BY LIANA DAREN
Student loans are a lifesaver for many struggling students. However, paying them off could be a long and frustrating process. Federal loans are usually the most popular choice since they have better terms and lower interest rates than other kinds.
Before applying for such a loan, however, it is recommended that one understand them well. Read on for some much-needed discussion on federal loans that all students should know of:
- Three Types Of Federal Loans
To start off, the American government doesn’t just offer one single kind if federal loan. It actually offers no less than three of them. These are known as Stafford Loans, Perkins Loans, and PLUS Loans.
Stafford loans are the most common type and are open for any and all students to apply for. Perkins loans, on the other hand, are only for students who are dependent on a low income and are qualified somehow. PLUS loans are reserved for graduate students, those pursuing a professional degree, or for parents who have children in school.
Each of these programs has its own interest rates, borrowing terms, and eligibility criteria. However, they are all fixed-rate loans, which may benefit either party at certain times. However, a fixed rate is generally good news for a student, since changing interest rates could wreak havoc with one’s future plans.
Plus, there is always the guarantee of government protection when one can’t afford to study further. You may also be pleased to know that there are several ways of going for repayment one you’re done with school. In case you simply cannot make a payment here and there, there is also an option for postponing them.
If you’re still in school, you may want to go for a subsidized loan. This way, you could start paying off the loan by working part-time even before graduating. If you make even a few payments without interest, you’d be well on your way towards full repayment once you get your diploma. Of course, in order to qualify for one, you would have to prove that you have a low income, or are dependent on one.
- For Everyone
While there are certain restrictions on the kinds of loans provided, federal loans are mostly open to everyone who wishes to apply. Simply put, you are eligible for an unsubsidized Stafford loan if you are a resident of the United States.
Independent undergraduates can receive up to fifty-seven thousand dollars if they get such a loan. Those seeking a graduate or professional degree could get around $138,000. The signature and consent of the student are enough in such cases, and they wouldn’t need anyone to cosign or have their credit checked. This is why many students greatly prefer to apply for federal loans rather than privately approach banks.
- There Are Yearly Limits
Many students may not realize the existence of aggregate limits when it comes to their feral student loans. Stafford loans have a limit of $5,500 for a college freshman year, $6,500 for sophomores, and $7,500 for juniors and seniors. There may also be $4000 added to these amounts. This breakup is for the dependent undergraduates.
For independent students, the limits are higher but still there. Of course, one would have to do some research and find out just how much they are allowed per year. This may not be able to cover all the schooling needs of a student, but the idea is that parents or relatives would add the amount needed.
Paying off a loan is not so hard if you have done your research beforehand. Be sure to calculate just how much you would need and what kind of loan would be best for you. Putting in a bit of effort just might make an easier financial future for you.
Liana Daren is the author of this blog. Apart from being a blogger, she is also an educator and students approach him for getting university coursework help. In addition to being a veteran blogger, she is a also a student counselor who aims to help students in every aspect of their lives. She is particularly good at writing articles about career development, academic life, and student’s affairs.