Educational Loans

Why Student Loans?

Did you know that research demonstrates how a university education can increase your earnings throughout your lifetime? College Board Earnings Ratio

A college degree can be worth the investment! It can enrich your life personally while giving you access to more career opportunities with better compensation. Along with scholarships and grants, educational loans are tools to help you invest in YOUR development and YOUR future.

two types of educational loan

1. Direct Loan Program

The U.S. Department of Education offers the William D. Ford Direct Loan Program. This Program ensures that students and parents have sound options for borrowing by offering students access to higher education through several types of federal loans: Direct Subsidized Loans, Unsubsidized Loans, and the Direct PLUS Loan. Each option gives students and parents low-interest rates, simple applications and in-school deferment.

  • The Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans are fixed-rate federal student loans for undergraduate and graduate students attending college at least half-time. These loans are the most common and one of the lowest-cost ways to pay for school. Click here to learn more.
  • The Direct PLUS Loan assists parents of dependent undergraduate students and the graduate/professional student with good to excellent credit finance the cost of attendance. Direct PLUS Loan funds can be used for tuition, supplies, housing and more. Click here to learn more.
2. Private Loan Options

Private Loan Options help students fill the gap between limited Federal Aid and the cost of education. These loans are through private lenders and require the student and co-signer to have good or excellent credit. Some lenders may require interest-only payments during school. Interest rates are usually variable, but some lenders offer fixed-rate loans. Borrower benefits or incentives vary by lender. Students are encouraged to research Private Loan Options carefully and utilize this aid only after all Federal aid is exhausted.

Next Steps

After reviewing the loan options available to you, you will need to indicate your decision to accept or reject each loan offer. You may choose to accept the entire loan or only a partial amount. (See Financial Aid Checklist for steps to accept or decline aid.) Next you'll complete the applicable paperwork, apply for any credit-based aid and complete your student financial aid file.

Web Resources:

www.studentaid.ed.gov
www.mappingyourfuture.org/paying/financialaid.cfm 
www.collegeanswer.com
www.studentaid.ed.gov/sa/

Comparing Federal and Private Student Loans