Student loans are a very important way to fund your college education. Our guide to college loans tries to help you get all the loans you're entitled to. We'll explain to you the process of applying for a federal student loan, and how to work with the financial aid office of the college or university your thinking about attending.
We'll also explain to you the different types of aid that is available such as Stafford Loans, PLUS loans, grants, and work study programs. When you're finished with college, we'll help you decide if you need to work with a student loan repayment company such as Sallie Mae, or if student loan consolidation is the right move for you.
Let us help you start with the basics of choosing the right college, and then provide you with a brief introduction to financial aid for college students. We've covered the fundamentals of scholarships, loans and grants. We've even thrown in an article on student airfare, so you can make it home for the holidays.
If you've never applied for a college loan before, the entire process can seem quite complex. Thanks to the Internet, nearly everything dealing with applications can be completed using online forms.
If you're wondering how long each step in the process will take, when to apply, or where to go for your application, we've explained it all:
The federal government really wants to make sure that everyone has a chance to go to college, which means most loans are reserved for those students demonstrating the greatest financial need. But that doesn't mean you can't get a loan if you need one, it just means that certain types of loans are based on need.
Direct and Stafford loans are the two most common student loans you'll encounter:
Unlike grants and work study programs, student loans are just like personal loans. That means they eventually need to be repaid in full. Fortunately, there are many different repayment options you'll have after graduation.
In fact, you might even be eligible for deferment or forgiveness. There are a number of important programs, and you certainly don't want to miss out on an opportunity to have your student loan forgiven:
If you're repaying your student loans, you might be pleasantly surprised to find out that you can usually take a tax deduction for the interest charges. If you're trying to get a feel for the latest interest rates on loans, take a look at the articles below:
If you're already repaying your loans, then you probably understand that keeping track of all those student loans, and their specific repayment schedules, is not so easy. There are several private and semi-governmental institutions that can help streamline your monthly bills by walking you through the process of consolidating your student loan:
Several years ago, the federal government introduced what are called 529 college savings plans. These plans allow individuals to save for college and, at the same time, often providing them with a tax incentive to do so. Here you'll find a wide array of information dealing with this important investment strategy.
You might be surprised to hear that there has been a loophole in some college loan legislation dating back to the 1980's, which allows private lenders to make some extra cash at the taxpayer's expense. Find out what some of our legislators are trying to do to close those loopholes, and get more money into the hands of students: