Student loans are one of the best ways to fund your college education and there are numerous sources of financing available. Most loans are made using funds provided by the government, but arrangements are made though the school you will be attending.
One of the most common types of financial aid is the Federal Perkins Loan. This is a 5% interest loan that is available for students that have significant financial need. With Perkins Loans, undergraduate students can borrow up to $5500 per year up to a total of $27,500. Those that are in graduate programs can borrow as much as $8,000 per year, but not more than a total of $60,000.
Student loans are also available from the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program. These loans are called “Direct Stafford Loans” and students borrow directly from the U.S. Department of Education if they are eligible, and if the school participates in the program. Direct Stafford Loans are available as “Direct Subsidized Loans”, or “Direct Unsubsidized Loans.” Each loan type has differing interest accrual periods.
“Direct PLUS Loans” are yet another type of loan available to Graduate and Professional Degree students. These loans have a fixed interest rate and are only available to applicants that do not have a bad credit history. These student loans are only available after your school has determined your maximum eligibility for both types of Direct Stafford Loans. Another form of financial aid for college students is the “Direct PLUS Loans For Parents” which is very similar, but the loan application is based on the parent’s financials.
For students that have multiple student loans already, there are two types of consolidation loans available. The first type of loans are called “Traditional Direct Consolidation Loans” and the other loans are called “Special Direct Consolidation Loans.” In order to qualify for these loans students must already have at least one student loan held by a FFEL (Federal Family Education Loan) lender, and at least one loan held by the Department of Education.
There are also numerous school grants for college available for those in need of financial aid. School grants usually do not need to be repaid, but often are only available to those who can show exceptional need.
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