Student Loans can be difficult to understand for those new to borrowing them. Many questions such as, what types of student loans can I borrow, what types of student loans should I borrow, and what are all of my options, are typical for students just starting out. Please utilize all of the free information and resources we provide here on CollegeWhale.com. You may want to start by checking out the video tutorials located on our home page, but before you do that, here are 4 Easy Student Loan Tips for Beginners:
1. Out of all of the college financing options available, scholarships and grants are the best ways to go. Scholarships and grants do not require you to pay back the amount you’re awarded, so students should exhaust all of their scholarship opportunities first, before considering any student loans, federal or private.
2. Once you have exhausted all of your scholarship and grant options, file a FAFSA. FAFSA is your gateway to federal financial aid and should always be completed by any student in need of help paying for school. Even if you believe you will not qualify for federal financial aid, you should ALWAYS submit a FAFSA if you will need assistance paying for school.
3. Utilize federal student loans as much as possible. Federal student loans are the best option when it comes to student loans for college, because typically federal student loans are the least expensive student loans available. Students can apply for federal student loans by submitting a FAFSA.
4. If you still need money for college after you have exhausted all of your scholarship and federal financial aid options, you may do what many other students do in this situation and consider a private student loan. When opting for private student loans, be certain to research all of your options before choosing a loan provider. Unlike federal student loans, the terms and rates for private student loans can differ from one lender to the next, which is why it is important to compare different lenders and the loans they offer to help find the lowest interest rates and best repayment terms. Additionally, you may wish to ask your peers/family members for private student loan recommendations. However, since private student loans are based on credit, you may not be eligible for the same rates as your peers/family members.