Educational Loans


Why Student Loans?

Research shows that a university education increases an individual's earnings throughout his/her lifetime. Educational loans are tools you can use to invest in your development and your future. The William D. Ford Direct Loan Program ensures that students and parents have sound options for borrowing. The Direct Loan Program offers students access to higher education through several types of federal loans; The Perkins Loan, Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans, and the Direct PLUS Loan. Each option offers students and parents low interest rates, simple applications and in-school deferment.

The Perkins Loan program provides a low-interest federal loan to help needy students finance the costs of postsecondary education.

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.

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.

Private/Alternative Loans 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 their Alternative 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.htm 
www.collegeanswer.com
http://www2.ed.gov/offices/OSFAP/DirectLoan/student.html