As the school year winds to a close, we’re sure the last thing on your mind is paying for the next year. The reality is that you will be receiving a bill for next semester in about six weeks. If you have a funding gap, now is the perfect time to research students loans so you can be prepared when that bill hits your mailbox. But, where do you start? The process of selecting the right loan and amount can be confusing, but we have your back.
Five Tips for Comparing Student Loans
- Let us help. Use our site to compare student loans on terms that are easy to understand.
- Start early. You still have plenty of time to explore student loan options before your bill arrives. Use this time to determine how much you need to borrow while keeping in mind you should never borrow more than you actually need.
- You’ll probably need a co-signer. According to a report issued by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, 90% of private student loans have a co-signer.
- The interest rate on federal subsidized Stafford loans may be rising from 3.4% to 6.8%. There is a lot of back and forth in the legislature over this topic. Know the details when they are made available if you qualify for a subsidized Stafford loan–private student loans may become a more competitive option.
- When you finally do choose a student loan, be sure to read and understand the terms of your loan. The average student borrows $26,000 over the course of a four-year education and that’s a significant obligation. Know and appreciate the responsibility that comes with borrowing to pay for school. Remember, student loans, unlike other debt, can rarely be discharged in bankruptcy.
Finally, if you don’t know what to do, ask a trusted adviser for help. One of the best places to find one is in your school’s financial aid office. Give them a call or drop in and discuss your options. They’re always happy to lend (get it!) a helping hand!