Wednesday, March 4, 2015

FAQs on Student Loans

Student loans are known as a hassle. With all the regulations and rules, loans can be a frustrating topic for most students. However, student loans are a great tool that enable students to obtain their education at a university that they normally cannot afford. We took some of the most frequently asked questions and addressed them in this month’s blog.

What are my student loan options?

The most popular loan is the Federal Stafford Loan. This loan is available for most students but is capped well below the cost of most colleges. Another loan is the Federal PLUS Loan. This loan is for creditworthy parents of students. This loan can more than likely cover the full cost of education for any student. The third most popular loan is the Federal Perkins Loan. This loan is made directly by a school to the student. Some schools do not offer this loan, but those that do can decide who to give the loan to based on who needs it the most.

Am I Eligible for a Federal Student Loan?

If you are enrolled in a certified program at an eligible school, you are more than likely eligible for a federal loan. You must be a U.S. citizen or an eligible non-citizen. In addition have your high school diploma or GED equivalent. If you have been convicted under any federal or state laws you may not be eligible for aid in certain cases.

What’s the Difference between Federal and Private Loans?

Federal loans are highly regulated by the federal government and include many benefits like fixed interest rates and repayment plans whereas private loans are subsidized and usually more expensive. Most people maximize their federal loans before thinking about taking out a private loan.

How long is my Grace Period?

A grace period is a specific amount of time during which you do not have to make payments towards your student loans. Knowing how long your grace period lasts is crucial so you don’t miss payments. In the terms and conditions section of your promissory note, you will find details about your grace period. If you no longer have the note your school's financial aid office and your lender are excellent resources to assist you with finding out the correct information about the grace period.

Can I Cancel my Student Loans?

Federal student loans can be cancelled but there are very specific conditions you must meet to get your loans cancelled. A successful cancellation means the government must give back any payments you have made and help you try to turn your credit score around. An application form is available, but there may be tax consequences if you decide to go through with the cancellation.

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