Before you search for the best student loan

"Before you search for the best student loan" submitted by SchoolGrantsfor Editorial Team and last updated on Tuesday 26th April 2011

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Before you search for the best student loan out there, you need to take advantage of funds available through scholarships and grants offered by the government, charities, workplaces, professional organizations, etc. After you have received all you can in scholarships and grants, your next option is a student loan.

Here are some things to remember:

Go with the federal student loan programs. Federal programs such as Perkins and Stafford Loans for students and PLUS Loans for parents and graduate and professional degree students have fixed interest rates ranging from 5 to 8.5 percent. Private or alternative loans typically have interest rates that rise and fall with the economy. Private loans require credit reports; federal student loans don’t (except for PLUS Loans). Check also Federal Student Loans vs. Private Loans

Before You Determine:

Check the terms and fine print carefully. Not all students can take advantage of all the benefits lenders advertise. Choose the loan that offers the best up-front discounts, such as waiving either origination and default fees, or other immediate discounts. Benefits that are promised several years down the road usually won’t help you if you consolidate your loans or get into financial trouble.

There’s an interactive repayment calculator at repaying, click on “Paying Back Your Loan.”

Don’t Default

You’ve made a commitment to yourself and your future. Be a responsible borrower, loan default has serious consequences: