So, the high costs have dashed your dreams of going to school. You may wonder how someone can afford college. Well, this is done through student loans and it’s what most people have to use to get an education. You can learn how to get one too.
If you have extra money at the end of the month, don’t automatically pour it into paying down your student loans. Check interest rates first, because sometimes your money can work better for you in an investment than paying down a student loan. For example, if you can invest in a safe CD that returns two percent of your money, that is smarter in the long run than paying down a student loan with only one point of interest. Only do this if you are current on your minimum payments though and have an emergency reserve fund.
If you choose to pay off your student loans faster than scheduled, make sure that your extra amount is actually being applied to the principal. Many lenders will assume extra amounts are just to be applied to future payments. Contact them to make sure that the actual principal is being reduced so that you accrue less interest over time.
If you’ve taken out more than one student loan, familiarize yourself with the unique terms of each one. Different loans will come with different grace periods, interest rates, and penalties. Ideally, you should first pay off the loans with high interest rates. Private lenders generally charge higher interest rates than the government.
Exercise caution when considering student loan consolidation. Yes, it will likely reduce the amount of each monthly payment. However, it also means you’ll be paying on your loans for many years to come. This can have an adverse impact on your credit score. As a result, you may have difficulty securing loans to purchase a home or vehicle.
Before accepting the loan that is offered to you, make sure that you need all of it. If you have savings, family help, scholarships and other types of financial help, there is a chance you will only need a portion of that. Do not borrow any more than necessary since it will make it harder to pay it back.
If you take out loans from multiple lenders, know the terms of each one. Some loans, such as federal Perkins loans, have a nine-month grace period. Others are less generous, such as the six-month grace period that comes with Family Education and Stafford loans. You must also consider the dates on which each loan was taken out, as this determines the beginning of your grace period.
Stretch your student loan money by minimizing your living expenses. Find a place to live that is close to campus and has good public transportation access. Walk and bike as much as possible to save money. Cook for yourself, purchase used textbooks and otherwise pinch pennies. When you look back on your college days, you will feel very resourceful.
It is important that you pay close attention to all of the information that is provided on student loan applications. Overlooking something can cause errors and/or delay the processing of your loan. Even if something looks like it is not very important, it is still important for you to read it in full.
Now that you know the very important information shared here about loans, you should have an easier time of snagging one for yourself. Use the advice you were given here when you go get financial aid so you can get great student loans. Never allow the expense of college stop you from achieving your educational goals.