Student Loans Come in a Variety of Types and Payment Schedules

There are a number of different types of student loans. They are all created to help students and parents discover the right choice for their respective situation. The overall cost of both private and public colleges are steadily increasing and students need to find the means for funding their education. Deciding which student loan, whether a private or federal student loan, is a very important decision. You will eventually be responsible for paying it back, so research all of your options. &nbsp

What is a Student Loan?

If you are a student who is preparing to borrow money as part of a student loan, prepare to learn all that you can about what a student loan is and why you need it. It is meant to help you as you pursue your collegiate education. Because the cost of education is continually rising, student loans give you more opportunity to go to the school of your choice. Be prepared to begin repaying of the loan a short time after you have finished your education. &nbsp

Types of Student Loans

There are three primary types of student loans available, a federal student loan, a private student loan or a parent loan. Two of the most common federal loans used by students are Stafford loans and Perkins loans. What is beneficial behind a federal student loan is that federal laws regulate the interest rates charged for these programs. A lender has to offer a federal loan at the specified interest rate, which is usually lower than the national interest rate. A federal student loan can also be consolidated after the student graduates, allowing the student loan repayment plan to fall under one large umbrella.

Private student loans are different from federal loans, and students applying for these don’t have to fill out federal forms. Private lenders offer these loans, making them cost more because there is no legal requirement to stay within a certain interest rate. Private loans also require a student to submit their credit history, and the interest and fees paid on the student loans are based upon the student’s credit score. Parents may be required to co-sign for a private student loan, making them responsible if the student has to defer payments at any time.

A parent loan, or the Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS), is a type of student loan parents apply for to encompass any additional cost their child’s financial aid or student loans won’t cover. PLUS loans, like other federal loans, come with a fixed interest rate. These loans can also be consolidated, like the Stafford and Perkins loans, and parents are fully responsible for repaying PLUS loans to the lender after they are distributed.

Finding student loans that are right for you doesn’t have to be a difficult task. It just takes a little time and research before making a final decision. Talking with your college’s financial advisor can help you go down the right path when choosing a loan. It is important to go over all the student loan repayment options when choosing a loan program from a lender because you will be financially responsible after graduation. Deciding upon the right loan can help you achieve your dreams of higher education.

By: Samantha Ellis

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