One of the best places to go to get help with money for college is a site like TuitionChart.com. TuitionChart.com is a student loan solution that partners with students, parents, colleges and universities, and lenders to provide students with the very best options to fill their monetary needs for college. Students can plug in their information on TuitionChart.com and they will be able to compare up to 20 student loans, evaluate a list of 1000 scholarships at their leisure, AND get all the counseling they need to make the best decisions.
So what are the best decisions? Keep in mind that while college costs a lot now, the cost is going to continue to rise. And no matter how much money a student borrows, there’s always that day when repayment will begin. When a student borrows money, the student needs to keep questions in mind like “How much interest will I pay on my loans?” and “When will I have to begin repaying my loans?” and “Is it true that there are jobs in the public sector that will allow forgiveness of some of my loans?”
The borrowing of money for college needs to be taken very seriously. In the class of 2008, 17% of the graduates borrowed AT LEAST $30,500 and 25% of the 2008 graduates owed at least $24,000 in debt. 10% owed almost $40,000. More than 2/3 of that class had at least some college debt.
There are two basic types of student loans: federal and private. As of July 1, 2010, all federal student loans will go through a federal program called the Direct Loan Program. It used to be that federal loans were available through banks and those loans were protected by the federal government. This is no longer true.
Loans borrowed from private lenders like banks, credit unions, and other sources of money for college “cost more” in interest than federal loans. The good news is, since private institutions can no longer deal in federal loans, that the interest on private loans may be falling. However, federal loans still hold several advantages.
Students should remember to “max out” their federal loan offers before turning to private lenders. Besides the lower interest rates, students who take federal loans have better repayment options – if a student doesn’t get good employment immediately after graduation, repayment can be deferred or payments can be temporarily reduced. Some federal student loans can even be forgiven if a student works in certain public sector jobs.
Every student should fill out the FAFSA, or Free Application for Student Aid, when applying to college. This gets the student’s “foot in the door” for federal aid. Many colleges also request that the FAFSA be filled out to gauge a student’s eligibility for all sorts of other types of student aid.
Every student needs to carefully weigh all of the options carefully when looking for money for college. The decision they make today will greatly affect the outlook for life after college!