Student loans can lead to a dream education, but that can turn into a nightmare if you’re not smart about it. So it’s a good idea to get smart and learn about student loans before signing anything. The advice that follows is a good starting point.
Keep in mind that private financing is an option to help pay for school. There is quite a demand for public student loans even if they are widely available. Private loans have a lot of advantages that public loans do not. Loans such as these may be available locally and at a minimum can help cover the cost of books during a semester.
If you wish to repay student loans in advance, deal with the ones with the highest interest rates first. If you try to pay off the ones with the lowest balances first, you may pay more interest that you have to.
It is important to know how much time after graduation you have before your first loan payment is due. Stafford loans have a grace period of six months. Perkins loans offer a nine month grace period. Other loans will vary. Know what you have to pay when, and pay on time!
Be sure you select the right payment plan option for you. Most student loans have a ten year plan for repayment. There are often other choices as well. For example, you may be able to take longer to pay; however, your interest will be higher. You may also have the option of paying a certain percentage of your future earnings. There are some student loans that will be forgiven if you have not got them paid in full within 25 years.
When it comes time to pay back your student loans, pay them off from higher interest rate to lowest. The one carrying the highest APR should be dealt with first. Anytime you have extra cash, apply it toward your student loans. There are no penalties for paying off a loan more quickly than warranted by the lender.
Monthly student loans can seen intimidating for people on tight budgets already. A rewards program may help things. LoanLink and Upromise are two of these great programs. These are similar to cash back programs in which you earn rewards for each dollar you spend, and you can apply those rewards toward your loan.
To get the most out of your student loan dollars, take as many credit hours as possible. You may be able to scrape by with 12 hours, but try to at least carry 15 per semester. If possible, go for 18. This helps you keep to aminimum the amount of loan money you need.
In order to have your student loan paperwork go through as quickly as possible, make sure that you fill out your application accurately. If you fail to fill out the forms correctly, there might be delays in financing that can postpone your education.
Keep in mind that a college may have its reasons for pointing your toward certain lenders for loans. Some colleges permit private lenders to utilize the name of the school. This is oftentimes quite misleading to students and parents. If you decide to get a loan from a particular lender, the school may stand to receive a monetary reward. Make sure to understand all the nuances of a particular loan prior to accepting it.
Use caution when getting a private loan. Terms are usually unclear in these loans. Many times, you will not know until you’ve already signed for them. In addition, after you’ve signed, you may not be able to get out of the agreement. Fully understand the terms before signing on the dotted line. If you are offered great terms, talk to other lenders and ask if they will offer the same terms.
Make sure that you try to get scholarships when you go to college. Keep in mind that you need to save up and look for scholarships or grants to get help. Locate the numerous scholarship matching websites designed to assist you in locating the perfect scholarships and grants. Make sure you start your search soon so you can be prepared.
Double check all applications for errors. This will determine how much money you get. If you have any questions about the application, consult with your financial aid adviser at school.
A great way to stretch out your student loan money is by getting a meal plan, rather than one where you pay for each individual meal. This allows you to not worry about what’s on your plate each time you eat because each meal is a flat rate.
Make sure you understand your repayment options. If you cannot afford to pay off your loans when you first graduate college, ask about graduated payments. This will allow you to make smaller payments when you start out, and then things will increase later when you are making more money.
After reading the above article you should now be aware of the different types of student loans available to you. The decisions that you make can follow you for many years after graduation. Smart borrowing is the way to go, and the tips in the above article should be remembered when you go to apply for a student loan.