Managing Student Loans

The price of going to college, even to a community college, has increased to the point that many collegiates are unable to complete their educations without getting student loans to assist them. There are many types of loans available to students, from government loans to private loans through banks and other lending institutions. Some are better than others, in terms of interest rates and payment amounts, but a great deal of the loan specifics that you will qualify for will be dependent on you and/or your parents, if applicable.


The first place that a potential college student should be going is to FAFSA online. This is a website that will allow you to apply for federal student aid without any application fees at all. There may be some loans that you will qualify for, but there may also be grants that will never have to be repaid. That is, without a doubt, the best way to go, so starting where these are also available is the best thing to do. With FAFSA, you are going to be competing with many other people so the key is to get your application in as early as possible. There are only so many dollars to be given out in this program and once they’re gone, they’re gone until the next term.


If you will be applying for private, unsecured loans, your income is going to be very important. You are going to need to show that you are able to make the monthly payments and pay off the loan. Do you have traceable income that is regular and sufficient to pay a private loan? If not, you are going to want to get some. Going to college and working at the same time is not always easy, but you can do it, if you want that degree bad enough.


If you are limited on income, you may want to consider trying to get a loan with a co-signer. Your parents or someone else that is close to you may be able to do this for you. With a co-signer, the bank will have a second person to depend on for repayment of the loan, but for you, it is still your loan and your responsibility. You will want to find someone with good credit and a good debt to income ratio when using them as a co-signer on your loan.


If you have an item of high value, such as a piece of expensive jewelry, a home, or a vehicle that is owned outright by you, or is at least worth more than you owe on it, you may be able to use it to secure a loan. Having security on a loan can help you to qualify for it, but use extreme caution doing this. If, for any reason, you can’t pay back the loan, you will probably lose your security.

*Credit Score

Having a high credit score is one of the best tools you will have when it comes to getting a loan of any type, including student loans. Your credit score can be obtained by requesting a copy of your credit report. You are entitled, in the United States, to one of these free of charge each year. When you receive your credit report, take the time to examine it carefully to ensure that there are no errors. If there are problems on your credit report, take care of them immediately. If you have a low credit score, take steps to increase it. It will be very important to your ability to get the loans you will need to get your college degree.