Student loans are a great way to help you pay your way through college, especially with the current economy. They allow you to put yourself through college without having to stress about balancing a full-time job while going to full-time school. You apply for student loans through banks, though many schools have a program that will help you apply.
They are designed to repayment plans, interest, as well as what they cover. Student loans also differ from regular loans in many different ways. One of the major differences is that students do not have to repay their loan until they have gotten their degree. Many times this also includes interest not starting until they are out of school.
With the recent changes in the economy, there have also emerged items such as pell grants that are similar to student loans, but do not have to be paid back. With student loans factors such as income and other financial considerations are taken into account for how much one can borrow, but almost all students qualify automatically.
This is considered a good system by many people, but there is criticism to the system, largely coming from supporters of grants. Some of the complaints are of recipients feeling victimized or not feeling like the terms were properly explained to them and it is very difficult to discharge a student loan even if you file for bankruptcy. (Though this was excluded from bankruptcy previously because doctors would often file for bankruptcy right after getting out of medical school and never have to worry about paying it back.)
A good way to guarantee yourself to get a good student loan is to have a good credit score. This one should be obvious, but is often difficult for the beginning college student, who usually has no credit to speak of. While this is not necessarily the worst case, it is always a good idea to try and improve your credit score. A good way to do this for new college students is to get a low-limit credit card from your bank, or, when you get a car, have your name on the auto loan as well.
Another way to get a better student loan is to have your parents cosign for it. While this is not always a viable option for everyone, it is still very common and whether or not your parents are going to be helping you pay it off or not, simply having their name on it guarantees to the bank that, in case you decide to drop out of school or do not get a degree, someone is there to pay it off.
If you are through a bank for your student loan, it is a good idea to open a bank account with them beforehand. This bank account should be well maintained and never go into the negatives. This allows them, even if you have no credit, to judge your reliability. This is especially helpful with smaller banks and credit unions, where things are more personal.
If you’re still worried that they may say no, write up a letter explaining why you would be an excellent candidate to receive a student loan. Explain why you would be reliable and why they should trust you to repay them when you get out of college. Make a good case for it, and treat it similar to an interview. If they like you, they are more likely to give you a student loan.
Always remember that the lender recommended by the school is not always the best choice for you. Make sure to look around for which student loan works best for you. Which ones have the lowest rates and the best repayment plans.
For those who are starting college later in life, there may be more difficulty, but if you are responsible and are careful, it can be easier! Older college students have the benefit of having more experience, and if you have a history of holding a steady job, even without having any credit, you can use that as leverage.
Government loans are another option, and are easier to acquire, as they are not based off of credit score and are not as strict with the repayment options. However, they are usually smaller monetary value and therefore it is common for many students to have to take a private loan in addition to a government loan. If possible, pair student loans with scholarships and financial aid.