The Inside-Out Of College Loans
I have heard it said that education is the best investment. Whoever said that could probably afford their college fees. Don’t get me wrong. Certainly I am all for higher education. At the same time, I am not a votary of being under unnecessary debt. This is where the contradiction arises.
What complicates this conundrum is the fact that if you go to college, you are more likely to be able to pay your debts. So you have to get an educational loan (and a college education) to be able to repay loans in the future. I guess you can see why I call it a conundrum!
First of all, realize that you can get a college loan. Sounds obvious, right? Not really! I have heard of many candidates who hesitate applying for a college loan as they have a poor credit history. Surely, poor credit history will make it tougher to get an educational loan. But, it is far from impossible. In fact, I think that going ahead and getting a good education is one of the great methods of trying to come out of a financial jam.
Having said that, I do not want to sound like I am very forgiving of a loan-tangle. Barring exceptions, most people get into a debt trap due to irresponsibility. So, do the adult thing today and acknowledge fault. Then promise yourself that you will do the right thing after college and repay all your existing loans – including your student loan.
When looking for a students loan, make sure to explore the usual options first: The Subsidized / Unsubsidized Stafford Loan, the Federal Perkins Loan, the Federal+ loan for parents, the Direct PLUS loan, the Federal consolidation loan, the Private student loans, and the like.
What you need to keep in mind is: Is the specific loan you are applying to available for undergraduate studies or graduate studies (or both)? Is the loan need based or merit based? What documents will you need to demonstrate financial need? Are there any specific loan options available to you if you are applying to specific programs, e.g., Federal Nursing Loan and the Health Professions Student Loans?
Keeping all this in mind will be a good first step towards getting a students loan. Remember your education should be a stepping stone to a better life, not a means to get stuck into a deeper financial hole.