Student Loan Season Is Coming Up: Here’s What You Should Be Doing

Whether you’re a student or a parent, it’s time to start finding the right loans for college. Student loan season usually lasts during the spring and summer of every year. However, there’s a lot of information out there, so where do you start? Here are some tips on what to do to find the right student loans for your family:

Start With Research

 There are quite a few options available to you out there regarding student loans. One of the first steps you can take is researching thoroughly. Discover the difference between subsidized and unsubsidized federal loans, what grants may be available through your school, and what private loans may work for your family.

Make sure to also look into interest rates, payment schedules, and other terms and agreements that come with your available loans. It’s important to understand the ins and outs of your options before choosing.

Fill Out Your FASFA

One of the steps that can’t be missed when applying for student loans is filling out the FASFA, also known as the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Even if you think you won’t qualify for a federal loan because your home has a high income, you may be surprised. It never hurts to apply either.

When your results of your FASFA come in, you may be offered subsidized loans, unsubsidized loans, or both. Subsidized loans do not accrue interest while you’re in college while interest begins immediately for unsubsidized. Subsidized loans are a great option, while you may want to weigh the pros and cons of accepting an unsubsidized loan.

Applications for federal loans are due by June 30th 2017.

Shop For Private Loans

If you’re not offered a federal loan, or it’s not enough to cover your tuition, it may be time to start looking into private loans. These are often offered through banks and credit unions. First start with your bank; they know your credit, income, and banking history, so they might be able to give you the best deal.

However, don’t stop there. You will want to shop around. Some banks may give you a better interest rate or a higher loan amount that fits your needs. Remember that if you’re a student, you might need a parent or co-signer to help you with this step.

Talk To The School

Another step students and parents want to make is talking directly to the college. They may have programs and grants designed to help students with lower incomes or in need of extra loans. The school might also have suggestions on where to turn if all your other options are exhausted.

Finding the right student loans can be a stressful time for both the entering freshman and their parents. However, doing research right from the start is one of the best and easiest steps you can take. Making sure you have all your ducks in a row in the beginning can ensure you’re taking advantage of all the resources available to you.

Use College Raptor to discover personalized college matches, cost estimates, acceptance odds, and potential financial aid for schools around the US—for FREE!

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