On the bright side, student loans often provide good deals, and financial aid officers can help a lot in the process.
Check out the 7 tips for taking out student loans below.
1. Compare financial aid offers
Once you get your financial aid award letters, you will have a lot of decisions to make. Assess you financial aid packages by comparing offers and reading the fine prints. It is really important that you carefully go through and understand the fine prints. Also, make sure that the scholarship/loan award is renewable. For example, if you want to enroll in a two-year program, make sure that the scholarship/loan covers both years, and not just the first one. It is a good idea to set up a spreadsheet and indicate what aid the schools have offered you and whether it is a scholarship or a loan.
2. Borrow only what you need
In order to figure out how much money you may need to borrow, just look at the university’s costs, the living expenses, your personal contribution and the financial aid award. You do not necessarily have to accept the entire loan you have been offered.
3. Consider working part-time if your programme schedule allows it
You will not have to borrow as much if you have a part-time job to cover some of your personal expenses. You might even quality for a work-study program at your university.
4. Ask questions and follow instructions
If you have any question how loans work, do not be afraid to ask the financial aid officers to get answers. Make sure you know the rules and requirements for applying for a loan and be sure to apply by the deadline.
5. Shop around for private loans
If you feel like you need to borrow more to cover your costs, consult the financial aid officers. If you decide to take a private loan, make sure to compare interest and repayment options carefully. The university may recommend certain lenders, but of course, you do not have to use them.
6. Be clear on what you are signing
To make sure you understand a loan’s terms, conditions and repayment requirements, ask your financial aid officer questions like these:
- How much will the loan cost in total?
- What are the monthly payments?
- Is the interest rate fixed or variable?
- Can I get a lower interest rate?
- What fees do I have to pay?
7. Note private-loans credit requirements
Private loans require credit checks. If you do not have a credit history, you will need to find a cosigner with a good credit history. Usually the better the cosigner’s credit history and score, the better interest rate and other terms will be.
If you are currently applying for a loan or a scholarship or have any questions regarding financing your studies, you can consult our experts. They will answer all your questions.
Source: Big Future