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How To Avail A Student Loan

Date Added: 29/07/2021

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Student loans have become one of the pillars of foreign education. In a way, it is a good debt just like a housing mortgage loan where the value of the house appreciates over many years.

A student loan also contributes to such long-term value creating qualifications that grow in value and make careers and income for the applicant who repays the debt over the years. 

To know the amount to borrow, examine what you have in hand in terms of grants, scholarships, and family support. Then calculate the tuition costs, class and book costs, housing, and other costs to cover. When there is a deficit in meeting those expenses from the available cash trail, take a loan.


Eligibility Docs 

Those seeking private student loans must keep their income sources and tax information ready and apply with a co-signer. They can fill out the form online.

Compare options and terms before finalizing the loan deal and importantly check when the first payment is due.  From the numerous federal and private student loan options, look at:

  • Repayment terms
  • Interest rate
  • Monthly payable amount


US loan scenario

However, international students in the United States cannot avail liberal Federal loans to local students. For them, the recourse is to take specialized private education loans for studying in the US. These International student loans are realistic and loans can cover the entire education. Extended repayment terms and right interest rates can make the repayment less painful.


Co-signer required

International students applying for a loan must have a US cosigner, who is a permanent US resident having a good credit score. The cosigner can be a close friend or relative. 

Take a look at the interest rate and the total amount is taken. Calculate how the interest rate will affect the total cost of the loan. Regarding repayment, remember that federal student loans automatically enrol applicants in the Standard Repayment Plan with a 10-year repayment term. 

But the plans can be changed to something suitable. If the Income-Driven Repayment plan is chosen there will be a cap for monthly payments and it will be a certain small percentage of income as outgo and there will be a longer repayment term.


Self-assessment of costs Vs resources

If student loans are really needed for college, choosing the right one needs some homework. Before rushing for loans it is better to look at scholarships, grants, and family support. Subtract the funding from that total. The balance can be additional funds required.

The US Department of Education in its website gives sound advice. It says to take the free money first. They are scholarships and grants. 

Then, go for the earned money coming from work-study. Borrowed money must be the last option and for that many options exist. There are loans with varying interest rates and repayment tenures. The federal student loans in the US are relatively hassle-free. 


Methodology of applying

For the US federal loan, the candidate must fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) in which the deadline differs from state to state. The deadline may be checked at 

Fill up the Federal form: When the FAFSA form is filled an award letter will follow outlining the federal student loan options available. There are many types of federal loans, including:

  • Direct subsidized loans
  • Direct unsubsidized loans
  • Direct Plus loans


Subsidized loans are good for borrowers, as the government pays the interest while the borrower studies in school and also supports the periods of deferment. For unsubsidized loans, there is no subsidy. Direct PLUS loans go to graduate students and parents too.


Master Promissory Note (MPN): In student loans, the applicant has to sign the Master Promissory Note (MPN), a legal document that states you will pay back federal student loans. Private student loans will also have similar legal undertakings in their terms and conditions.


Fed loans Vs private loans

Federal loans are the first option for many, as they got generous benefits and protections. Federal student loan borrowers when join the public sector to work, loan forgiveness is an option under the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program.

From the letter of financial award, explore federal student loan options, and the offer. Compare it with your core need and assess whether it will cover all costs. In choosing private student loans compare lenders rates and protections by various private lenders. 

The borrowers have the flexibility to keep their payments affordable under the Income-Driven Repayment plan and defer payments with forbearance. The fixed interest rates and many repayment plans make the loan trouble-free.


Private loans and challenges

When the federal student loans are insufficient to cover all costs then private student loans are the next step. But private lenders go by credit score to see if the applicant qualifies and may also ask a co-signer to back up the loan.

Private loans by financial institutions like SoFi can be compared through sites like LendingTree and Credible. 

Here no loan forgiveness or income-based repayment happens and options are limited on payback terms. 

Private student loans may have fixed and variable rates and repayment plan options are restricted. Although private loans cover gaps in college funding limited protections make them a bit risky.


Co-signer back up

In the United States, a co-signer means a second party responsible for the payments in case the borrower is unable to repay. This adds extra security for lenders who may be as credit unions and banks. They make a second person accountable if they do not receive payment.

It is very hard to have a private loan without a co-signer. If there is a co-signer problem then a loan from a non-traditional source is fine. 


First payment date matters 

The first payment date is very important. Although the in-school deferment option can avoid payments for being in school private loans do not have such protections and seek faster payments. If the first payment is due contact the lender and stays on top of your loans.

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