A vast majority of college students find themselves forced to take out student loans in order to get through school. As tuition rates are at an all-time high, you’re probably feeling the stress of trying to pay your way through college. It’s possible that, like many students, you’re considering taking out more than one loan to make the process easier. Of course, it’s possible to have simultaneous loans, but before you apply for more student loans, you should be aware of some of the effects this might have on your future.
Exhaust All Other Options Before Taking on a Loan
As you know, there are three sources of financial aid for students: “free” money that comes from the institution itself in the form of scholarships or grants, public (federal) loans, and loans from private companies. Generally speaking, it’s a good idea to prioritize your financial aid and pursue aid in that order, with private loans last. There are multiple reasons for this, but the primary logic is that, in most cases, private loans have the highest interest rates.
Consider All Student Loan Opportunities
Of course, if you want to apply for more than one student loan at a time, you’ll need to consider more than one source, because many loans simply don’t offer enough by themselves. Let’s say, for instance, that you have a Perkins loan from the federal government. From this plan, you’ll get $5,500 a year to put towards tuition. According to data collected by the College Board, this would amount to a little over half your tuition at an in-state public school, generally the cheapest college option. While very helpful, you still may look to other places for additional aid.
Private loans could offer you more money, but, as stated earlier, your interest rates will most likely be higher (although federal student loan interest rates may be changing soon). The next step will probably require you to figure out how much money you’ll need to offset your costs, and whether or not it makes financial sense for you to take out another loan. Like most things in life, there’s a trade-off involved. You’ll have more financial security for the moment, but in return, you’ll have to pay off the loan with interest upon graduation.
Shop Around for the Right Loan Lender if You’re Taking Out More Than One Student Loan
It’s important to note that students who take out simultaneous loans often don’t have a choice in the matter. While this is true, you do have a choice of where your loan comes from. Private lending sources, a type of student loan lenders, differ greatly in policy and offers, and you should definitely do your homework before you make your final choice. Certain houses will offer you a better deal than others, and your personal financial future could hinge on where you take out the loan.
The bottom line: should you take out simultaneous student loans? There’s no right or wrong answer. If you absolutely need to take out more than one loan to get your degree, you need to weigh all your options before you make a decision. Generally, students faced with this choice decide to go with a private loan source, but if you don’t feel like that’s for you, it’s not a hard and fast rule. The most important thing is to be comfortable with the decision you make and feel secure in your financial situation.
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