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Types of Student Loans

It’s time to put a plan in place to pay for college, now that it’s just ahead.

Student Loans

After you have explored finding free money (scholarships and grants), now is the time you may need to apply for student loans to help pay for college. This falls into step 2: explore federal student loans and step 3: fill any remaining gap with a responsible private student loan.

Federal student loans are provided by the government while private student loans are provided by banks and other financial institutions. Private student loans generally fall into two categories: one where the student is the primary borrower (often with a creditworthy cosigner), and one where a parent (or creditworthy individual such as a guardian or spouse) is the primary borrower. In both federal and private student loan cases, you'll have to pay back the money you borrow plus interest.

Understanding student loans

When you’re just starting out, a student loan may be your first major financial agreement. Do your research, read the disclosures, and know your options. Many loans have repayment options and benefits such as interest-only payments while in school, fixed payments, deferments, and much more. Reading and understanding student loan paperwork, commonly referred to as disclosures, can help you fully understand the terms and conditions of the loan.

Before you sign on the dotted line to accept a student loan, keep in mind that regardless of whether you actually graduate from school or not, student loans must be paid back with interest. Successful repayment of your student loans can be the foundation for a strong credit history and a very bright financial future.

Do your research and know your options

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