3 tips for finding the best student loans
Updated on November 23, 2020
It’s no surprise to anyone that college is expensive, and that the cost continues to rise every year. And as the cost rises, more students are forced to take out student loans to cover their tuition. The student loan process is not an easy one, with students and parents left making tough decisions about a system that isn’t very straight forward. Here are three tips on finding the best student loans.
Doing your research
With so many different options to choose from, it’s critically important that your student loan journey begins with research. And this means research beyond consulting your high school’s college counselor. Learn about the different types of loans — federal versus private, subsidized versus unsubsidized, and more. Make sure your research includes looking into what the schools you are applying to offer. Many colleges offer grants, scholarships, and loans themselves, and it’s always a good idea to get an understanding of what they offer so you know how much you’ll need to take out.
Shop around for rates
If you’re opting to take out private loans, you’ll need to shop around for the best interest rates. It’s important not to jump on the first company that offers you a loan because you may be able to find a better interest rate somewhere else. Because all loans are not created equal, you’ll have to take the time to find out what works best for you, while thinking about paying them off in the future. Most companies offer fixed and variable rates, so research with your parents which option works best for you. Also, use a loan calculator and pre-qualification tool to access your eligibility and to see what route you should take.
Even though you won’t be paying your loans off until you graduate, you will need to look into your lender’s repayment terms to ensure you will be able to meet them once you finish school. Repayment terms include the amount of time you’ll have to pay your loans off, how quickly you’ll have to begin payments, and how the repayment plan is broken down. Because lenders offer different payment structures, make sure you secure a lender that you think fits your repayment timeline.