A previous blog post provided “5 Tips to Successfully Navigate the Student Loan Maze,” but the thought itself begs another question – why does your student loan even need a maze? Isn’t getting into and graduating from college complicated enough without having to jump over more hurdles just to get the money you need to pay for your education?
Fortunately there is a simpler way to navigate the student loan process. The first thing you want to remember is that you always want to maximize the amount of federal student loans before turning to private student loans. Loans made by the federal government usually offer borrowers lower interest rates and have more flexible repayment options. Federal Student Aid, an office of the U.S. Department of Education, has a comprehensive website which explains everything you need to know about federal student loans in an easy-to-understand format. Topics covered include:
• What types of federal student loans are available?
• How much money can I borrow in federal student loans?
• Why should I take out federal student loans?
• What should I consider when taking out federal student loans?
• How do I get a federal student loan?
If you still need more money once you have exhausted your federal student loan options, it’s time to take a look at private student loans from sources such as a bank, credit union, financial institution, or a school. There are some differences between federal student loans and private student loans, but both are designed to help you get the money you need now so you can concentrate on getting your college education.
Private Student Loans Don’t Have to be Complicated
When considering private student loans, look for a lender that tries to make the process simpler for you. Discover Student Loans, for example, have zero fees, competitive rates, and cover up to 100% of school-certified college costs. You can apply in as little as fifteen minutes, and all of their Student Loan Specialists are based in the United States, so you can get help any time you need it, day or night.
Sign up for automatic payments and you’ll receive a rate reduction during repayment. Even better, Discover rewards you for good grades, so there’s even more reason to study hard! With a 3.0 GPA or better, you can receive a cash reward of one percent on each new student loan. Also be sure to take advantage of their free customized scholarship search – search 3 million scholarships worth more than $18 billion, with no registration required.
Try to stay with one private lender throughout your college career. When you graduate you will only have to work with your federal student loan servicer and that one lender. Getting through college is hard enough; student loans shouldn’t feel like navigating a maze. If you need more information about the college financial aid process, or would like to discuss more about federal and private student loans, contact College Financial Aid Advisors (CFAA).