The number of for-profit colleges (colleges which exist in order to make money for their shareholders) is rising rapidly. Some of these institutions provide a reasonable education, but many of them only pretend to educate students. They actually exist as profit-making businesses, taking tuition money from students and providing almost nothing in return.
Before signing any contract with a for-profit college, check on their graduation rate. Do a lot of people drop out? Can you talk to people who have graduated and are now working in the field the college trained them for?
Be very careful. The way these for-profit colleges make their money is to encourage students to apply for public and private student loans. The college receives the loan money, while the student bears the debt. The student is the one taking all the risk. Most student loan debt cannot be discharged by bankruptcy, and it can follow you all your life, so look very closely at any institution's reputation before signing on that dotted line.
Maybe you have the grades and desire to attend college, but you are wondering how to pay for it.
Loans are one way to help finance an education, and low-interest federal student loans are a great choice for eligible students. The federal student loans provide funds for an education at four-year colleges or universities, community colleges, trade schools, career schools, or technical schools.
Direct Stafford Loans are one of the federal student loans. There are two options: the Direct Subsidized Loans for students with financial need and the Direct Unsubsidized Loans for students who do not demonstrate financial need. Direct PLUS Loans are for parents, who are helping to pay for a student’s education, or for graduate and professional degree students.
With the Stafford Loans and PLUS loans, the federal student loans come from the U.S. Department of Education to the student. The Perkins Loan is another one of the federal student loans. However, this loan is made through the school’s financial aid office, coming from government funds.
The federal government is not the only source of loans for college students. There are private college loans available from other sources. Generally, students pursue private college loans if they still need funds after they have received federal student loans.
Regardless of what you’re planning to study, college is the most exciting time in a young person’s life. But whether you’re looking forward to rush week or the science lab, your first order of business in the college application process should be to compare student loans. Once you’ve exhausted financial aid and grant opportunities, then it’s time to look into the best student loan options to meet your needs.
Here’s a look at some alternatives to keep in mind:
Federal Loans: When you begin to compare student loans, federal loans will most likely be your first stop. Administered by the US Department of Education, these loans are divided into Stafford Loans (for students) and Plus loans (for Parents).
Private Student Loans: Private education loans are often a good option when a student has already tapped into their federal loan and grant opportunities, and still need to bridge the gap to the final cost of their schooling. As you compare student loans, don’t dismiss private loans until you’re completely sure you won’t need them.
Graduate Loans: Graduate and professional students can now borrow under the PLUS loan program. If you are working on furthering your education, this may be the best student loan for your personal needs.
For the majority of college students today, obtaining some sort of financial aid is a fact of life. Whether extra funding is received from working while going to school, loans from family members, applying for scholarships or applying for student grants and loans, getting outside funding resources is necessary. Before applying for financial aid, it is required that you fill out a student loan application. While the process may seem daunting, it is actually quite straightforward. To assist in getting prepared for filling out the forms, make sure that you have tax information from the previous year and current salary details.
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid or FAFSA as it is affectionately known in the college world is the required form needed to be completed to apply for student loans from the government. This form can be filled out on line or a financial aid director at any college can provide assistance when completing the details. Filling out the form doesn't guarantee receiving any type of aid. If the application is approved, an award letter is issued that will detail the amount of aid eligible. There are a variety of aid types and some loans will not accrue interest while attending college. If there is a lack of credit history a student loan cosigner may be needed to qualify.
College is a big investment, one of the biggest in your life. Most people use college student loans to fund their tuition.
It is important to know that college student loans have to repaid and with interest. An average person will spend 10 years or more repaying their obligations.
You can supplement your college student loans with other financing like grants and savings accounts. It is important to start a college fund as early as possible. You should apply for any free aid that is available like scholarships too. College is expensive, but worth every penny spent.
There are different kinds of college student loans. To get a student loan, you should be familiar with all your options. There are federal, private, bad credit, alternative, consolidation and institutional student loans. You should apply for all loans. The more that you apply for, the more that you have a chance of being approved for.
It is important to make all your payments on time. There are some lenders that will reduce interest on loans that are paid on time every month. If you are going to be late, call and let them know. Defaulting on a loan can cause a severe negative impact on your credit, which can affect you for years.
After years and years of college the student loans are piling up! You want to get out of debt and quick. Follow these tips and you will be well on your way to paying off student loans. The faster you get your student loans paid off the less you have to worry about student loan interest rates.
One of the fastest ways for paying off student loans is to try and qualify for loan forgiveness. Depending on your degree you might qualify for the loan forgiveness program. A lot of teachers can qualify for this program as well as individuals that work for government agencies. Checking with your employer or school counselor about this is a good start in getting that debt paid down.
If you have determined you do not qualify for loan forgiveness try and consolidate your student loans. Not only will this help you lower your student loan interest rates but you will be paying off student loans in a shorter amount of time. Most people have loans with multiple lenders. Getting all of your student loans under one lender will not only simplify your life but will help you get the loans paid down quickly.
Making extra payments is a sure way to get your loans paid down. Send in a few extra dollars every month! Every bit helps.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|