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WHAT IS A COLLEGE LOAN?
A college loan is simply a type of student loan that is used for the payment of a student’s cost of college and other college expenses.
Types Of Student Loans
The U.S. department of education have published a list of state higher-education agencies. You can use the contact information to learn about the college loans that are offered from your state. First and foremost, look close to your home for opportunities available in your area as they might have college financial aid programs specially designed for residents of the state. Also, make it a point to talk to a financial aid counselor at the schools you’re considering since they have much experience in that area. They may be of great assistance in finding you the best financial aid and discussing or explaining the details of your aid award letter.
Private loans are loans you can get from credit unions, other lending institutions and banks to help pay for your college expenses that does not meet the federal loans, scholarships, other types of financial assistance and grants. With most private loans, the legal and financial responsibility of repaying the loan lies solely on the student. At any time, you can apply for a private loan and use the funds to cover all college expenses which includes your tuition, transportation, books, room, computer and books.
Advantages Of Private Loans
• Private loans are very attractive college funding options. This is because you can apply for the loan either online or by phone thus making the process easy and fast.
• You have direct access to the funds of the loan upon approval.
• The interest on the loan might be tax-deductible.
• There is no prepayment penalty on the loans
• The charges on the loans are low, if any.
• The requirements do not include completing a FAFSA form for federal aid
• The options of a co-signer are available.
Possible Disadvantages Of Private Loans
There are a few possible shortcomings of private college loans you should consider before applying for the loan. Most lenders will like to run a credit check on you. If you have a good credit history, you can qualify for the loan but if your credit history is bad, and can’t qualify you for the loan, you can get a co-signer. Private loans also charge high interest rates than federal loans.
In every academic year, the funding must be applied but note that the fact that your loan is approved this year is not a sign or indication of your loan status for the following year.
Facts About Private Loans
Generally, private loans are not need-based or subsidized. Often, they require a co-signer. Interest rates associated with these loans vary:
• Banks and many financial firms usually offer the highest rates.
• Some private foundations and organizations offer loans with lower interest rates.
• Some colleges also offer loans at very low interest rates.
Always go through and understand the terms of the loan you are considering for before you finally accept it. The terms and conditions for some private loans may be unfavorable, but the interest rates on the loans may be very low. Federal loans on the other hand usually have flexible terms so in case you are unemployed or incapable of making payments on the loan, you can adjust your payments.
Colleges, private organizations, the state and federal governments provide parents and students with college loans. Below is the summary of the available loans.
Federal Perkins Loan
This type of loan is intended for applicants with few assets and less income. It is a need-based loan and eligibility depends on the needs of the student and availability of funds in college. This helps the student determine his/her financial need and the amount that will be rewarded to him/her. It is a helpful financial tool and offers numerous benefits which includes:
• Low, fixed interest rates
• No loan fees
• Longer grace period before you are required to make repayments
• Possible cancellation of the loan for borrowers who go into service professions such as teaching or military upon graduation.
To be eligible for a Federal Perkins loan, you must:
1. Be a permanent resident and a U.S citizen or be eligible for a non-citizen status.
2. Be enrolled in the degree program for at least half-time
3. Maintain a satisfactory academic standard
When the college loan is approved, the funds will be directly applied to the student’s tuition or given to him/her.
The Federal Direct Loan Program
This is the best-known student loan program and the largest of all. Below are the four types of federal direct loans:
• Direct Unsubsidized Loan
• Direct Subsidized Loan
• Direct PLUS Loan
• Direct Consolidation Loan
Direct Subsidized Loans
These loans are only available to undergraduate students who can prove that they need financial assistance. The good thing about this loan is that the United States Department of Education pays all the interest on the loan at least half-time through your education, during any deferment period or for the first six months after you have left school. In the first year of your undergraduate studies, you can borrow up to $3,500 and up to $4,500 in your second year. During your third year and beyond, you can borrow up to $5,500.
Direct Unsubsidized Loans
These loans are available to undergraduates, graduates, and professional students. When you opt for a direct unsubsidized loan, you are accountable for paying the interest while you are in school, during any deferment period and your grace period. The borrower does not have to prove financial need to be eligible for the loan. Undergraduate students who depend on their parents can be able to borrow up to $5,500 in the first year $6,500 second year and $7,500 in their third year and beyond. For independent students, they can borrow up to $9,500 in the first year, $10,500 second year and$12,500 during their third year and farther. An independent student can borrow up to $57,500 and a dependent student can borrow a total amount of $31,000 in unsubsidized and subsidized loans over their entire college period. In subsidized loans, the maximum amount of money a student can borrow is $23,000.
Direct PLUS Loans
Direct Plus loans are available to parents whose children depend on them in the undergraduate program. Also, these loans are available to Professional Degree and Graduate Students in a professional or graduate program. Borrowers of such loans must pass the credit check run on them, and they are allowed to borrow the total cost of attendance minus any other financial aid. Make sure you verify the process your college prefers as there may be an additional step in the PLUS Loan application process.
Students who independently apply for Direct Loans (as opposed to a parent applying for funds on a dependent child’s behalf) have an annual loan limit that is higher and can qualify them for higher amounts of unsubsidized funds.
There are a lot of benefits to Direct Loans and it includes:
• no need to run a credit check
• low, fixed- interest rate
• More flexible repayment plans
• no prepaying penalty on the loan
• Colleges may award Federal Perkins Loans to students who have the the highest need.
• When you take a Federal Direct Subsidized loan, the interests are free while you are still in college, but you can borrow up to a limit that increases each year.
• Interest are charged on Direct Unsubsidized Loans, but the interest fee is added to the loan amount till you have graduated. This means you will end up in more debt.
• Federal direct plus loans permit graduate students or parents to borrow only the total college cost. This is without any financial aid he/she received.
Application Process Of A College Loan
The federal loan application process is different from that of private student loans.
Private Student Loans
1. Submit the loan application and go through a credit check.
2. To get a lower rate and increase the chances that your loan will be approved, add a co-signer.
3. Complete the self-certification form and sign your promissory note.
4. Accept the terms of the loan
5. Once it has been applied to your student account, you will receive the proceeds of your loan from your school
Federal Student Loans
1. Log on to the website (studentloans.gov) to fill the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form.
2. Analyze your Student Aid Report (SAR). Usually, you receive your SAR report about a week after the submission of the FAFSA form online.
3. Read through and analyze your financial aid packages then sign your Master Promissory Note (MPN).
4. Once it has been applied to your student account, you will receive the proceeds of your loan from your school.
Determine How Much To Borrow
Even if you are returning for a new academic year or going to college for the first time, you have to assess the amount you can receive in student loans when you exhaust other financial aid options. To help out, you can examine these student loans available:
Federal Student Loans
Federal student loans are the first type of loans every student should consider. To determine your eligibility, complete the FSFSA. Once you are eligible, the loans will be included in the award letter the school you have been accepted in hands over to you.
Private Student Loans
When the financial aid you receive is not enough to cover the total cost of your college education, you may need a private student loan to cover the rest of your expenses. Several factors including your credit history, whether you have a creditworthy co-signer or not, the lender’s annual borrowing limits and the cost of attendance minus other aid will determine whether you will get the loan or not and the amount you can borrow. Below are the processes that will help determine the amount you can borrow.
Step 1: Identify Your College Costs per annum
Check the school’s website for the net price calculator and use it to Check your annual cost of attendance. Your annual cost of attendance includes fees and tuition, books and supplies, and living and housing expenses. You can also calculate your attendance cost by using their net price calculator.
Step 2: Assess Your Free Money, Savings and Family Contributions
Free money includes scholarships, savings, grants, wages and family contributions. Consider using any of such money for college to reduce your total cost of college.
Step 3: Calculate Your Funding Gap
You can estimate the amount you need to cover the total cost of your college education once you have determined the amount of free money you have in your possession to contribute towards the cost of college.
Step 4: Apply for either the Federal Work-Study Program or Other Employment
The federal work-study program allows college students in need of financial assistance to earn money that can support them in the payment of their expenses. The government funds this part-time employment program. If you complete the FAFSA indicating your interest and you are eligible, you may receive it as part of your award letter. You can use the money you earn to settle your college expenses.
Step 5: Apply for Student Loans
You will know the amount in the federal student loans that is available to you when you receive the award letter. You can then estimate the amount you need to borrow from private student loans using the student loan calculator. When borrowing, it is recommended that you use all your free money (grants, scholarships and savings) first and if you realize the need to borrow more, compare the private and federal student loans and select the best loan that befits your needs.
The Basics Of College Loans
If your income, savings, grants and scholarships cannot cover your college cost, you can consider going in for a loan. Though paying back the loan might cost more money, you can be assured of your college education.
College education increases your opportunity of getting a better jobs and good salary. This means when you borrow college loans wisely, you have invested positively into your future.
How College Loans Work
Anytime you take a college loan, it is a borrowed money and just like all other loans, you have to repay It, including the interest and other charges on the loan. The interest rates on college loans differ depending on the type you take. The lower your interest rate, the less amount you pay.
Who Provides The Loans?
There are three sources of college loans:
• State Agencies: State agencies grant loans to students but some of these loans come with specific requirements.
• The Federal Government: Federal government loans is nearly half of the money college students borrow every year.
• Private organizations: these organizations include banks, foundations, colleges, and other financial institutions.
What Is An Interest?
An interest is a fee the borrower is made to pay for using the lender’s money. The interest is charged each month based on the loan balance that has not been paid. The rate of the loan balance is expressed as a percentage. Periodically, variable interest rates change (each month, quarter or yearly) but most new student loans have fixed rates of interest that does not change over the lifespan of the loan.
How Can I Get The Best Loan?
Follow steps below will guide you to get the best loan.
1. Get the FAFSA form and complete it. FAFSA can easily qualify you for a federal loan and usually comes with the best terms and conditions.
2. Get in touch with the college financial aid office of your school and ask about the loans offered through the school.
3. Find out about state loans through the U.S. Department of Education
How Do I Begin The College Loan Process?
To start the college loan process, first fill the FAFSA form. It will give all information about the progress in your education and your current income to the government. The cash that will be awarded to you will be based on your income, age, marital status, family and the level you have gotten to in your studies.
How Do I Receive The College Loan?
You will be notified by your college on the loan amount you qualify for after you have filled the FAFSA form. Though the loan is from the government, the college gives the feedback and dispenses the loan.
You can write a list of schools on the FAFSA if you are not yet in school and accept the loan from the college you get.
How About College Loans From Banks?
Some lending institutions and banks also give college student loans but make sure you review the rate of interest to see if it will be favorable or not. The banks and lending institutions can begin charging the loan interest promptly and change the rates, but government college loans do not do.
What Does The College Loan Funds Cover?
The funds of a college loan directly go into the payment of your tuition. As a student you can take any amount of the total loan you are offered. If you decide to take more than the amount you need to cover your tuition, the rest of the money will be given to you through a pre-paid debit card or a refund check. You can use this cash to cover your books and other expenses.
What Are The Available Repayment Options For College Loans?
All students must pay their college loans. You will have to meet the repayment requirements of the bank or financial institution if you borrowed from them.
Government loans are more flexible and comes with several options of repayment than the other types of college loans. Government loans have a standard loan option where the repayments are a fixed amount through the lifespan of the loan. And there is an income-based option where the money you pay is dependent on your yearly income. If you are going through a hard time or you are unemployed, you can put a hold on your repayments. Government loans are very attractive to students because they offer several repayment options.
College Loans: Federal vs Private.
Being able to pay for your fees and expenses is a priority of several students. But due to the increasing cost of education, most parents and students are unable to afford the fees and other college expenses and for that reason, the need to investigate several loan options comes to play.
Federal college loans are funded by the federal government to assist parents or students in paying the cost of the education. For a college student to qualify for a federal loan, he/she must submit a completed FAFSA (free application of student) form to the United States Education Department. This FAFSA form is used by the Education department to determine the borrower’s expected family contribution or the college bill his/her family will be required to pay. The financial aid office of your college can assist you in explaining the FAFSA form and the types of federal loans you may qualify for. If you need a federal loan to pay for your college education, you must make sure your school is accredited.
Reasons Why Student Loan Debt Can Be Good
Basically, you are able to make more money when you have a college degree than when you go into a workforce right after high school. The truth is that you attain more college experience than a degree. It is just an add-up to the value, but it is your choice to see it that way. There are several rewards associated with college education.
To earn a degree, you should pass your classes to get the academic rewards. There are two schools of thought when it comes to academic rewards. Some people believe college education should be for information and learning job-related skills while others say it should be for personal and intellectual growth.
Intellectual and personal growth includes expertise like:
• Analytical Skills
• Critical Thinking
• Problem Solving
Job-related skills on the other hand comprise hard skills that brands the main function of the job you’re taking up.
Americans who have no college education have a general perception that the college should teach their students specific job-related skills to prepare them towards the workforce while persons with higher education- particularly those with higher degree will contend with the benefits of personal and intellectual growth. Nonetheless, college students claim their experience in college had a positive impact in their professional and personal development.
• About 62% of students who graduated from college think it has helped them grow personally and intellectually.
• About 53% also think their experience in college has opened more career opportunities for them.
• Another 49% think their college education has provided them with the skills they need to be useful in the workforce.
For several students, the utmost college memories are with classmates, roommates and friends. The truth about it is that those experiences taught the student thigs he/she may have learnt in a different way if he/she did not go to college. Even though some may criticize their roommates after they moved out, others started lifetime bonds with theirs. In both ways, social relationships provide relevant lessons on interrelation with several people in diverse situations while they had lectures and deadlines to meet.
College education gives you a sense of independence and responsibility. Examples are cooking, folding your clothes, and washing. One great anticipation of college students is getting their own apartments or house and live on their own. Having your independence can either be a liberation, freedom or terrifying. You have to pay your own bills, rent, buy clothes, groceries and keep your home clean. These are essential skills you learn in and after college especially when you are compelled to do them without anyone’s help including your parents. Student loans saves you the stress of earning money that allows you to live on your own. You are free to focus on learning these independent skills.
In reality, the mindset behind people who go to college is to get better jobs than they could’ve gotten if they had a high school diploma. But the question here is, what is a better job? Is it one with the best benefits? one that is interesting or deeply satisfies? or one that pays more? The best person to answer such questions is yourself.
Basically, having a degree exposes you to vast employment opportunities. As a matter of fact, about two-thirds of jobs in recent times require a college degree. College education gives you an access to greater careers of wide range and is one best place to build a network. Right from new friends, roommates and group members for your project. These contacts can be of great help in your job search. Who knows, any of them might have gotten a position in the company you are seeking to be part of and can bring you on board or may be looking forward to hiring someone like you.
Greater compensation potential is associated with greater opportunities of employment. This is the key for most people when it comes to investing terms in determining the worth of your college experience. If you are able to earn sufficient cash due to your degree to pay for its cost and more, then the monetary return will be much greater than the cost. The investment is therefore worth it.
The Benefits Of The Compensation Package Are Equally Important As Wages.
Studies conducted have shown that graduates from colleges are more likely to have a retirement plan and a health insurance through their employer than those with high school diploma. In addition, people with bachelor’s degree less likely contribute to a retirement plan than college graduates who have advance degrees.
Below Are The Factors To Be Considered Before Applying For A Loan.
• Low loan limits
• Requirement needed to file a FAFSA form
• Requirements to apply for funds each academic year
• Limitations on the use of the funds
• The Student is obliged to remain enrolled for at least half-time to qualify for and continue receiving the funds
• Small loan fee
It is advisable to explore cheaper forms of funding such as scholarships, grants, federal loans and work-study programs than private lenders since their interest rates are on the higher side. College loans invest into your future but be sure to explore more options before you go in for a loan. This will save you from any future debt.
Disclaimer: All loans offered through this website are subject to credit and underwriting approval. AfterLoans.ca is a lead referral company, not a lender. AfterLoans only works with financial service providers that adhere to Canadian laws and regulations. Our lenders lend from $500-$5,000. Loans amortization is between 6-36 months. APRs range from 19.99% to 55%. The actual APR charged will depend on the lender’s assessment of your credit profile. For example, on a $1000 loan borrowed for 12 months at 29.9%, the monthly payment will be $97.24; with a total repayment, including interest, of $1166.88 There is also lender’s optional loan protection policy. In the event of a missed payment an insufficient funds fee of around 45$ may be charged (dependent on the lender). If you default on your loan payment plan the lender may terminate the plan and the remaining balance will become payable immediately. Our lenders employ fair debt collection practices, but will pursue the payment of Outstanding debts to the full extent that Canadian law allows.