Student loans are mainly of two types: federal and private, which have various categories and different requirements. If you need a loan as a student to pay for school, this article offers some different types to choose from as well as the eligibility for some of these loans, mostly federal loans.
Different types of loans for students
1. Federal student loans
These are loans that you normally take out with the U.S. Department of Education. When taking out federal student loans, keep in mind that the department of education has a deal with private lenders to service the loans; it is recommended that students always check their federal student loan eligibility before considering private loans. Other than the lower interest rates that federal student loans offer, their terms are much more favorable than those of a private loan.
Though before you are eligible for this offer, you will need to complete a free application, and this is not just for federal student loans but for all federal aid. Other information needed to proceed with this application is:
- Tax returns, either for both students and parents or just for students who are independent,
- Bank and brokerage account statements include other financial information.
These are used to determine the expected family contribution (EFC), which is, when it comes to paying for school, how much your family is on the hook for.
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Federal student loans include:
- Directly subsidized loans: These loans are made available to undergraduate students based on their financial need. The government takes care of the interest payments or reduces them to a minimum throughout the time of your school period, but once you graduate, you become responsible for the interest that is later attached to the loan. Although the interest of a direct subsidized loan is subsidized for students, the total amount a student can borrow is limited by the length of their school days
- Direct unsubsidized loans: These loans are made available to anyone since they are not based on financial need. But be ready for interest charges while in school, though there is room for deferring payment until after your stay in school. Despite the limitation that comes with the amount you can borrow, it is quite higher than that of the subsidized loans. First-year dependent students can bid for as much as $5,500 for the loan amount.
- Direct Plus Loans: These loans are within the reach of every graduate, professional student, or parent of an undergraduate dependent student. Unlike direct subsidized loans where eligibility is based on need, In a direct plus loan, eligibility does not depend on credit scores despite the fact that it covers the cost of education.
- Direct consolidation loans: The interest associated with these loans is quite weighty, and there are limits on the amount you can borrow per year, which means that every year you will need to take out a new loan as long as you are in school. This gives room for multiple student loans, whether you are one student attending the same school or not. Though some students get involved by taking all the available federal loans in addition to the direct consolidation loan and making them into one easy monthly payment after graduation.
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Federal loan eligibility
These loans are quite preferable to the rest; those who are eligible for them are not bothered with any credit checks or income requirements. These loans are made available to all students, and everyone is guaranteed an equal fixed rate.
The criteria include:
- that you must be a U.S. citizen, either a permanent resident or an eligible noncitizen.
- They must have a valid social security number (SSN), but students who are from the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Republic of Palau, or the Federated States of Micronesia do not need an SSN.
- They must be accepted by any of the eligible institutions in a certified program.
- They must be enrolled at least half-time.
- They are required to possess a high school diploma.
Graduate students who want to take out PLUS loans must undergo credit checks to see if they have adverse credit histories, like recently declaring bankruptcy, and until they have a creditworthy individual who is willing to serve as an endorsee, they may be denied a loan.
How to apply for such federal student loans
There is a free application for federal student aid that anyone who wishes to apply for such a loan must fill out. Some questions will be asked about your assets, income, and family size to determine the extent of your financial need. Following that, the financial aid office at your school will use that information to create your award packages, which will typically include scholarships, federal student loans, and grants.
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How to repay these federal student loans
Federal student loans normally come with a six-month grace period, which means your repayment is supposed to start after six months of your graduation or dropping below half-time enrollment. Though normally you are expected to get a letter after your graduation that brings to your attention how you can start paying back these loans with your assigned loan servicer,
Even though it is mandatory that after graduating you are automatically enrolled in the standard repayment plan, you can change your repayment plan any time you want.
Below is a list of repayment plans and how long it takes to pay them.
1. Standard repayment plan: this normally takes 10 years, but if you can consolidate, it might be up to 30 years.
2. A graduated repayment plan: it has a minimum of 10 years but can often be extended to 30 years when you neglect a direct consolidation loan
3. Extended repayment plan: this is up to a maximum of 25 years.
Other types of loans for students include private student loans
For private student loans, which are loans made by banks and other private lenders, there are sometimes no restrictions on the amount you can borrow, but the interest rates are much higher than for federal student loans.
There are generally apply when other funding options, such as federal student loans, grants, and scholarships, have been exhausted and you still find yourself in need of financial aid, it may be time to look into private student loans.
A financial organization such as a bank issues them.
The student applies for and receives a private student loan, usually with the help of a parent or other creditworthy person who guarantees repayment.
Another option for financing higher education is parental loans. The loan is often taken out by a parent or another financially responsible adult to help finance a student’s education.