Getting Through College: Student Loan Advice

Are you about to embark on your college career, but worry the costs will be unmanageable? If so, you are like countless other prospective scholars who will need to secure student loans of one type or another. Keep reading to learn how to get the right terms so that your financial future remains promising.

Be sure you know about the grace period of your loan. Each loan has a different grace period. It is impossible to know when you need to make your first payment without looking over your paperwork or speaking with your lender. Be sure to be aware of this information so you do not miss a payment.

If you have taken a student loan out and you are moving, be sure to let your lender know. It is important for your lender to be able to contact you at all times. They will not be too happy if they have to go on a wild goose chase to find you.

Try shopping around for your private loans. If you need to borrow more, discuss this with your adviser. If a private or alternative loan is your best bet, make sure you compare items like repayment options, fees, and interest rates. Your school may recommend some lenders, but you're not required to borrow from them.

Be sure your lender knows where you are. Keep your contact information updated to avoid fees and penalties. Always stay on top of your mail so that you don't miss any important notices. If you fall behind on payments, be sure to discuss the situation with your lender and try to work out a resolution.

To keep your overall student loan principal low, complete your first two years of school at a community college before transferring to a four-year institution. The tuition is significantly lower your first two years, and your degree will be just as valid as everyone else's when you graduate from the larger university.

To ensure that your student loan funds come to the correct account, make sure that you fill out all paperwork thoroughly and completely, giving all of your identifying information. That way the funds go to your account instead of ending up lost in administrative confusion. This can mean the difference between starting a semester on time and having to miss half a year.

To get a larger award when applying for a graduate student loan, only use your own income and asset information instead of including your parents' data. This lowers your income level in most cases and makes you eligible for more assistance. The more grants you can get, the less you have to borrow.

If you take out loans from multiple lenders, know the terms of each one. Some loans, such as federal Perkins loans, have a nine-month grace period. Others are less generous, such as the six-month grace period that comes with Family Education and Stafford loans. You must also consider the dates on which each loan was taken out, as this determines the beginning of your grace period.

If college is on the horizon, and your finances are too modest to cover the expenses, take heart. By spending some time exploring the ins and outs of the student loan industry, you will be able to find the solutions you need. Do your homework now and ensure your ability to repay your loans later.