Student Loan Advice

Student Loan Advice

Student Loan Advice

Student Loan Advice

Loans can help students cover college funding gaps. If your student has already accepted all scholarship and grant opportunities and still needs a loan, sit down together and review this important student loan advice. 

1. Before taking out a private loan, maximize your full federal loan eligibility. 

Federal Student Loans have low fixed rates and more flexible repayment plans. They can also be taken out without a cosigner. We always recommend using your full federal eligibility before considering any private student loans.

2. Borrow only what you need and can reasonably afford to pay back. 

Be sure to use a student loan calculator prior to applying for loans to see what your payments would be. Create a budget and stick to it in school to prevent over-borrowing.

3. Before freshman year begins, make a plan for the four-year cost of your education. 

You may not be able to see the big picture when you’re applying for loans year-to-year. Consider the total debt you’ll be taking on over the course of your degree.

4. Student loans can’t be used to pay for everything. 

Schools will process a private loan up to the total cost of attendance, minus any other financial aid. Non-educational expenses, such as entertainment, cannot be covered by loans.

5. You’ll owe more than you borrow. 

The loan amount that is disbursed to the school will look different than the total loan you pay back after graduation. That’s because there can be loan disbursement fees and interest will accrue on the loans (except for the federal subsidized loan) while you’re in school.

6. Pay what you can while in school. 

You can make payments on your loans while still enrolled. Doing so can help prevent the interest from growing on your loan balance.

7. Loan repayment doesn’t begin immediately after college graduation. 

Federal loans have a six-month grace period. During the grace period, no payments are required. Most private lenders also offer a grace period, but the length depends on the terms.

8. There are advantages to using automatic payments. 

Many private lenders will offer a discount on interest if you sign up for their auto-debit service. The most common auto-debit discount is .25% off the interest. It may not seem like much, but the savings will add up over the repayment period.

9. You can refinance student loans. 

Be certain to check refinance rates with lenders after you graduate. By refinancing, you could qualify for a lower interest rate, saving you money during the repayment process. If they aren’t lower at that time, continue to check back with lenders as interest rates can change weekly.

10. A longer loan repayment period means you’ll be paying more. 

Be aware: the longer it takes to repay your loan, the more interest you’ll need to pay. Use a student loan calculator to see the difference in the total loan amount you’re paying back based on the number of years in your repayment term. You’ll see that as you increase the length of the repayment period, the total loan amount also increases.

A well-informed student makes smarter choices. When you work together to research loan options, you’ll not only help them with one of the most important financial decisions of their lives, but set an example for how to handle their finances in the future. 

Here’s a list of our recommended lenders:

LenderCo-Signer ReleaseRepayment OptionsTermInterest Rates
Yes- Flat Payment (In-School)
- Full (principal & interest)
- Deferred
- Interest-only
5, 8, 10, 15 years3.99% - 14.96% (Fixed)
3.24% - 14.86% (Variable)
Check Rate
Yes- Deferred
- $25 Minimum Amount
- In-School Interest Only
5, 7, 10, 12, 15 years4.62% - 16.06% (Fixed)
4.14% - 13.15% (Variable)
Check Rate
Yes- Pay now or late: Make interest payments
- Pay a fixed $25 payment
- Defer payments until after school
5-15 years3.75% - 13.72% (Fixed)
3.37% - 13.72% (Variable)
Check Rate
SofiYes- Immediate repayment
- Interest-only
- Fixed monthly payments in school
- Fully deferred
5, 7, 10, 15 years4.99% – 14.75% (Fixed)
4.49% – 13.82% (Variable)
Check Rate
Yes- Full payments (Principal and Interest)5, 10, 15 yearsAs low as 3.99% (Fixed)
As low as 4.36% (Variable)
Check Rate
- Deferred
- $25 Minimum Amount
- In-School Interest Only
5, 7, 10, 12, 15 years13.96% - 14.77% (Fixed)
11.78% - 13.74% (Variable)
Check Rate

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