Personal student loans are very common especially in countries where education can be quite expensive. Take for example in the UK or in the US, there are a lot of students who apply for loans for education to broaden their career horizon. If you are planning on getting a loan yourself, here is a guide that will help you through the process.
Financial Institutions Helping Students
A lot of financial institutions are offering help to students who need to pay for their tuition or for college. You can find various low interest rate student loans that will help you complete your education with ease. Almost every major bank in the world offer student loans for college. Aside from that, there are usually government programs that offer financial aid to the students. Take for example, in the US, there is what we call the Federal Stafford loan which helps undergraduate and even graduate students pay for their education. Aside from those programs, there are also available parent plus loans for those who are paying for their children’s education. So if you are one of them, you are probably eager to learn how to avail of personal student loans. Let’s go over the steps to take to apply for one today.
How To Get A Federal Student Aid
First thing you should do is to complete your free application for Federal student aid. It’s also called FAFSA. This information is important because it’s how the financial institutions will assess your loan and will determine how much to lend you. You’ll need to provide your social security number, tax and income information, any investment or mortgage information, and lastly you need to state whether the student is claimed as a dependent by the parents. You’ll also have to include the possible schools you would like to attend to. It is important that you submit your FAFSA right after the 1st of January. Some financial aids are offered on a first come first served basis.
Student Aid Report
Once you have submitted the FAFSA, you’ll receive a Student Aid Report or SAR in about 4 to 6 weeks. This will show how much you and your family will be asked to contribute to your education. Your chosen schools will also have a copy of this report. You will need to review this to ensure it is correct. After this, the schools you’ve chosen will send you an award letter if you are accepted. The schools will offer you a breakdown of the cost of attendance as well as the financial aid package. You can accept or decline the offer. Check the deadlines of these letters to ensure their offer does not expire. Once you’ve decided to accept the federal or federal plus loan, you may seek for a partner bank or financing institution that will release the funds to you. Check out the bank of your choice for a more detailed process on the personal student loans that they offer.
Subsidized Loans vs Unsubsidized Loans
There are two types of student loans, the subsidized loan and the unsubsidized loan. The loan where the borrower pays all of the interest is the unsubsidized loan. The loan where there is another person, someone other than the borrower who pays either part or all of the loan interest, is a subsidized loan. The most common student loan is the unsubsidized loan where the student holding the loan pays all the interest. The difference then between subsidized loan and unsubsidized loans is that there is an outside party that pays the loan interest. This makes the best choice for a student loan the subsidized loan because the government pays the loan interest. Until a student graduates, the government continues to pay the interest of the loan or until the student quits school. An unsubsidized loan is more difficult to repay because the student will have to pay all the interest that has built up over the time they are attending college.
The federal government backs a Stafford loan and these can be either unsubsidized or subsidized. Being that these are federal loans, the loan is a need-based loan offer depending on the student and their family’s need for financial assistance. A major part of the student loans for college that do get awarded by the federal government loans are awarded to those who come from families who have a lower income than $50,000.
Unsubsidized Stafford loans
The unsubsidized Stafford loans are often offered to students who cannot qualify for the subsidized loan through Stafford. With the unsubsidized loan the student does not need to make loan payments while attending school but must pay the interest on the loan while in school. The advantage of a this loan is that the student is not expected to pay anything on the subsidized loan until they graduate from school.
Other Government Loans
Other government loans that are subsidized are also available for students who are going through college. Many universities and colleges have funds for loans allocated by these funding corporations each year. The federal government uses criteria that are decided between them and the schools when the loans are offered to the students attending classes there. The students who do take on these loans are not expected to pay the interest that accrues during the time they are actively attending classes.
There is another type of unsubsidized loan which is the Plus Loan where either the parents of undergraduate students or graduate students are offered this loan. Parent plus loans have fixed interest rates which are usually about eight percent. This loan is unsubsidized and has therefore no help with the interest while the student goes through their schooling.
The difference between subsidized loan and the unsubsidized loans is then government assistance in helping with the interest of the loan while the student goes through school. The Stafford loan was created and named after the Vermont Senator Robert Stafford because of his tireless work in the field of higher education. This is a highly sought after loan because the rate of interest is lower than most other types of student loans.