Taking out a student loan for the first time? Keep these tips in mind
Updated on August 18, 2019
If you or your child is going to college, there are so many exciting things ahead to look forward to. However, it’s also time to start thinking about student loans. Applying for student loans can feel overwhelming if you’re doing it for the first time, and many people end up making unnecessary mistakes. Here are some tips that will make the student loan process easier and even save you money.
Don’t take out more than you need
A very common mistake that many people make is taking out all of the loans they qualify for, even if they don’t necessarily need them. While it may seem like a good idea to take all of the assistance offered, it can make the repayment process more difficult down the line. Put together a detailed budget for your college expenses, and look for other ways to pay for your education, like working a part-time job or taking money out of savings. Even though it requires some financial commitment upfront, it will save you money in the long run by lowering your interest.
Apply for as many grants and scholarships as possible
There are many forms of financial assistance for education that don’t need to be paid back later on. It takes some research to find them, but you might be surprised by how many scholarships and grants are available, both from your school and from private organizations. Even a small scholarship can make those student loan payments easier, so it’s worth looking into them.
Ask as many questions as you need
If you’re feeling confused about student loans, it’s worth reaching out to a loan advisor at your school for help. If you just take blind guesses about how to navigate loan rules and regulations, it could eventually limit the loans available to you. Start doing your research well before you need to apply, and reach out to anyone you have available as a resource for clarification.
Never sign unless you’re totally clear on the loans
Before you take out any loan, it’s important to make sure you understand its provisions. Read through the paperwork in its entirety and clarify any questions you may have before signing.