The process of taking out a student loan requires a lot of time and effort. And making the wrong decision can cost you a lot of money for years and years.
So you need to rely on yourself to do extensive research to find out the best deal you can get. We’ve created a series of articles about student loans to help you get the basics on how student loans work.
In this article, you’ll get 4 nuggets of student loan advice to get you started. And below that, you’ll get a list to the rest of the articles in the series. That way you can focus in on the student loan related topics that are more important to you.
Student Loan Advice
Minimize Your Student Loan Debt As Much As Possible
This is one of the biggest mistakes students make. Taking on too much student loan debt.
Because you don’t have to start paying these loans back until you’re out of school, it’s common to not worry about them too much. But, trust us, your older self will be begging you to minimize your student loan debt.
One piece of advice experts have here is to look at what the average starting salary is for your chosen career. This will give you ballpark idea of how much money you’ll make your first year on the job. Ideally you want to keep your student loan debt amount at graduation less than your starting salary. And the lower, the better.
Explore your options
There are ways to pay for your studies that don’t require student loans. Look for grants and scholarships, and free online courses that will earn you a degree. Check out our article regarding free online courses. This will help reduce your spending by a ton, and you can still finish your education.
Also check out both federal and private loan options. Federal programs generally have more favorable terms. However, if you have a good credit score, you may be able to get a lower interest rate from a private lender.
Federal student loans before private loans
Always check federal student loans before falling for private loans. Private loan companies are more expensive. Plus federal student loans offer a lot more advantages over private ones. These include fixed interest rates, deferment periods, and they do not require a cosigner who will be obligated to pay your loan if you are unable to.
Attend an Accredited Online College
If you want to get a student loan for online college, you must attend a school that’s accredited. If you’re applying for a federal loan, use tools provided by the government to see if your school is accredited (don’t rely solely on what the school says). For private loans, check with the loan company to see if you’re school is eligible.
More on Student Loans
There’s a ton of information about student loans to learn about. We’ve put together a series of articles to cover the most common topics, all written in easy to read, plain English. Check out the topics of interest to you below:
Besides the interest, student loans often carry fees you have to pay. Learn about the common student loan fees you’ll want to be aware of here.
Student loans can be great. But you have to go in with your eyes wide open and avoid mistakes as much as possible. To help you do this read this articles about student loan myths, scams, risks and mistakes.
There are different options when it comes to student loans. Understand the differences between student loans and personal loans in this article.
Not only are there different loan options, but there are a lot of student loan providers to choose from. Get some recommendations of top providers here.
Once you have a student loan, your work is not over. When it comes to pay off the loan, there are still options that can help make things easier. We look at two of these options in these articles. Learn about the pros and cons of refinancing in this article and about student loan forbearance in this one.