Education loans are a type of debt used to cover the costs associated with an educational course. Borrowers may take out Education loans as an additional funding source if savings alone do not cover all their expenses; it is essential for borrowers to understand how Education loans work before taking out one and should utilize grants and scholarships before resorting to debt financing for financing your education.
The federal government offers several education loans to assist with college costs, including Direct Subsidized Loan, Unsubsidized Loan and the William D. Ford Federal Direct PLUS Loan Program. Students must submit the FAFSA to determine their eligibility for these Education loans, with direct subsidized and unsubsidized loans only being made available to undergraduate students who can demonstrate financial need via their FAFSA application. While in school, interest on these loans are covered by the government. Annual limits have to be adhered to. The Direct PLUS Loan Program allows parents of dependent undergraduate and non-dependent graduate students to borrow money to help finance their education costs. Interest rates on these loans are higher than those associated with Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans, with each disbursement incurring a 6.9% origination fee.
Private student loans are made available by banks, credit unions and online lenders, unlike federal student loans which must be applied for through one central application process. Each lender imposes its own minimum income and credit requirements so it is essential for borrowers to do their research prior to applying. Keep in mind that private student loans can be costly so only borrow what is absolutely necessary for education purposes – unlike federal student loans which usually offer income-driven repayment plans for their Education loans.
Before taking out education loans from either the government or a private lender, ensure your post-graduation budget allows for affordable monthly payments before borrowing any education loans. Keep in mind that you will have to make these payments for life; thus it is crucial that they fit within your monthly budget and that any changing interest rates don’t create additional expenses such as thousands in additional costs during a standard 10-year loan repayment term.
Make sure to utilize any public service loan forgiveness programs applicable to your field of study. Depending on your career choice, some or all of your education loans could qualify for forgiveness after making certain qualifying payments; this is an effective way to reduce overall debt load and move closer towards becoming debt free.