Do you know how to get student loans if you need one today?
Being a student does not exempt you from financial woes. It is true that college education these days can be very expensive. Other than paying the tuition, you need funds to pay for other expenses like books, supplies, lodging (if you are far from home), and even transportation if you are commuting. Lack of finances can be tough; thus, many students are applying for student loans that will help pay their educational expenses.
There are factors that you have to consider before you apply for a loan. A national non-profit credit counseling agency in the United States advised students and even parents to consider several important points before applying for student loans since it will affect their future.
- Think about the course you are planning to pursue. Is it on-demand with great career opportunities?
- Do you have the ability to pay the loan and if the kind of profession you want to pursue has great earning potential?
- Are you going to a community college or university? Tuition is more expensive in a university.
- Have you tried applying for an educational grant or scholarships? Scholarship is free money,and you may be eligible for one.
- Are you applying for a Federal or private student loan? As you know Federal loans have lower interest rates, and more flexible terms.
After you have considered these questions, and you are ready to apply, follow this step by step guide on how to get a student loan:
Step 1: Fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
Step 2: Decide which type of loans are you applying?
- Federal Family Education Loans (FFEL)
- Direct Loans
- PLUS loans for parents and graduate students
- Perkins Loans
Step 3: Learn when to start preparing and the deadline for the submission of your loan application.
Usually, accepting of application starts from January and the deadline for submitting the FAFSA is usually midnight of the 30thof June of every academic school year. However, it may vary depending on the state where you live.
Step 4: Prepare the documents you will need in applying for a student loan.
You can download the list of necessary documents you will need to complete a FAFSA. Doing this ahead of time can give you an edge as most of the documents might take time to complete. Create and apply for a personal identification number, you will need this throughout applying and when you are repaying your student loans. You can send your FAFSA by mail, but applying online is considered faster and easier.
It may take a few days before your application will be processed, but after that you will receive your SAR or Student Aid Report, the EFC or the Expected Family Contribution as this determines the amount and kind of financial aid that you are eligible to receive.
Step 5: Receive the student loan once your application is approved.
Upon signing the documents, your loan will be available through either your school or the lender after a few days.
Always remember that if you have been granted a Federal loan, you have to keep a good academic standing. The standard may vary from school to school, but maintaining good grades is a must. Avoid being in an academic probation as it may harm your borrower status.
Student loans are binding legal agreements. Failure to repay your loan might lead you to legal cases and can make serious implications to your credit rating in the future.
Learning the steps on how to get student loans may be the answer to your prayers. Other than the fact that you are given a greater chance to pursue the career you desire, you can also build your credit history for future advantage. Make the most of your student loan. Manage your money wisely and repay the loan responsibly after graduation.