credit score and history.
Your loans are not due to be paid back until your schooling is complete. Make sure that you find out the repayment grace period you are offered from the lender. For Stafford loans, the period is six months. For Perkins loans, you’ll have a nine month grace period. Other loans vary. Make sure you know how long those grace periods are, and never pay late.
Be sure your lender knows where you are. Keep your contact information updated to avoid fees and penalties. Always stay on top of your mail so that you don’t miss any important notices. If you fall behind on payments, be sure to discuss the situation with your lender and try to work out a resolution.
To minimize your student loan debt, start out by applying for grants and stipends that connect to on-campus work. Those funds do not ever have to be paid back, and they never accrue interest. If you get too much debt, you will be handcuffed by them well into your post-graduate professional career.
Many people apply for student loans and sign paperwork without really understanding what they are getting into. Ask questions so that you are completely aware. If you do not do this, you may end up paying more than you should for your education.
It is best to get federal student loans because they offer better interest rates. Additionally, the interest rates are fixed regardless of your credit rating or other considerations. Additionally, federal student loans have guaranteed protections built in. This is helpful in the event you become unemployed or encounter other difficulties after you graduate from college.
As you can see, student loans can be the answer to your prayers or they can end up being a never ending nightmare. So it makes a lot of sense to really understand the terms that you are signing up for. Keeping the tips from above in mind can keep you from making a costly mistake.