There are many different types of student loan assistance programs available to aspiring college students today, and the best programs are easy to spot. From private loans to government funded loans, as well as grants and scholarships, students are equipped to deal with the rising costs of tuition for higher education with an ever expanding range of options for affording college. Student loan assistance programs will offer flexible repayment terms, delaying repayment of the loan until a period of time, often six months or longer, has elapsed after graduation to give the graduate some breathing room to put that new degree to work by finding a job. The best student loan assistance programs will also waive interest rates and fees, or offer lower interest rates and fees than other types of loans. Finally, the best student loan assistance programs will understand and cater to the needs of college students by providing loans that meet students where they are with education about debt management and saving in addition to the loan itself. Learn more about the best student loan assistance programs and choose the program that is right for you.
If you want to apply for a public or government-funded student loan assistance program, you will likely need to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA. This complicated form will take some time to complete, but it will be automatically sent to your chosen colleges and will guide you to estimate how much you need for college as well as what your family can afford on your own. Your first step in seeking any student loan assistance should be to complete the FAFSA.
One well-known type of student loan assistance program is called the Stafford Loan. These loans can be subsidized, which means the federal government pays for the interest on the loan, or unsubsidized, which means the student is responsible for paying the interest on the loan. Some types of Stafford loans are issued only to students who can demonstrate financial need, while other types of Stafford loans are open for any student to apply. Stafford loans can be issued directly from the federal government to the family or the student, or through a third party lender such as a bank or a credit union. Stafford loans are known for their excellent terms, flexible repayment plans, and low interest rates.
Institutional loans are another type of student loan assistance program that are often issued through the college or university you will be attending. Typically these types of loans are negotiated in advance through a local third party lender such as a bank or credit union and the student is offered fixed loan terms.
Another type of student loan assistance program that is growing in popularity is the private bank or credit union student loan. These loans tend to have lower interest rates and more flexible repayment terms than other classes of personal loans and often come with some level of financial and savings education attached to them.